Book Review: Writing & Selling the YA Novel by K.L. Going


Teen and Young Adult Fiction
Teen and Young Adult Fiction (Photo credit: Blue Train Books)


Writing & Selling the YA Novel by K.L. Going


Traci Kenworth




2008 Writer’s Digest Books an imprint of F & W Publications, Inc.


Author of Saint Iggy and Fat Kid Rules the World




This book is set up like a class schedule with such chapters as: Homeroom (Time to Get


Motivated), GYM (Tossing Around—and Running With—Ideas), and Lunch (A Plateful of Healthy Plot) to name a few. Your instructor teaches in a friendly, no-bones about it manner of what it takes to write a YA Novel. There are little activities/homework at the end of each chapter to use.


The Author in addition to writing award-winning books worked as a literary agent at


Curtis Brown, Ltd. She’s even inserted questions and answers from real teens today to get their perspective on the market, what their reading, and their likes and dislikes. I admit to reading this book more than once because I wanted to absorb every nugget of advice she offered. Setting this up to read like courses at a high school evoked images of the past for me, although I didn’t get a flushed face when I didn’t know an answer, or have to slink in my seat at the back of the class to avoid the superior looks of other students.


I felt right at home in this learning environment and I’m sure you will too. From


Structure and Decision Making to Point of Views to Finding Fabulous First Readers, it’s all here. I like that she delved into the the goings-on inside the business side of the novel at the end as well. I’ve learned characterization can be my most valuable tool in filling in a character and getting them to be larger-than-life to others. I’ve learned that Grant of Right specifies who controls each aspect of your book. I’ve learned  that some of the biggest pet peeves for real teens are how they’re portrayed (not very nice), that they’re tired of books who don’t show them as having good relationships with their family members but always has them at odds especially with a parent, and that there’s no balance between the pretty girl or the awkward and shy girl in a love story.


Knowing your audience is key and some of the answers really helped me look at my own


work and ask the same questions. So drop those pom poms into your locker, jot down a note on your erase-board, or grab your book for Chemistry. School is in session and it will be fun, fun, fun.


4 thoughts on “Book Review: Writing & Selling the YA Novel by K.L. Going

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