Monday 29 July 2013

SIMON & SCHUSTER WEEK: Sarah Alderson How to write a young adult thriller.

Hello there beautiful people. Casey here and I am here today to share our Simon and Schuster week with you all. So all this week we will be featuring YA books from Simon and & Schuster UK the publisher all over our blog. From guest posts from some of their awesome authors, to reviews of their books and an AWESOME giveaway at the end where you can win some of these epic books we have been featuring all week!
So without further or do here is our first post of the week. Its the epic Sarah Alderson!
Sarah Alderson is the fantastic British author of well known novels Hunting Lila, losing Lila and now her ebook novella Tormenting Lila - (Tad obsessed with these). BUT now she has another novel coming out which everyone is excited for and that is called "THE SOUND".
Here is a summary:  
When aspiring music journalist Ren Kingston takes a job nannying for a wealthy family on the exclusive island of Nantucket, playground for Boston's elite, she's hoping for a low-key summer reading books and blogging about bands. Boys are firmly off the agenda.

What she doesn't count on is falling in with a bunch of party-loving private school kids who are hiding some dark secrets, falling (possibly) in love with the local bad boy, and falling out with a dangerous serial killer...

"Sounds" fantastic doesn't it? get it?...anyway THE SOUND is NOW released in the UK so guess what? after reading this you can actually purchase the book!. So without further or do Sarah is here today to do a guest post on How to write a Young adult thriller! get a pen and paper guys;
How to write a Young Adult thriller

I am not really sure how it happened but I ended up writing thrillers. I guess because I love writing action and mystery stories and because I grew up watching too many movies like Terminator and Blade Runner and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Anyway, I also write screenplays too and have learned a lot from that process when it comes to writing books. Here are five rules for writing thrillers for teens:

The Hero must be likeable

My favorite book on screenwriting is called ‘Save the Cat’. The title refers to the fact that your main character, whether in a book or movie, MUST be likeable. Even if they are a serial killer, they must do something like save the cat from a burning building, so the audience/ reader wants them to succeed (like Dexter).
Pretty much every time I walk out of a movie or throw a book to the floor is because I don’t care about the character. Next time you dislike a book intensely check if this is the reason why. In YA I think a lot of writers focus on the love interest and don’t develop the female character into someone that’s likeable.

Conflict between the leads

The two leads must face significant conflict. Alex in Hunting Lila is Lila’s brother’s best friend. He’s also her ‘enemy’ – fighting on the side of the Unit against her kind.
Lucas in Fated is Evie’s mortal enemy.
In The Sound, Jesse is the bad boy who everyone warns Ren away from and then she manages to make him think she has a boyfriend.
Think of Romeo and Juliet, Pride & Prejudice, Gone with the Wind, Dirty Dancing – whether your leads are from other sides of the tracks, torn apart by family or misunderstanding or war or some other plot device, the conflict that keeps them apart must be epic and believable.

Great stakes
I just finished The 5th Wave, and loved it. It worked on so many levels but from the off the stakes were so high. There was the fact the lead character was being chased by killer aliens (always stressful), the fact she was alone, the fact she had to find her brother, and the ever present knowledge that the next huge wave of attack was going to start any moment. Honestly, I think my nerves are yet to recover. All good books keep you turning the page because every moment feels like life or death.

In Hunting Lila the stakes really were life or death for Lila and in The Sound I threw in a serial killer to really keep Ren on her toes.

The element of surprise

I like to throw in several twists to unseat the reader. I also don’t like things to be black and white, because they never are in real life – everyone has their own story to tell. ‘Bad guys’ should always be 3D and you should know why they are the way they are.

Awesome secondary characters

Secondary characters should be completely rounded out. The secondary characters in Hunting Lila – Nate, Suki, Demos, Amber etc – are some of my favorite characters. They should help drive the plot forwards, round out and show other aspects of your main characters and can also help illustrate themes and add comic relief. But don’t add secondary characters for no reason. Every character and every scene should have a purpose to your story.
Thanks Sarah for all your tips and thoughts! from all this I bet THE SOUND is going to be fantastic!
Sound is now released in the UK
You can get it HERE.
Please check here on the 7th for another exciting feature from Simon & Schuster.



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