Develop your own young adult novel and learn how to break into one of today's hottest publishing markets.
As Harry Potter and Twilight have proven, young adult fiction is one of the hottest genres for today's novels. Teens and adults alike have discovered the excitement and passion of these stories, and publishers are hungry for more. If you're eager to break into this market, this course provides you with the recipe for creating your own successful young adult story and shows you how to get it published.
You will decide what type of story you want to tell, plan your plot, and discover the secrets for bringing your characters to life. In addition, you'll find out how to introduce conflict, suspense, and mystery so you can grab and hold the attention of your audience. Along the way, you will master the art of creating dialogue that resonates with teenagers and young adults. You'll even analyze excerpts from bestselling young adult books to see what makes them so successful. Finally, you'll learn how to find an agent or publisher and how to write a synopsis that sells. If you've dreamed for years of becoming an author, this course can help you turn your dream into a reality. By the end of this course, you'll have all the tools you need to create a polished manuscript and get your story in print!
- This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.
- PC: Windows 8 or newer.
- Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
- Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
- Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.
- Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
There are no prerequisites to take this course.
Instructional Material Requirements:
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.Develop your own young adult novel and discover how you can break into one of today's hottest publishing markets. This course provides you with the recipe for creating your own successful young adult story that will connect with audiences and sell to publishers.
Discovering Young Adult Fiction
In the first lesson, you'll explore what makes young adult fiction the most exciting choice for your writing. You'll discover why it's rewarding from both a creative and monetary standpoint, and then you'll have an opportunity to select the genre that works best for your own original story, which you'll develop during this course.
The Dramatic Elements of Young Adult Fiction
This lesson is filled with "lightbulb moments" that will make you say "Ah-ha!". You'll begin by learning the important difference between story and plot, after which you'll examine the dramatic elements of young adult fiction. Finally, you'll begin planning your own story by choosing the dramatic elements that will propel it to success.
Young Adult Characters
You may already know how to write a character sketch, but do you know the two most important things that drive your characters? This lesson shows you how goals drive your characters and how flaws impede them. Then you'll have a chance to choose attributes that create your characters' goals and flaws. To make things easier, you'll use a Comprehensive Character Attribute Form.
What on earth are "story patterns"? This lesson answers that question. By the time you finish it, you'll have a whole cookbook full of great recipes to use in concocting your own original story. Best of all, you'll understand exactly how other best-selling young adult fiction has used those patterns so you can pick the one that works best for you.
Creating Young Adult Fiction in Three Acts
You may have heard of the three-act structure, but did you know that nearly all great fiction uses it? That's because it guarantees an effective beginning, middle, and end. In this lesson, you'll look at a refined nine-checkpoint system that makes it incredibly easy to create a well-structured story. After following these simple steps, you'll wonder how you ever got along without it!
Action and Emotion and Repeat
This lesson delivers plenty of lightbulb moments. It's all about the ebb and flow of fiction, and how you create that using plot and story. You'll have an opportunity to practice writing scenes for your original story and learn how to use transitions and chapter breaks to achieve maximum impact.
Conflict, Suspense, and Mystery
Conflict, suspense, and mystery are what make your story exciting. In this lesson, you'll explore how conflict is much more than a fight—it's the dramatic underpinning of your story. Then you'll learn a simple technique for creating suspense. Finally, you'll discover a few tricks for adding mystery to your young adult story.
Young Adult Dialogue
Dialogue is very different from conversation. This lesson explains why and helps you develop your dialogue-writing skills. You'll polish your "teenspeak" and learn when to use dialect—and when not to. You'll even discover there are some kinds of dialogue that aren't spoken!
Viewpoint and Tense Choices
Young adult fiction is almost always written in one of three viewpoints and two tenses. In this lesson, you'll have fun comparing the techniques used in some of the best young adult books and discovering which combination you like best. Then you'll have a chance to try them all on your own original story.
Finding Your Young Adult Voice
Voice can be a slippery concept, but this lesson makes it easy to hold on to. You'll learn how to give your main character or narrator a distinctive voice and then discover other techniques for imparting deeper meaning and bigger imagery to your own young adult story.
Putting It All Together
As you've seen so far, there's a lot more to writing your novel or screenplay than just jumping in and writing your long form! In this lesson, you'll learn about the collateral documents that will help you with the planning, writing, and marketing stages—stages that are all equally important. You'll also discover how to write a synopsis that sells your work. Finally, you'll be given an extensive Manuscript Evaluation Checklist to help you make your story perfect.
It's all about getting into print so others can read your work, and this lesson shows you how. You'll learn submission strategies for finding an agent or publishers. The lesson will also discuss what contests can (or can't) do for you. Finally, you'll explore how print-on-demand publishing can turn your young adult fiction into income and might be your perfect choice.
Steve Alcorn is the published author of a wide range of fiction and nonfiction works. During the past decade he has helped more than 30,000 students turn their story ideas into reality, and many of his students have published novels they developed in his classes. His novels include the mystery A Matter of Justice, the historical novel Everything in Its Path, and the picture storybook Molly Builds a Theme Park. He is the author of the non-fiction books How to Fix Your Novel, Theme Park Design, and Write Your Life Story. When he isn't writing and teaching, Steve is the CEO of Alcorn McBride Inc., a leading theme park design company.