Although it pains me a little that my schedule is so full I can't read books for review quickly, I do love the insight participating in blog tours give. While I wouldn't have been able to read Sunkissed by the 15th January, it's definitely in my TBR pile and once you read the blurb you'll be adding it to yours. However, I do get a brilliant guest post written by the author herself and I have to say the information is class, not something to be missed. So here's Carys and her insightful post.
Dawn Summers is dying. It’s 1853 and as the seventeen year old continues to fade away she has visions of the father she never knew, urging her to fight for her life.
In the small village of Fandova the only medical care is in the form of the mysterious Dr. Moralus who has a known penchant for bloodletting. Thomas, Dawn's fiancé, is warned against inviting his intervention, but feels he has no choice, he pleads with the doctor to save Dawn’s life…whatever it takes.
My Ten Tips for Writing YA
Even though I am now closer to thirty than twenty (urgh) I am still an avid fan of all things Young Adult. For me, what makes the genre so special is that in encapsulates all those amazing firsts you get as a teenager; first kiss, first love. It is a time when everything feels so immense and you experience things on such a huge scale. Being a Young Adult is about discovering who you are, which is why Young Adult books should reflect those themes and more.
In my book, Sunkissed, the central character, Dawn is on the ultimate journey of self-discovery, but what else does a YA adult novel need in order to successfully reflect the key themes of the genre?
Writing should never be a chore it should be an extension of your imagination, the story you always needed to tell! If you are having fun writing the book, chances are that your future readers will have fun reading it!
Fall in Love
There is no greater theme in any creative medium than love. Love will drive your characters to their limits more than anything else. People believe in love, they will fight and die for it and as a writer; you must use that to your advantage to help drive your plot.
Don’t Talk Down
Remember, you’re not writing a children’s book, you’re writing a Young Adult book. Don’t make the mistake of underestimating your audience, don’t simplify things. Remember how smart you were at fifteen? Write the book your younger self would have enjoyed, not the book your older self thinks young people would enjoy.
As painful as it might be (for me most definitely as I’m a technophobe), your characters need to reflect current trends, particularly technological ones. They need to use cell phones, Tweet etc as it helps keep your characters relatable.
Push the Boundaries
Young Adult fans are eager, open readers. They will devour whatever twists and turns the genre throws at them. From the end of the world to the love of a lifetime, you can push the boundaries within your plot more than you can within any other genre. Young Adults want to be challenged and enthralled by what they read so push the boundaries of your imagination to avoid disappointing them!
Today it’s no good to be the princess in the tower waiting to be saved by her knight, the princess needs to haul herself out of that tower, slay the dragon and impress the knight with her sassiness! The world needs strong women; readers want a heroine they can look up to and admire not someone who is incapable of saving herself.
And behind every great woman is a great love interest. Make them flirtatious, dashing, bold whatever strikes your fancy. All that matters it that you create a love story worth fighting for.
Plotting the Plot
Young Adult readers are smart and don’t miss a trick. Tell them something in the first chapter, they will remember if you then go changing things later down the line. Plot out your story, keep your characters constant. Have a set plan you can always deviate back to else you risk writing circles around yourself.
Talk the Talk
Dialogue is very difficult to get right as any writer will tell you. Your characters need to sound like Young Adults. Watch relevant television shows, pick up on the current lingo being used and then try and incorporate it in to your own work so that it seems realistic. Personally, I watch The Vampire Diaries solely for research purposes, it’s certainly not because Damon is so unbelievably gorgeous…
Is that all there is?
Your story should exist beyond the final pages of your book. The End is simply an unsatisfying way to conclude things; it is too simple, too easy and too unrealistic. Life carries on, so your book should have the potential to continue too. And if it’s well received and people love your characters, have a sequel, even trilogy in mind. Be prepared to take your story, and your readers, as far as you can go.
About Carys Jones
Carys Jones loves nothing more than to write and create stories which ignite the reader's imagination. Based in Shropshire, England, Carys lives with her husband, two guinea pigs and her adored canine companion Rollo.
When she's not writing, Carys likes to indulge her inner geek by watching science- fiction films or playing video games. She lists John Green, Jodi Picoult and Virginia Andrews as her favorite authors and draws inspiration for her own work from anything and everything.
To Carys, there is no greater feeling then when you lose yourself in a great story and it is that feeling of ultimate escapism which she tries to bring to her books.