Saturday, January 14, 2012

Writing for Middle Graders

I was curious about the difference in middle grade readers and young adult readers.  Where is the cut-off, and what enthuses MG that bores YA readers.  As best I can tell it's puberty... :)

MG checklist: Authentic characters, powerful verbs, lots of dialogue, lively plots, a bread crumb trail leading to the mystery, and hooks that keep readers hanging chapter to chapter; (there's a tasty menu that will attract nearly anyone), are the basic elements that captivate tweeners.  While burying my head in plenty of  middle grade books I've detected what might be the difference between MG and YA, taa daa...  the presence of humor.  I'm not the guru of middle graders but I have detected their keen interest in a good laugh.  So... here's my hypothesis...since puberty is a high-drama event in a child's life I'm guessing their hormones are screaming, "grow up", hence, the absence of humor.

This should be a, 'note-to-self', we adults have maneuvered the puberty phase so let's get back to our youth and laugh more.  Someone out there who writes grown-up books, please consider using the MG criteria in your next novel.

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