Are you entering this contest?
Writing Middle Grade Historical Fantasy
is a bit of a challenge.
MAKE YOUR TALE FUN
See through a child's eyes.
What would sweep today's Middle Grader away in a historical fantasy?
What adventures would the squire of King Arthur be propelled into?
Joan of Arc was a mere 15 when she began having her visions which birthed her legend.
But no matter your MC's plight, inject humor into the mix ...
AND PLEASE NO PREACHING.
PUPPY LOVE IS REAL
TO THE PUPPY
Adults see kids as small with small problems. Not so. They, like we, want to be heard, to be understood, to be treated with respect.
Children want to be talked to not at, especially in the books they read.
Mark Twain could get away with it with HUCKLEBERRY FINN
but he was writing for adults using a middle grader as protagonist.
DON'T BE AN IDIOM IDIOT
How many Spanish youngsters use "swell" or "golly" during the Spanish Inquisition?
The same number of young cabin boys aboard the British Fleet during the Napoleonic Wars.
That's how many.
Do your research. Fine out the common words used during the time period and locale of your story.
DON'T GIVE YOUR YOUNG READERS HISTORY INDIGESTION
Make your history fun and new and brief.
KNOW YOUR READER
During the middle grades, friends and school become more important
than home and family as kids try to figure out their place in the social structure.
In NANCY DREW, the parents all but disappeared from the pages.
No matter the time period or fantasy,
make your MC take the reins of the adventure in his or her own hands.
HOW DID I GET INTO
If a character has no problem to solve, there is no point to the story.
The story plot consists of an urgent problem confronting your main character
and how he or she goes about solving it, against tremendous opposition.
But when you are a child that becomes extraordinarily difficult.
Danger, mystery, and suspense are the undercurrents
that will pull your young reader along the spinning of your tale.
THE CLIFF NOTES VERSION
OF THE SECRETS TO
MIDDLE GRADE FANTASY
- Tight writing.
- Active and powerful verbs.
- A plot that’s cool and fast paced.
- Characters who are alive with authenticity.
- Dialogue that is true to the characters.
- A background rich with possibilities or mystery.
- Your own unique writing voice.
- Hints and clues that are woven into the fabric of the plot, and tell of past history and things yet to come
HAVE YOU DECIDED TO
ENTER THIS CONTEST?
IF NOT, WHY NOT?
A CLUE TO MY OWN