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Thursday, May 23, 2019

How To Write MIDDLE GRADE HISTORICAL FANTASY



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.



SANDPAPER YOUR 
COURSE LANGUAGE

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 
THIS MESS?

 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
SUBMISSION

10 comments:

  1. Dragons. That's brilliant. MG'ers will love it.
    I have an idea cooking. Hoping it takes wing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here's hoping we fly into the anthology together. :-)

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  2. All great tips! And I love the dragon...hmmm something with Asian history, perhaps?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love your tips about writing for MG historical. Dragon Lore, eh? Love that too.

    I say "cool" way to much in real life. Once my ex was being dumb and told me how things were going to be. All I said was, "not cool". He took notice. :) I guess he read a lot into the meaning of my one word answer because he did what he was supposed to do. At least I'm not saying groovy.

    By the way, thank you for your advice on characters at my blog.

    Teresa C.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Every so often, I stumble across the fact that I've acquired a new crutch word and have to work to weed it out of my thinking ... sometimes failing miserably! :-)

      At your blog, I just wanted to help in some small way with your dilemma. It's what friends do.

      I didn't want to give too much away about my submitted story to keep the mystery alive.

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  4. Thanks for mentioning the IWSG Anthology Contest.
    Had to chuckle at the puppy love bit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope whet interest in the contest and also help those who might have never written Middle Grade fantasy to write an entry. :-)

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  5. Weave the history in naturally. It should be part of the setting, not the focus.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the best historical narratives do that. :-)

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