Category Archives: Craft of Writing

How Much Violence Is Too Much in YA Literature?

As a writer of YA science fiction and fantasy, I’m no stranger to writing my heroines into some violent struggles. Whether it’s emotional abuse or outright warfare, somehow these themes are embedded in the hero(ine)’s journey. But I am also … Continue reading

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A Mom’s Take on Maui’s “You’re Welcome” Song from Disney’s Moana

Maybe it was because my 5-year-old decided to write a letter to Santa about all the things mom had done wrong that day. Maybe it was because my 3-year-old refused to let  me brush her teeth for the umpteenth time until … Continue reading

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2017 YA Fantasy Trends

The crop of YA fantasy novels this year has been a true delight. It’s still February, and I’ve already ripped my way through hundreds of pages of adventure, anguish, and romance. As a reader, it’s been a blissful escape during … Continue reading

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Looking for Villainspiration

It’s dark and dreary in my hometown of San Jose this week, and the ghost of something dark hovers at the edges of my thoughts whenever I watch the news. The combined effect might be disturbing if it were an … Continue reading

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The New YA Prince Charming

Protective. Strong. Aggressive. These have been the most prized traits in many YA romantic heroes over the past decade or so. But why did protective feel like stalking? Why did strength trump kindness? Worst of all, aggressive translated to controlling. (I’m looking … Continue reading

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Write an Opening Chapter that Hooks Readers

This year, I have left behind the characters who populated the series that I’ve been writing for several years. I’m embarking on a voyage to a new world, with a crew who is brand new to me. It’s fun and … Continue reading

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How to Weave Believable Technology into Your YA Dystopian Novel (Part 2)

As I mentioned in my last post, Part 1 on this topic, it is with glee that I leave behind the world I’ve been writing about for years to enter a new one. It’s radically different than the one I left behind, … Continue reading

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