Chepstow by Stewart Black
Good Writing AdviceSome of the best writing advice that I've seen is: Read within your genre. (Which is not to say it's the only thing you should read.)
For me, this means YA and MG sci-fi and fantasy. That's not hard for me. I've had to make more of a point to read MG because I do prefer YA, so I have my writing to thank for the wonderful MG books I've discovered in the past few years (including a personal favorite - Suzanne Collins' Underland Chronicles).
Crown by Jason Train
YA RantsI have noticed that YA is far more likely to send me ranting to my husband, mostly for one of three reasons:
- The protagonist is a whiner. A certain amount of whining is warranted in the sorts of situations YA protagonists typically find themselves in. But if you scale too high on my carefully allotted whin-o-meter, I will go whining to my husband (Oh, the irony).
- Love triangles. Sometimes they work. Other times I can overlook them. But overall, I just wish there were less of them.
- This one's a little harder to explain, but it boils down to this: if any of major plot points hinge on one of the characters being madly in love with someone they barely know, I will be annoyed. Very annoyed.
In case you can't tell, number three was what set me off recently. I stopped reading a book at the 82% mark because a major plan hinged on the assumption that a male character who had been trained to defend his kingdom wouldn't bother to do so because he was "in love." Talk about a poor plan! I mean, multiple people - some of them adults! - buy into this terrible plan. To me this is just poor plotting (both in the plotting against a kingdom sense and in the plotting a book sense). At that point I could suspend my disbelief no longer. Plus I was utterly disgusted with these characters. I gave up on them and then came onto my blog to rant a little more.