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9/25/14 at 7pm Mountain time: Writers of the Future contest and Nebula award winning author Eric James Stone joins us to talk about the highs, lows and buckling midsections of writing Hard Science Fiction.
Hard SF- Placing greater emphasis on scientific and technical accuracy and detail rather than character in your novel or story.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

28: J. Scott Savage on Middle Grade Voice

Our guest tonight writes as J. Scott Savage, mainly because "Jeff Savage" was already taken (by another Middle Grade author who writes about sports--not fantasy). He goes by Jeff, but answers to just about anything now. He is friends with James Dashner and Nathan Bransford. They have a podcast together, called WordPlay Podcast.

Jeff is amazingly knowledgeable about the Middle Grade genre, and shared with us his tricks of the trade. Among these are:

  • Middle Grade spans from about 3rd grade to 7th grade, and the protagonist should be at the upper end of those ages
  • Short chapters equals happy kids who might get mom to read "just one more" (1500 words or less)
  • Each chapter should be a complete story
  • Kids are fanatical about the rules of the worlds they play in, so you better get it right ALL THE TIME or they'll call you on it
  • You have only a few paragraphs to catch a kid's interest... and you can lose it just as fast
  • Girls and boys are much more similar at that age... but girls still like a bit of romance
  • Kids like scary stuff, but make it safe scary
He has a new series coming out in 2013: CASE FILE 13, starting with ZOMBIE KID.
For about an hour and a half, Jeff shared his wisdom with us. You can download the MP3 here, listen to it below, or subscribe to the Authors' Advisory podcast here.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed this interview. It's always nice to get some pointers on middle reader novels. I especially liked what Jeff had to say about keeping things lively as the story progresses.

    Also, I now have another podcast to download (Wordplay).

    -- david j.

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