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5 Essentials of the Middle Grade Novel

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As discussed at the May 2012 LDS Storymakers Conference.

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5 Essentials of the Middle Grade Novel

  1. 1. 5 Essentials of the Middle Grade Novel
  2. 2. Don’t want to take notes? Slideshare.net
  3. 3. What Do We Know About Middle Grade Readers?
  4. 4. What Do We Know About Middle Grade Readers?• Moving toward abstract thought• Intensely curious• Love “useful” knowledge• Are inconsistent• Egocentric
  5. 5. What Do We Know About Middle Grade Readers?• Developing sense of humor• Fiercely loyal to peers and values• Challenge authority, but want approval• Idealistic, fair• Ready for moral questions
  6. 6. It’s also important to know…• Literally, to know middle graders.• MG’s can spot a phony.• MG’s will read up, but rarely down.• MG’s live in the stories they love.• MG’s use books to explore emotions.
  7. 7. 5 Essentials of theMiddle Grade Novel
  8. 8. #1 A Riveting Main Character
  9. 9. #1 A Riveting Main Character• Passionate, intense• Acts and reacts• Has purpose• Feels “real”
  10. 10. #2 Dialogue that Leaps off the Page
  11. 11. #2 Dialogue that Leaps off the Page• Realistic• Crisp• Consistent• Occasionally unexpected
  12. 12. #3 High Stakes Conflict
  13. 13. #3 High Stakes Conflict• A hero readers cares about• High stakes for the hero• A powerful villain who’s likely to win
  14. 14. #4 Vivid Settings
  15. 15. #4 Vivid Settings• Use of senses in description• A) The familiar explored in a new way; or• B) The new introduced in an exciting way
  16. 16. #5 Movement of Plot
  17. 17. #5 Movement of Plot• Maximize Actions• Start with the plot in motion• Use strong, active verbs• End of chapter hooks• Stay true to your unique voice
  18. 18. 5 Essentials of the Middle Grade Novel

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