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Friday, April 6 • 11:45am - 1:00pm
2K: Subversion: Writing YA Novels That Upend Expectations
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Good writers know to avoid formulaic writing, but there’s something to be said for traditional plot devices. Readers look for familiar guideposts—the love triangle, the hero’s journey, the happy ending—as they decide whether or not to keep reading. But the freshest and best Young Adult novels subvert formula. These novels set readers’ expectations, only to send them crashing down. The results are satisfying, well-executed stories that stand on their own—and in some cases, can start whole new traditions.

We’ll look at the works of John Green, Caleb Roehrig and Angie Thomas, among others. Then, we’ll expand our examination of formula to look at YA tropes: think invisible parents, “the chosen one,” and manic pixie dream girls. Tropes will launch our writing exercise, where each attendee will be assigned a YA trope and tasked with brainstorming how to subvert it, through character, plot, setting: the choice is yours. Expect to leave with fresh ideas for new stories, or new perspectives on your works in progress, as well as a comprehensive reading list of recommended titles where formula and tropes are subverted.

avatar for Kim Savage

Kim Savage

Kim Savage is the author of three critically acclaimed young adult novels, After the Woods, Beautiful Broken Girls, and In Her Skin (releasing March 27, 2018), all with Farrar, Straus, Giroux/Macmillan. Her novels have been published in Spain, Brazil, and Turkey, and In Her Skin has... Read More →

Friday April 6, 2018 11:45am - 1:00pm EDT
Beacon Hill Room - 4th Floor