A great YA novel creates a rhythm that feels like a ride at the amusement park. When done right, it leaves the reader with an emotional thrill that stays with them forever. But how do you establish pacing that keeps the YA audience on the edge of their seat?
Join me as I reveal my own little recipe on how to structure a novel that will entice the young reader, and maybe even a few not-so-young. My formula derives from my days as an actress, screenwriter, and spoken word artist and can be universally applied. Even if you’re not working on YA, come anyway, because this technique may catapult your fiction, nonfiction, memoir, or short story into a final draft.
Lisa Freeman is an author, artist, and teacher residing in Santa Monica, California only miles down the road from State Beach, where her novel Honey Girl takes place. Lisa grew up amidst the Hollywood scene and emerged as an actress in films like Back to the Future I and II and Mr. Mom. It was here that her love for storytelling was born. After receiving her MFA and Pedagogy in the Art of Writing from Antioch University, Lisa’s career as an educator and author flourished. Her debut novel Honey Girl was published by Sky Pony Press in 2015, followed by its sequel, Riptide Summer, which hit shelves in May 2017. Active in the writing community, Lisa has been a member of SCBWI for nearly 30 years. On a typical afternoon, you’ll find her writing in her studio under the shade of a 100-year old pepper tree, tea in hand and two small dogs at her feet.