Thursday, March 18, 2010

10 Things to Remember about Death in YA Fiction by Steve Watkins

Steve Watkins is a professor of English at the University of Mary Washington. His novel Down Sand Mountain was awarded the 2008 Golden Kite Award for Young Adult Fiction by The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Recently, Steve presented writing tips to a captive audience at the Mid-Atlantic SCBWI Fall Conference.

10 Things to Remember about Death in YA Fiction:

1. There’s no life without death.

2. Kill early, not often.

3. The only good surprise is an inevitable surprise. Foreshadow your late deaths.

4. If you have to kill late, don’t do it in the last chapter.

5. Killing off bad guys isn’t killing—it’s poetic justice.

6. Most deaths are better heard than seen.

7. If you kill a dog, replace it with a puppy.

8. The dead have warts too, you know.

9. Cute grief is no grief at all.

10. The dead are never really dead.

To learn more about Steve please visit, and look for his new book from Candlewick Press out this spring, Goat Girl.

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