Kris Noel is a young adult author with a new novel out just this month. She's been churning her novels out at a rate of one per year, so we're thinking she's got some great tips about the writing process and motivation. We're pleased to have her with us today at The Book Pound. Thanks, Kris.
I'm not sure when I first realized that it was a possible career option, but once I understood that you could write whatever story you want, I was hooked. I started writing my own stories around 2nd grade. Later in elementary school, I wrote my own versions of Goosebumps books and a version of that over-the-top disaster movie Volcano, which for some reason I was really into. I organized rehearsals during recess so we could all act out the script. I think that's when I figured out writing was what I wanted to do forever.
What have you done to improve your writing skills over the years?
I think learning about screenwriting taught me a lot about story structure. I always had a lot of ideas, but I wasn't sure what to do with them. Understanding story arcs really helps, even if you're not writing a script. Reading is a great way to improve your writing skills. You'll also figure out what you like and don't like in stories and that will help shape your own writing.
How many times have you done NaNoWriMo? Can you describe your most successful experience with it?
I've done it two times! Last year I completed 50,000 words, but I didn't end up finishing the novel. I think it was good because it told me I wasn't into my story idea enough to continue. My most successful experience was the first time because I was so happy that I could actually do it. It taught me how to manage my time and it made future writing projects feel much easier. The next project I did after NaNoWriMo was The Serenity Compound, and that ended up getting published, so I'm always grateful for what I learned.
What do you like about writing for young adults?
I think those were always the stories that stayed with me. I grew up with Harry Potter, like most kids my age, so I wanted to write something that had a similar vibe. I think that age is important and I wanted my books to be fun, which is why I wrote Lionhead. They can get serious, but I try to make sure they're exciting. I like emotional stories and I think YA readers appreciate those types of stories.
Are you working on a new writing project now that Love and Horror is published?
I'm working on a new YA book that I hope to completely finish by the end of the year! It's called Never World and I plan on editing it during NaNoWriMo. I wanted to write a virtual reality story and focus on a disabled protagonist, so I hope to get that done soon. I also have my 3rd book Requiem, which is the sequel to Lionhead, coming out next year.
Is there anything else you would like to tell Book Pound readers?
My blog is always open for writing questions, so feel free to message me at krisnoel.com! Right now I'm focusing on NaNoWriMo and I have information available on how to get started.