Genre vrs Audience in KidLit

I could say this with a single sentence but I plan to go on a tangent. Young Adult and Middle Grade are not genres of children’s literature.

But they have their own sections at the bookstore.

No kidding. Kids have their own sections at the department store too, but it’s not meant to do anything other than dictate what sizes the pants are.

Giving and Getting a Critique on Your Novel

It doesn’t matter what you write or who you write for getting feedback is always hard. Some people are especially mean about it, believing that makes them more of an authority, and some people outright suck at doing anything besides building up your ego. Neither make for good critique partners or workshop members.

An Interview with Jessica Vitalis

Jessica Vitalis stopped by to talk about writing The Wolf’s Curse. We talked about research, played some games, and discussed our apathy about killing our characters. Someone’s got to go, you know? Give it a listen then go get yourself a copy of The Wolf’s Curse.

Analysis of Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal (ch 5)

“And that guy, who the h–who did he think he was, stepping in like I can’t defend myself?”

Her uncle chuckled at this. “Yes, that wasn’t wise on his part. But many boys here are raised to protect girls, though I think that tradition is starting to fade away.”

Lupe folded her arms across her chest and stared at the ground. Yet another thing she didn’t understand. It didn’t help that she couldn’t stop seeing the boy’s face, the deep brown of his eyes. That only made her angrier at herself. “Clearly he’s never met a feminist.”


A lot of the cursing gets censored by teens in their dialogue around adults. It was cute and on point the first time it happened, but now it’s old and feels like reaching down to the audience. We all know teens curse (yes, they do, don’t even fight this). But the rate at which these teens catch themselves and stop mid word is distracting to read.

Then we have the local boy’s (Javier’s) protectiveness and how boys are taught to protect girls, which Lupe claims to not understand. What’s not to understand? That’s a fairly universal thing to teach to young boys. Particularly in the US, where Lupe is from.

Analysis of Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal (ch 4)

Marisol stopped, closed her eyes, and took a deep but shaky breath. The thumping had started inside her skull, like something was trying to get out. Last time it had gotten this bad she’d woken up in the psych ward after a two-day blackout. She’d woken up to find out that her brother was dead.

Few things here, Marisol seems like a danger to herself and others. Especially, if she blacked out for two days. I’m already not a fan of how her mental health is portrayed like she’s about to have an enormous unprompted episode in the middle of the street.

Analysis of Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal (ch 3)

He should have stayed in touch with Vico. Maybe he could have helped, made him talk to Padre Sebastian.
I like the voice here. It’s very smooth and feels human. The small list statement at the end here is what makes it feel close to Javier’s point of view and less like a narrator.

Analysis of Five Midnights (ch 2)

She’d never come to Puerto Rico without her father, never walked to baggage claim without struggling to keep up with his long impatient stride. She smiled. This was her first trip as an adult. Okay, so sixteen wasn’t adult, but her was of leash.

This quote establishes both character and voice. Lupe has clearly been coming to Puerto Rico since she was very small, hence the inability to keep up with her father’s large stride. She equates being on her own with being an adult, she sees herself as responsible.

The voice gets close to Lupe at the end, getting inside her head without being an italicized thought by saying “Okay, so sixteen wasn’t adult…” It’s a casual, off handed description that feels close to the narrator.