YA Sci-Fi
Date Published: 1/5/2016

It's been 133 years since the Specters invaded Earth. Like ghosts they haunt the planet, devouring anyone foolish enough to venture outside the last remaining protected cities. For some, venturing out isn't a choice--it's a necessary evil to prove yourself to your clan as you come of age.
But when a team of ambitious youth—New Adults—undertakes a mission deep in Specter territory, they discover a terrible secret. Everything they've learned may be wrong ... and Earth is in grave danger.

Guest Post
3 Tips to Start Your First Novel Right
By Ken Brosky

Hello everyone! My name is Ken Brosky and I’m the author of a new YA sci-fi book, The Proving. Alien ghosts, warring clans, and dark secrets hidden away … oh boy, and that’s just the first 3 chapters! I’m here today to give you some practical advice for cooking your first novel. These tips will probably help you, but maybe not. You might already feel comfortable with this stuff. But probably. But maybe not!
But probably.
Step one: Build some sweet, delicious characters. You want them rich and creamy, not stale and generic. To do this, you need to avoid as many tropes as possible. You probably can’t avoid them all, but that’s not the point. The point is to ensure your characters are developed and can develop further as your book progresses. Let your friends and family inspire you. Use this handy character worksheet to ensure your characters are as real as the people you interact with in your everyday life.
Step two: Give your plot some spice. Oh, you have an idea for a story about two guys who fight over one girl, and she’s really conflicted? Woooooow. Haven’t heard that one before. What about the totally invincible hero who needs to make a really hard decision about how far he’ll go to stop the bad guy? Great idea … that’s never been done before! No, really! I’m totally not being sarcastic!
Yes I am. Look, I know it’s hard to create anything original. So don’t worry about that. Instead, follow these two very simple tips to ensure you develop a great plot. One, try to avoid the most common, familiar plots. Chances are, they’re just going to get you in trouble. Two, let the real world inspire you! Pick up a copy of The New York Times. Eavesdrop on people’s conversations in a coffee shop. Watch documentaries. There are so many plots out there that we often forget one of the most crucial aspects of fiction: the best plots are almost always inspired by some true event. You won’t find those events if you don’t look.
Step three: Add a Pinterest page to start scouting for your settings. Look up artist conceptions of a spaceship, then pin your favorites. Look up real exotic locations around the world, then pin your favorites. Look up rooms, look up buildings, look up trees, look up different styles of coffee table … and pin your favorites! Your setting should be detailed enough that your reader can figuratively step inside and have some serious feels. Your goal is to get your reader hallucinating so hard that he/she gets a shiver when you describe the conditions inside that makeshift igloo. Your reader should be sweating as he/she reads about your characters lost in a jungle. Let pictures, drawings, sketches, and video inspire you. Mix them. Merge them.
Then bake for thirty minutes and serve piping hot, while the chocolate chips are still gooey.

The Proving is Ken Brosky’s newest YA sci-fi adventure. His first series, The Grimm Chronicles, ran from 2012-2014 and is available on Kindle. Ken received his MFA in writing from the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

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