Wednesday, November 28, 2012


my dear friend and awesome author, Darby Karchut. She has so much going on it's hard to keep up with her. It is my pleasure to host Darby today and let her tell you about the exciting stuff in her life.

Darby writes for MG and YA readers with male point of view characters. And she does it very nicely, winning many awards for her books. Her first book is GRIFFIN RISING.

And if you haven't read these two in the Griffin's Series, you should, because look at the next one that I'm reading now, GRIFFIN'S STORM.
I'm so excited to finally see what Griffin looks like. Just right for a guardian angel, don't you think?
As if this series isn't enough, look what else Darby has in store for her readers.
A whole new series, with a new hero, due out in 2013. So why are Darby's main characters teen boys? Here's what she has to say:
Bev, it’s wonderful to be back visiting you and your followers today! *waves from Colorado*
Writing for teen boys is a passion of mine. I’ve now written five books, all with male protagonists: my Griffin series (with Griffin’s Storm being the latest) and my Finn MacCullen series (Finn Finnegan will be published by Spencer Hill Press in March 2013 with the next book in the series, Gideon’s Spear, scheduled for February 2014).
Today, I thought I’d share some tips for writing for boys. These tips are in no particular order and do not necessarily need to be used in every book.
Elements to think about when writing a boy book:
· Male protagonist
o Duel protagonists popular right now
o m/m or m/f; teen/adult
o Side kicks
· Boy questions are asked and answered
o How do I position myself with other boys?
o How do I become a man, whom do I model myself after?
o What do I aspire to do and to be?
· Action, but not action for action’s sake
o Internal
o External
· Write up, not down (honor their intelligence)
· Use smart humor: body fluids/sounds can only go so far
o Appeal to their sense of mischief
o Make them laugh, especially after an intense scene
· Life-expanding appeal (ideas worth discussing/arguing/defending
o What is real power?
o How do you do the right thing even when it’s hard?
o Does good always overcome evil?
o What makes a real hero?
· Relationships with friends, parents, siblings, girls
· Trust
o Whom do I trust with my feelings?
o Whom do I trust with my hide?
· Sense of justice (bad guys got theirs)
· Sense of assurance that I can have some control in my life
· Weapons and tattoos are always cool
· Start with a bang (physical, emotional)
· Always include at least of the senses on every page:
o smell
o taste
o sound
o sight
o touch
o temperature
o dizziness/balance
o others?
· Physical reactions to emotions
o his gut clenched, sweat broke out on his face, etc.
o I always start at the top of the head and work my way down, then choose an area of the body
o Boys act and talk side-by-side, girls face-to-face
· Have your MC make dumb choices once in a while
· Don’t cut foes or friends slack
· Always have your friend’s back
· Jockeying for position in various peer groups
o Consistent; the pressure never lets up
o Close friend he can relax around
· Girls: boy doesn’t know if he wants her, but doesn’t want others to have – likes to keep options open
· Strong desire to fix things
One of the greatest gifts I’ve been given as an author has been the opportunity to be part of a weekly book club made up of 7th and 8th graders (half boys, half girls). We’ve met faithfully for two years now during the school year. Last year, one of the books was Griffin Rising. This year, we are currently in the middle of Griffin’s Fire. Listening as teens talk about books has been immensely helpful to me as a writer. Therefore, the last piece of advice I can give anyone who writes YA or middle grade is to find a way to get out amongst teens. Visit a mall. Join a youth group. Hang out at a library in the teen section. Go to a “teen” movie. Watch. Listen. Take notes. And most important, enjoy the process of writing!
Thanks again, Bev, for hosting me today. To all the followers: please feel free to ask me any questions. I love chatting with fellow writers and book lovers.
Thank you, Darby, for giving such good advice about writing for boys.
Learn more about Darby Karchut and where you can purchase her books at her blog. If you have teens on your Christmas list, especially teen males, though the books will appeal to the girls too, pick up a copy or two.
Happy Reading


  1. I think the advice to write up, not down, is right on the money. I remember as a kid reading 'kid books' some of them would be written so far down it wouldn't be enjoyable. I'd always stray over the the more mature books to find something written at a more appropriate level.

  2. Bev, thanks again for having me here today. I had a blast sharing my passion for boy books! :-)

  3. I agree, Nickie. Teens are smart and they do read "adult" books if authors don't give them what they want.

  4. It's always fun hosting you, Darby. Maybe you'll encourage more authors to write for boys. I'm keeping your advice for future reference.

  5. Great advice, Darby. I love books written from the male POV.

  6. Great points, Darby. Thanks for sharing them. Thanks, Bev, for sharing Darby's smarts with us.

  7. Huge congrats on your 5 published books, Darby! You're such an inspiration to all the writers still trying. I wish you even greater success in the future! :-D

  8. Wow. Congratulations on your novels. That is quite an accomplishment. I remember reading lots of adult books as a kid because YA wasn't then, what it is now. A great big thank you to you and all the other author out there who are changing that.

  9. Thanks, everyone, for all your comments - made my day! And Bev, everything looks so elegant on your blog. You have an eye for design as well as being an awesome writer.

  10. Thanks for stopping by, Lexa and Mary Sue.I agree. Darby is an inspiration and she has more to come.

    You're too kind, Darby. Your encouragement is always welcome. :)

  11. thanks for all the great advice. My MG manuscript that I just finished has a male main character.

  12. Darby does have some great advice, Beth.

    Wonderful, Janet. Best of luck with your new story.

  13. Congrats to all of your hard work, and to your creativity, Darby! I like to write the occasional guy protag as well, and your thematic points are all on point. "What is real power?" is certainly one that I've tackled, especially in my YA historical fiction, Refugees.
    These are the kind of questions that real teens struggle with.

  14. Excellent advice, Darby. And your books reflect that you follow that advice very well.

  15. She does have a talent for writing for teen boys, C Lee. Good advice there.