Perhaps more of a prequel than a sequel to Marcus Dino’s electrifying Hollywood novel, Fifi Anything Goes in the Doubles Os (Iuniverse 2003, Airleaf 2005) Diary of a Mad Gen Yer focuses on the hilarious adventures of 21st century actress/heroine Fifi Larouche; her silly poems, her silly stories, her silly blogs, during her days working as a waitress while pursuing her dreams of Hollywood fame.
Gen Yer also introduces colorful new characters such as Alocki, the alien from the planet Zatoris and “the smartest person Fifi ever met”, Flifi, Fifi’s’ “fairy alter ego” from the “Alternate Earth” who gives people advice but has a little stinger on her tail and stings people who do wrong and throws pixie dust on people who do right, and Dick, an evolutionary scientist who enjoys arguing religion with Fifi and is a “proud atheist”.
Of course many of the major characters in Fifi such as Biff, Fifi’s bohemian actor/software engineer boyfriend and Charles, Fifi’s domineering college professor father who thinks Fifi is wasting her time in “ala land” and needs to come back to her hometown of Des Moines Iowa to work as a banker, are back in Gen Yer.
While Fifi tended at times to focus on Fifi’s serious side, Gen Yer almost exclusively focuses on Fifi’s comical adventures, and her “silly thoughts” and will keep readers laughing from beginning to end.
Tips for Writing for the Young Adult Genre by Marcus Dino
Perhaps because of my secondary school teaching background, perhaps because I live in La La land, perhaps because I have grown up on so many movies and television shows throughout the years emphasizing young adult life, for example all these teenage horror flicks we have had the last 50 years starting from I was a Teenage Werewolf to The Final Destination, my focus in creative writing has been the young adult genre. Here are some tips that I have used in the two young adult books I have written, Fifi and Diary of a Mad Gen Yer, that I wish to share with you.
Make your characters as interesting as possible. You can write another novel about a teenage vampire or werewolf even though 20 other authors have written about the same subject as you have. Perhaps your teenage vampire gets accepted into Harvard where he majors in biochemistry. To help pay his tuition he lands a part time job where he works as a lab assistant. Of course the hospital also has a place where he has access to “his nourishment” and he doesn’t have to chase “warm bodies”. A decade later he becomes one of the youngest Nobel Prize winners because of his research which led to the development of ‘artificial blood.’
Of course take your characters from real life examples, say your best friend back in high school who was a little bit on the stuck up side, your real life ups and downs as a twenty something, that unforgettable prom night, your college-age son describing his “frat party”, remember Animal House?
Develop a riveting, not necessarily complex, plot in order to capture a reader’s attention. Your story needs to capture a reader’s attention at the very beginning with your introduction. Also, good dialogue between characters gets the reader interested in the story as much as a riveting plot. For instance what line is going to capture a reader’s attention more? “So Fifi are you going to the party tonight over at Dirk Van Allen’s parents place?” or “Omigosh Fif, you cannot, cannot miss the big party at Dirk Van Allen’s folks place tonight. It is the rad thing to do and I mean every cool kid in school is gonna be there. I mean Fif you don’t want to be like one of the geeks and stay home and watch TV tonight do you?”
In my opinion don’t overly stress current popular culture with young people today. We’re talking nanoseconds when we discuss the life span today of any big fad among young people. This year’s big name singer or pop group or actor may be passé next year.
I enjoy writing young adult books because it is such a fun and rewarding experience. There is no limit to one’s imagination when creating a colorful story and interesting characters when you are writing fiction dealing with young adults.
Marcus Dino has had an interesting professional career, first as an Aerospace engineer, next as a passionate math teacher teaching in urban Los Angeles which he currently still does, and finally, as a part time literary fiction author. It is Mr Dino’s being a die hard movie buff that led him to writing Diary of a Mad Gen Yer in addition to his first novel, Fifi, Anything goes in the Double Os, first published in 2003. Mr Dino is a graduate of Chapman University and he also has Masters Degrees in both Education and Electrical Engineering. Diary of a Mad Gen Yer and Fifi can be found at www.smashwords.com and www.summertimproductions.net. Mr Dino’s personal website which includes numerous blogs, short stories, and poems involving his central character Fifi Larouche, which helped inspire him to write his anthology, Diary, can be found at www.authorsden.com/marcusdino.
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