Powered by Blogger.

The Young Adult Novel

            It seems like I would have already written about this topic since I write young adult novels, but I haven’t. So apparently a young adult novel is a novel written for young adults. That’s usually 14+, some would say 13+.

            The reason I like writing young adult so much is that it really is a crossover genre if done right. It’s very possible to appeal to adults if the writing is done right, especially the parents of teens who want to have something in common with their teens. But to be more specific, a young adult novel is a novel written from the young adult point of view in the voice of a young adult and just because your MC is young adult, doesn’t mean it’s a young adult novel.

            For instance Memoirs of a Geisha takes place during the adolescent part of your life for much of the book, but it’s not a YA novel because it’s told from her perspective looking back on the events that happened. So while the characters may be young adult, it’s the voice that makes it young adult

            Also, neither does the situation make a story for adults. Just because the MC is dealing with adult situations does not mean that the story isn’t YA and I had to fight people about this tooth and nail for a dark YA I wrote. The critters kept saying, that my story didn't seem like a story for YA’s. It’s too edgy. Look at all the stuff she’s dealing with. Well, that was the point.

          She was seventeen, forced to deal with things that no one should deal with really, but dealt with it like a teenager. She didn’t quite grasp the complexities of the situation she was in and dealt with it like a reckless teenager, a little raw around the edges, and got in way too deep, eventually succeeding in having a darn near nervous breakdown because she couldn’t handle it. Not to mention, it was told in a YA voice and tone and that’s what makes a novel YA, not the age of the character (though they certainly have to be eighteen and under preferably) and the situation.

            It’s like this. You can put and adult and a teenager in the same situation and they will see the situation and treat the situation very differently.

            Also, YA tends to focus on teenagers trying to find their way in the world, a story about finding their manhood/womanhood. They are usually going through a transitional stage in life. Not where they were, but not quite where they’re going to be.

            All in all though, there isn’t a set standard and the rules have certainly and almost always will be broken.

            So example of YA books? Too many to count and since I got into college, I haven’t read a novel in a while, not willingly anyway. But it’s certainly a genre that has grown in recent years. The most notable I can think of are:

Harry Potter (about third book on)
Eragon (It really is a tale about going from boyhood to manhood)
Tamora pierce’s novels
Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants
Vampire Diaries
Pretty Little Liars
The Immortal (Series)
Twilight Saga

            There are many more of them, but those are the more popular ones that come to mind. My novels are certainly YA and if you’re not sure, it’s ok. Read some examples, get some opinions and in the end, if you’re going the mainstream publishers way, it’s not really your call anyway. Usually this genre has a sub-genre, so pitch it as that.  For more info, go to my blog roll to the absolute write forums, or just type in YA. But the definition will certainly vary as does everything in the writing world.

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS