1. LemonadeLover
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    LemonadeLover Member

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    Adult vs Young Adult

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by LemonadeLover, Jul 12, 2016.

    Hi, I guess the title's almost self explanatory but I was just wondering where the line was between adult and young adult fiction? And when a piece of young adult writing would become adult?
     
  2. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I think it's more a matter of how the writer approaches and treats a subject than anything. I've seen lots of books featuring child protags but they weren't really children's books. And even grown up characters that weren't really adult books.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016
  3. I.A. By the Barn
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    I.A. By the Barn A very lost time traveller Contributor

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    To me the difference is the mentallity. YA tends to be finding and carving a place for one's self. It is often high emotion and often has some sort of rebellion (just and unjust). Adult for me is more confirmation of self and acceptance.
    However it is different for everyone!
     
  4. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's a marketing category, mostly.

    If you anticipate that your book will appeal primarily to teen readers, it's YA. If you anticipate that it will appeal more to adults, it's adult.

    Kinda vague, I know, but I think it's pretty hard to get much more specific.
     
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  5. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    What are you going for? A literary edge can push you out of YA sort of - Take Catcher in the Rye. Ditto the Lord of the Flies. Animal Farm features talking animals but it's not a children's book. But then the Newberry books have a literary edge so it's not always easy to tell the difference.
    Or do you mean more - YA versus New Adult?
     
  6. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Just like any other genre. It's just so that people will know where to go - which aisle in the B&M bookstore, or which category to click on Amazon - to find what they want to read.
     
  7. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    The marketing aspect is important. The only real determining factor I've found is age of the protagonist. Treatment of subject matter varies widely, and some YA fiction treats "adult" subject matter more frankly and openly than a lot of adult fiction. The common thread I see across YA is the age of the protagonist. Everything else seems to be variable.
     
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  8. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree, but it only works in one direction - if it's YA, it needs a teen protagonist, but just because it has a teen protagonist it's not automatically YA... aargh.
     
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  9. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, I agree with that. You're right - that's where the appeal to target audience comes into play.
     
  10. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    According to my local library, the 'Adult' section is... eh... well lets just say you wouldn't read it out loud.

    To be clear, they have sex.

    Though YA may hint at sex, you'll never read about a, "Meaty and throbbing XXX"
     
  11. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    It may not be described in Penthouse-letter detail, but I've come across frank depictions of blowjobs and other sex acts in YA fiction.
     
  12. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've written 'em!

    But, yeah, a bit of fade-to-black once the general idea is understood...
     
  13. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    One I read, first person protagonist realizes that she has walked in on some girl giving a guy a blowjob. The word "blowjob" is used. The protagonist retreats.
     
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  14. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    That is a wise protagonist.
     
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  15. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    The novel I'm currently pitching is narrated by an adult looking back to what happened when he was 13. I initially was told by a couple of people that made it YA, so I found it was important to note that he was narrating as an adult.

    I recently read Anne Charnock's Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind, which has three loosely related plots, all with protags aged 12-14. Not YA.
     
  16. AASmith
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    AASmith Contributing Member

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    I am not sure myself. I thought I was writing a young adult but I am not confident anymore..it may be general fiction. I think it probably has to do with the subject matter, vocabulary and how you approach it all.
     

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