1. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Young Adult Is college-age too old for YA?

    Discussion in 'By the Genre' started by Lea`Brooks, Apr 17, 2015.

    Yo. :superhello:

    Since I started writing, I wanted to write young adult. There's something so beautiful and raw about it if done correctly, and I thought I could produce some really good stories that appeal to that kind of reader. But since then, I started to feel that maybe it wasn't right for me. YA started to feel like crap fiction -- the kind of stories that real, professional and talented writers looked down on, as if it was less than theirs. So I shot for new adult. But NA is very romantic, and that's just not me. So now I'm wanting to go back to YA. I've gotten over my fear of being looked down on, and I'm ready to give this a shot.

    My problem now is... I have a story completely outlined and planned, but the main character is in college. She's given an assignment in the first chapter that is referenced heavily through the book. So while I can still be vague on her age and never really say how old she is, I still have to decide on college or high school...

    So if I'm writing a YA book, is it okay that she's in college? Or should I make her in high school? Orrrr should I just write it and worry about the age group later?
     
  2. Podam
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    Podam Member

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    I would go for college if that feels like the right place for your character in this story. There will always be readers that will more easily identify with someone in college, even if they're too young to have attended college themselves. In my opinion it's more about the maturity of the reader, than the actual age.
     
  3. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you're looking for a standard publisher, I think college is too old for YA. I have a book in a similar situation - not enough romance for NA, but the plot wouldn't work if I aged the character down to YA.

    My agent is trying to shop it as NA, but is having trouble b/c of the lack of romance. If I can't find a publisher I'll self-pub it, but I won't do it as YA. The standards on that are pretty clear.
     
  4. neuropsychopharm
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    neuropsychopharm Active Member

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    It's discouraging that the focus of new adult books seems to be so romance heavy, I have to say. But I would echo the advice to put the character in college if it feels right and then take your chances.
     
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  5. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    There was some talk about a year ago about NA breaking out of the romance genre, but publishers seem to have backed away from that now, as I understand it.

    Maybe it's a chance for self-pubs to lead the way?
     
  6. Podam
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    Podam Member

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    I must say I find it frustrating that NA is so focused on the romance. It seems like the publishers think that is all "new adults" want to read about, when in fact it is such a complex time of life where other issues take just as much focus, and would be just as interesting to read about. I'm all for some romance in my books, but I don't need it to be the main-topic.
     
  7. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree about the romance. The main reason I went to NA was because it was said they we're starting to steer away from so much romance. But since it looks like that was an inaccurate prediction, I'm kind of stuck between genres at the moment. My characters are too mature for YA and not sexy enough for NA.

    I have my MC in her early 20s at the moment, but I could easily bring her down to 19 if I have to. But I think 17 or 18 would be too young for her.

    The only doubts I have about lowering her age is that I really hate the "first love" aspect of YA. There's no sexual scenes in my writing, but there are love connections. And while first loves are typically fragile and immature, I want my characters relationships to be deep and lasting. It's hard to portray that in YA because people don't typically meet the love of their life at 17, you know? And if an author does write a lasting relationship at that age, I find it very unrealistic, and it makes me dislike the book for it... If that makes any sense.

    Looks like I'll have to do self publishing someday. :cry:
     
  8. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    :confused: Lack of romance or lack of hot sex scenes?
     
  9. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yup. I am a "new adult" and romance is pretty much the last thing I am interested in reading about. Give me a story about a new adult discovering her purpose in life and figuring out how to make a big impact on the world and leave a legacy.

    Add that to the long list of ways in which the publishing system is broken.
     
  10. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    So if my non-romantic NA doesn't find a publisher and I self-pub, I'm coming back here to nag you all into buying a copy!

    Hell, I'll come back and nag you all if it DOES find a publisher, too. No need to limit my nagging...
     
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  11. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    It's interesting how many people are beginning to realise that if they write a book that doesn't adhere to rigid requirements of a particular genre, that they're going to need to self-publish. This has nothing to do with the quality of the writing. If I were a traditional publishing house, I'd be worried. And maybe loosen up a bit. Otherwise all they're going to be pushing is formulaic dreck.
     
  12. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think traditional publishing houses probably are worried, and they're probably paying attention. But it costs them a lot of money to produce a book, and if it's a risky book, one that they're not sure how they would market through their existing channels, they may not take the chance until self-pubbers or others have shown that there's a payoff.
     
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  13. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, I can see how they'd think that way. Risk versus payoff. Maybe there could be a third option? It doesn't cost all that much to produce a book for an eReader. Maybe publishing houses could take on non-standard genre books, format them for ePubs, and then promote them as connected with their company. It's the promotion that self-pubbers don't have. It might be a halfway house, that would allow more experimentation without the great financial risk. Writers could agree to take royalties only, and not advances. Obviously there would need to be quality in the writing, but maybe each book wouldn't need to appeal to such a wide audience.

    I don't know ...just thinking with my fingers. But something has got to give, and soon, or authors will be self-publishing right from the start, and bypassing traditional publishing altogether. Why waste years and years chasing after hyper-picky agents and publishers, when you can just get it out there yourself and move on? Getting published is just too much of an X-Factor-like contest these days. It's soul destroying to work for years crafting a story to a high standard, and then discover that NO agent is going to even look at it, because of some arbitrary 'requirement.' Either it's an unfashionable topic, the wrong length, your query letter isn't snappy enough, the agent got out on the wrong side of bed ...the wrong something...
     
  14. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    A lot of the big publishers DO have e-first or e-only lines. Intermix is Penguin's, but I'm pretty sure the others have their own.
     
  15. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Seriously? I'll check it out. I think it's a good idea.

    Hmmm ...just did. Seems very much geared to straight-up genre writing, Romance, Mystery, YA, etc. Not sure I'm seeing any leeway or welcome to new types of writing. Nothing that would tempt me at the moment.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2015

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