1. TrinityRevolution
    Offline

    TrinityRevolution Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Guess, starts with M...

    What genre captures the 17-26 age group? YA?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by TrinityRevolution, Aug 26, 2012.

    I consider my novel a YA, except there's a few things that separate my YA to books like the hunger and harry.

    I have drug use, murder and violence of course (though the hunger had that) lots of swearing, gay relationships, 'light' sex. With immaturity as the main focus, which is what's getting me.

    I've been researching a bit and can't seem to put a finger on my exact target audience.




    Or am I simply writing adult fiction?

    note: characters range from 17 - 20 y/o
     
  2. slockmn
    Offline

    slockmn New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2011
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's really subjective as someone could enjoy crime fiction while another paranormal romance. It just depends on the person really. As someone near that category of age I find those topics can be boring if written out of context. Swearing especially as I find there's really no place for it in books. But that's coming from a guy who reads and writes fantasy and soft sci-fi, not realistic fiction, which seems to be what you're describing.
     
  3. TrinityRevolution
    Offline

    TrinityRevolution Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Guess, starts with M...
    I've attempted going down the no cussing route, but my novel is gritty and I find that during arguments I can't bring 'true' emotion without the use of some swears. It has more impact.

    And it really isn't realistic fiction at all, it's actually sci-fi to an extent, but it revolves around some interesting folk...

    But I guess you're right in that it's subjective. I googled a few times and found that people felt YA was anywhere from 12 to 26, very broad.
     
  4. Josh W
    Offline

    Josh W New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    I agree it's definitely subjective but what would define youth fiction for me is that, even if you're dealing with mature themes, there's a certain innocence in regards to how things are handled.

    To me immaturity isn't really part of it. Because there are many youths who are quite mature for their age. Though it can be a fine line between innocence and immaturity and that line itself is subjective. However, if you walk that line well then youth fiction can be appropriate for all ages.

    But just as an example, "grittiness", "true emotion" and "impact" sound more like adult concepts to me. And I wouldn't think swearing (explicit swearing) is really appropriate for youth fiction (going back to "innocence" as requirement).
     
  5. CH878
    Offline

    CH878 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    England
    When I was early teens I enjoyed the CHERUB series by Robert Muchamore, which has everything you've mentioned, and the author says he's aiming at 12-14 primarily. I think it depends on the age of the characters not content to be honest. I'm 17 now and I'd find it difficult to enjoy a book about the lives of young teens (but I'm sure there are ones out there that I would like). I write YA myself, and I reckon that making you characters in the 16-18 range will mean the largest target audience. I wouldn't worry about content too much, and the edgier your novel is the more popular it will be with a young teen audience, and an older teen/early twenties audience will also find it interesting. There are no proper restrictions (in the UK at least) as to what is publishable for a younger audience, i don't think.
     
  6. TrinityRevolution
    Offline

    TrinityRevolution Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Guess, starts with M...
    That's what I'm thinking, I want it more edgy because that's what I like, but I always wonder maybe it's too full on.

    I'm on the third draft so I'm not writing this only for me now, I want this damn thing published! I've been working on it for nearly two years now.

    And really, I think it's suitable from 15 up, even know the content could possibly be considered for 'mature peoples' whatever the hell that means...
     
  7. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    YA is not a genre, it's a market segment. This is also true of the age range you are asking about, except I don't know whether it corresponds to any specific market segment recognized by publishers, or whether they would simply consider it the low end of the adult market.
     
  8. CH878
    Offline

    CH878 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    England
    You only really need to worry if the content's so bad it will be banned from bookshops, and it would have to be seriously bad for that to happen.
    So long as it's on sale, it will reach your audience, even if kids' parents 'ban' it. In this day of digital publishing, teenagers can get hold of anything and if it's seen as controversial, that'll only make them more desperate to read it.
    I suppose it also depends on whether you, the author, feel you shouldn't produce stuff for kids that has difficult subject matter, but from what you've already said I'm guessing this isn't the case.
    The thing to remember is that if your book is being read by people who are 12+, they won't be hearing about stuff like sex, drugs, violence, swearing for the first time in your book, and I'd say so long as you make it clear that this sort of stuff is serious you should be alright. And I personally believe that there is nothing wrong with swearing, so the idea of not having it in where it is realistic for a character to swear is incomprehensible.
     
  9. JamesOliv
    Offline

    JamesOliv Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    New York
    When I was in high school, I read WEB Griffin.

    I had one friend who read Heinlein. Another would only read a book if it was over one hundred years old.

    Around graduation time, I took a keen interest in Leon Uris's work.

    I'm not saying there isn't a YA demographic. But I find it an odd classification, for sure. Some people like SciFi. Some people like mystery. Some people love vampires. Some people love wizards. But apparently, if you are in your late teens or early twenties, some marketing people decided you should be reading YA. Even more interesting is how many middle aged adults seem to enjoy the YA books and how many high school kids hang around Starbucks talking about Vonnegut.

    I've yet to run into a young adult who read the Hunger Games (but I don't typically hang around twenty somethings, so that could be the reason). But every single co-worker I've bumped into tells me it is an amazing read and they are not young adults by any means.

    I think it can be a weird age range to write for. That's probably why YA is such a seemingly vague genre. Honestly, it's not something I understand fully. I thought I did, until my sixty year old boss came up to my desk and said:

    "I just read the best book ever. You need to read the Hunger Games."

    But if your work is still in progress, then write it as it should be written. If it appeals to one group over another, that's a marketing discussion.

    If it's already written, remember that even if it neatly fits into the YA category, middle aged folks might appreciate it even more.
     
  10. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    fyi, trinity et al....

    markets are: adult; YA; 'tweens; children's

    genres are: mystery; thriller; romance; sci-fi; fantasy; et al.
     
  11. Mikewritesfic
    Offline

    Mikewritesfic Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2010
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Princeton, NJ
    :rolleyes:Vampires. They seem to really like Vampires nowadays, and we need another Vampire themed novel like we need more suicide bombers in the world
     
  12. TrinityRevolution
    Offline

    TrinityRevolution Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Guess, starts with M...

    I know, I didn't phrase it well, tbh, I don't know either my target audience or genre, but it's essentially sci-fi... and romance and thriller, and coming of age, etc


    I do know the difference between market and genre... I just failed at title making. So back to the topic at hand! :)


    Ha! My boss (57) was talking about how she loved the hunger series. That's what makes me feel more comfortable about what I have written, that surely there will be a market because readers are a diverse bunch.
     
  13. wardwolf
    Offline

    wardwolf Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Canada
    I don't really understand the YA classification. It seems to me that books like Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and Twilight appeal to all ages. Maybe we ought to think in terms of board games and how they rate ages...for example, "for ages 8 and up", etc.
     
  14. Kaidonni
    Offline

    Kaidonni Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    9
    YA refers to particular age groups and the themes those age groups relate to the most. It doesn't necessarily mean a novel with a young MC in is considered YA, but many YA novels will have an MC in the 13-19 or so age group because that is who those readers will be able to relate to the most. Certain core topics include coming of age or falling in love for the first time, since teenagers are maturing and figuring out who they are and where they fit in this world, experiencing new and strange feelings.

    It doesn't mean that the story won't appeal to other age groups, it just means young adults are the main target. Some of the best books have been written with a particular audience in mind, but have gone on to resonate with generations and generations of other readers. Going with 'for ages x and up' or 'for between age x and x' won't work since children tend to read beyond their age group, and older people might want to read the same books. A recommended reading age may put people off...

    Case in point, one of my favourite books is Watership Down, and that is classed as a children's book. Only, it doesn't *read* or *feel* particularly like a children's book. It was written with children in mind - Richard Adams told his daughters the story on a long road trip, and they encouraged him to write it down. Adults and children alike enjoy it. It's the treatment that matters the most.
     
  15. The Hollow
    Offline

    The Hollow Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    If your characters are teenagers dealing with issues a teenager and not a middle-aged man or woman would be concerned with, it's YA. I've read novels geared at teens with all sorts of drug use and sex in them. And there is cussing in Harry (only in a few instances, but it's there).
     
  16. BBBurke
    Offline

    BBBurke Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    California
    As has been said, YA is a market segment. And you mention your target audience. It sounds like you're trying to figure out who to sell the book to more than what you should write. Ultimately that is a consideration, but mostly it's one for the publisher to decide. Pretty much everything is on the table for YA these days, so write what you want to write, describe it as best you can when you query an agent (nothing wrong with throwing the very popular YA term out there), and then let the marketing department decide what they think is best. But definitely don't try to change what you think makes a good story just to make it fit some vague idea of YA.
     
  17. TrinityRevolution
    Offline

    TrinityRevolution Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Guess, starts with M...
    Thanks for all the help.

    It's taken me a while to find a writing forum where people actively post!

    I think my issue from the start was that I was writing for myself. The people I like, the people I want to know and their issues that I think are important. Now that I'm actually coming to the end of my book, I'm realising that writing for yourself isn't the best way to go about it, because publishers want books that'll sell.


    I shall keep you all well informed of how I'm going.
     
  18. TrinityRevolution
    Offline

    TrinityRevolution Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Guess, starts with M...
    One of my personality traits is to second guess and doubt everything I do, so excuse my fickle nature :)
     
  19. NuttyStuff
    Offline

    NuttyStuff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    It sounds like you may be focusing in on being vulgar a lot, but you should be focusing more on the story. Many writers have swearing sex references and do great, but ,most focus on the story more than anything. I'm 17 by the way and my favorite author is Stephen King, and he could be called vulgar at times, but that is because he doesn't edit out what he thinks the characters would say even if it is swearing and at times offensive.
     
  20. Cristian
    Offline

    Cristian Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Romania
    As far as I know, "Young Adult" books are exclusively directed towards very young females, since all of them depict vampires, werewolves and a very stereotypical love story. Then again, I could be wrong... Usually war novels entice teenagers. At least that's what I like (I'm 17 years old).
     
  21. TrinityRevolution
    Offline

    TrinityRevolution Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Guess, starts with M...
    Essentially I have one character I'd consider 'vulgar' in that he's an unscrupulous brute. However, my intent with him is to use him as the antagonist for my antagonist, so he's a demented individual.

    I figure now that my character ages are going to dictate the market, which I think will capture ages 16 through 25 I suppose.

    Honestly, the closer I get to the flogging stage, the more pessimistic I'm becoming that no one will like what I've written. But at the end of the day the best you can do is try.
     

Share This Page