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emilycross
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PostSubject: Young Adult   Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:07 pm

Discuss YA specific things in this thread, otherwise use the other genre threads! an example of a query might be asking about whether your story could be marketed as YA

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PostSubject: Re: Young Adult   Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:55 am

What age range should characters be to still be considered YA??

I could go either way with something I'm writing right now... *sigh*
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emilycross
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PostSubject: Re: Young Adult   Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:00 pm

I think that there is alot of confusion about what constituates YA. I read in a book that i was glancing through bookshop (oh wish i remembered cause it was excellent) that famous YA writer said that YA is a book about a MC that is around 19 or younger.

So you could have your characters still in their 'teens' but they are 'adults'

but i think you should try and stay true to your story, if you feel the should be older, make them older and go from there.

For YA though - i think 19 is the limit.

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PostSubject: Re: Young Adult   Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:04 am

I'm interested at the moment in YA/adult 'crossover' novels - things which have succeeded in both markets. I guess we are talking about novels with a teen protagonist and quite a teen 'voice', but which have plenty of depth and work well for an adult readership as well.

My interest is for two reasons, really. One is that my eldest daughter (13) enjoys YA fiction and is just graduating on to some aduklt books, and I would liove some suggestiobns for things falling in this middle ground. The other reason is that I have a novelist friend whose WIP has teenage protagonists (15 and 16) and a young voice but quite adult themes and had been aiming it at the adult market - but is now wondering about targetting the crossover market instead. She ants some suggestions of books to read which have been pitched as crossover.

So - any suggestions, anyone? The ones that came to mind for me immediately were 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time', Meg Rosoff's 'How I live Now', and Jenny Downham's 'Before I Die'.

(I know there's a lot of fantasy stuff in the crossover area - 'His Dark Materials', the Twilight series, etc. But neither my daughter nor my novelist friend is interested in fantasy - more in gritty real life issues.)

Any ideas very gratefully received!
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emilycross
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PostSubject: Re: Young Adult   Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:19 am

Well the book thief and boy in stipped pajamas - were marketed as both adult/kids books.

To kill a mocking bird is another excellent example.

I can't think of any others, YA stories do deal with alot of adult themes without necessarily having to be seen as 'adult' - sex, drugs etc. have been prominant in these, and are aimed at teens!


i can't think of any others - if i do, i'll post them Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Young Adult   Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:00 am

Thanks, Emily. Yes, my daughter has read the 'Boy in Striped Pyjamas', and we read Mockingbird to her when she was 12 - I'd forgotten about those. I hadn't thought of 'The Book Thief' - great suggestions.

Ta very much!

Rosy x
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ReNu
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PostSubject: Re: Young Adult   Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:40 am

What about The curious case of the dog at midnight?
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emilycross
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PostSubject: Re: Young Adult   Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:43 am

I think there are a lot of books written as kids books but have alot of layers which could be read by adults (like the book you mention ReNu).

So I wanted to get some YA writers/readers opinion on the new category thats emerging lately 'New Adult' which St. Martin's Press are looking for. I'm really hoping it catches on, essentially its going to be YA for those of us who are 18-25, with MC that age, living indep or in university etc. dealing with stuff that occurs during that time like 2nd loves, etc.

I really hope this catches on, purely as a reader because i read ALOT of YA and there is only so much highschool etc. that you want to read!

What do yeh think?

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PostSubject: Re: Young Adult   Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:11 am

Oooh I love the idea already. I'm a new adult and have always thought it's either YA or regular. Something in-between is badly needed.
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PostSubject: Re: Young Adult   Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:36 pm

I really like the sound of a New Adult category for fiction. I think there's a huge potential there.
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PostSubject: Re: Young Adult   Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:32 am

Hi guys,

A few simple questions from the guy in the back of the room who doesn't know much. Very Happy

Emily--I saw your comment above about the age of a YA protagonist. Is that the defining characteristic of YA fiction?

The reason why I ask is that other genres (science fiction, romance, etc.) tend to be based on content more than any defined MC characteristics. Thus, there's a parity between the content and how it is marketed.

Not knowing any better, I had always imagined that YA fiction was called that primarily because it was marketed to young adults, not necessarily because of content--or rather, that the content would be of interest to young adults (I think it would be hard to define a body of YA content in the same way as you might define science fiction content, but I think the comparison works).

The term I had always heard for that kind of story is a bildungsroman (I may be showing my age)--although I have never seen a "bildungsroman" section at the local bookstore--but I may be mixing my terms here. Very Happy

Can you tell me where I have my wires crossed?
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PostSubject: Re: Young Adult   Sat Jan 09, 2010 5:13 am

Jon Paul wrote:


Emily--I saw your comment above about the age of a YA protagonist. Is that the defining characteristic of YA fiction?

Yes. For YA, alot of writers have been asked to change their MS so that their MC is actually in their teens (but not too late in their teens. Some writers i've talked to say that they had to change their 19 MC to 17)

Quote :
The reason why I ask is that other genres (science fiction, romance, etc.) tend to be based on content more than any defined MC characteristics. Thus, there's a parity between the content and how it is marketed.

Not knowing any better, I had always imagined that YA fiction was called that primarily because it was marketed to young adults, not necessarily because of content--or rather, that the content would be of interest to young adults (I think it would be hard to define a body of YA content in the same way as you might define science fiction content, but I think the comparison works).

The term I had always heard for that kind of story is a bildungsroman (I may be showing my age)--although I have never seen a "bildungsroman" section at the local bookstore--but I may be mixing my terms here. Very Happy

Can you tell me where I have my wires crossed?

Ok well YA is categorised by content - like you said BUT age of MC is also a characteristic used by publishing. Its important to remember that YA is primarily being used now to make money. YA is the best selling market at the moment, so publishers have a strict formula. On the NA thread in another forum (absolutewrite) number of writers have said that their MS fit the 'bildungsroman' (oh new word!! Smile ) criteria but were not seen as YA cause of their MC's age.

It seems that the publishing industry want very specific books for this genre because of successes like twilight etc. so highschool and 17 year old MC are all the rage, while 19 going on 20 college student is not.

I'd say St. Martin's Press are being very smart though because (although others outside the age range) the main audience for YA are teens, when these teens start going to college and are out of highschool, they will want to read-up and thats when i think NA will become big. YA at the moment has a lot of teens reading who maybe aren't normally readers, so i think if NA can do what YA did for teens it would be a goldmine.

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PostSubject: Re: Young Adult   Sat Jan 09, 2010 5:56 am

Hey Thanks! That clarifies things. Clearly, I need to do my homework on the latest market trends and such. Much to do, much to do!

You had mentioned the "Book Thief" before, Emily. Is that a good "get my feet wet" YA text, if I want read something recent? I am about to pick up To Kill A Mockingbird again (I agree with the YA characterization) but that is obviously not recent.
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PostSubject: Re: Young Adult   Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:53 am

Well 'the book thief' isn't YA actually - like to kill a mockingbird (imo) its can be either kids/adults book. Although as some people have said they wouldn't want their kids reading it.

IMO its an amazing book, i've only heard really positive reviews about it and its one of my favourite books. Its a story about a german girl in Nazi germany, but the narrator of the book is actually death (a very sympathetic death). Its written in an unusual way but very magical.

One of my favourite quotes from it is:

Quote :
"I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn't already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant."

Quote :
"I am haunted by humans."

Quote :
"People observe the colors of a day only at its beginnings and ends, but to me it's quite clear that a day merges through a multitude of shades and intonations with each passing moment. A single hour can consist of thousands of different colors. Waxy yellows, cloud-spot blues. Murky darkness. In my line of work, I make it a point to notice them."

Quote :
"It was a year for the ages, like 79, like 1346, to name just a few. Forget the scythe, Goddamn it, I needed a broom or a mop. And I needed a vacation. "

For YA books i suppose you'd have to read the HP, twilight books (if you wanted to) but tbh no YA books that i've read that come to mind that you might like. Most in this area are very paranormal romance/urban fantasy type books. Sort of 'light' entertainment books. I know that 'sunshine' by Robin McKinley is supposed to be an excellent paranormal YA. and Scott Westerfield as well is meant to be very good.

Daeonica (member on the blog) is away in France at the moment but she reads alot of YA and we (and some other members) have a book review site - here that might help?

Nathan Bransford's (check out his blog - invaluable info) author Jennifer Hubbard has this book 'The Secret Year' which is meant to be excellent and is 'normal YA'.

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PostSubject: Re: Young Adult   Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:36 am

Thanks for the pointers. I'll have a look.

I liked the quotes from the "Book Thief" as well. Need to add to my TBR.
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PostSubject: Re: Young Adult   Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:33 am

I loved "The Book Thief" and would definitely recommend it. I also enjoyed "I Am The Messenger" which is an earlier work by Markus Zusak (though the jury's still out with regards to my feelings on the ending of that one).

As for other YA books I've read recently, I read all of the Twilight books. Not particularly well-written, IMO, but Meyer is a master at pacing, so it might be worth a glance if that's something you need to work on--I know I struggle with that.

I'm reading "Shiver" by Maggie Stiefvater right now, which was published in 2009. I've just started, but so far I'd say it's better written than the Twilight series and the pacing seems good. I'll have to see how it develops as it goes along.

I'm also reading the third book, The Soceress, in the Nicholas Flamel series by Michael Scott. So far I've found this to be an enjoyable YA series, though perhaps it doesn't pull the reader in quite as powerfully as some I've read recently.
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PostSubject: Re: Young Adult   Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:58 am

The Sesquipedalian wrote:
I loved "The Book Thief" and would definitely recommend it. I also enjoyed "I Am The Messenger" which is an earlier work by Markus Zusak (though the jury's still out with regards to my feelings on the ending of that one).

Aw me too Mary!! I thought that the book should have ended up with what the MC original thought at the end, rather than the whole random thing that came out of nowhere? Excellent book though - written in very different way than TBT but reflective of the MC and the story

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PostSubject: Re: Young Adult   Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:18 pm

Great. Thanks Mary for the additional suggestions. I've heard "Shiver" is good and was considering picking it up.

The Twilight series doesn't have the greatest reputation in terms of the writing, as you point out, but since it's what's selling I may have to take a look.
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