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Writing for Adults vs. Writing for Teens
What do Harry Potter, Twilight, and Hunger Games all have in common? All of them are book series with mass appeal to both teens and adults. Many adults can find their teens reading adult novels. This often leave writers scratching their heads over the difference between genres. At first glance, one might assume the age of the characters, but an exploration of the adult fiction aisle leaves an array of adult novels that also focus on teens. As a result, many writers frustrate agents by not knowing which genre their novels fit into, and writers wind up frustrated because it’s not selling. Sometimes, it’s simply a matter of getting your novel in the right place!
So what’s the difference, really? How do you know whether to pitch your idea to an agent specializing in YA or adult fiction?
Read in both genres and pay attention to the following elements:
- Age of characters. While adult fiction often utilizes teens as main characters (see The Dovekeepers or Secret Life of Bees), YA fiction does not use adults as the primary character. Adults in YA fiction often serve as foils to the main character and help the main character discover his or her path—for better or for worse.
- Language. Words are usually simpler, sentences less complex in YA fiction. Not as much as it is in juvenile fiction, but it isn’t on the level. Like age, this is not always a sure sign. Popular fiction often does the same thing in a carryover
- Subject matter. While subject matter for YA fiction can be as dark as it is for adults, it is usually not quite as detailed or explicit. When was the last time you read a detailed sex scene in a YA novel? I can remember exactly one, and it was the book that had a huge waiting list at our high school library! Even then, it would probably make fans of erotic fiction laugh.
- Honesty. The voice of the main character is honest and straightforward. She says what she thinks and doesn’t sugarcoat or dance around the issues.
- Pacing. YA novels are quick and to the point. The fast-paced nature of YA novels is often appealing to adults because it makes for a quick, easy read.
- Themes. YA themes often center around coming of age issues: independence, autonomy from parents and friends, choices, and other problems teens must overcome in their quest to be happy, well-adjusted adults.
- Reading level. This isn’t always true, but generally, plot and sentence structure is often a bit simpler than adult novels. Note “simple” is not synonymous with “lazy” or “poor”.
Knowing where your novel fits will greatly help you publish and market it to the right audience. Whether you are publishing yourself or going a traditional route, make sure you have your book classified in the right category to help build sales.
Find Laura at http://www.lauramtalley.com/
Big HUGE hugs to all my wonderful fans, followers and supporters. You guys are the best! Thank you so very much for all you have done to get me and this series to where it is. I am touched by … Continue reading
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Author Interview – Lauren Klever Posted on 29 November, 2012 by Paul Western-Pittard That Thing I Said On books, ideas, short stories. http://cerullean.net/author-interview-lauren-klever/
So… when I started writing my first book, I knew nothing about SEO, backlinks, website design or Twitter. I was barely a Facebook user. I can hear you laughing across cyberspace, but look at me now. An expert… not even close – a little smarter… you bet.
Here is my advice to you… and remember it’s free and you get what you pay for! Ha!
I’ve been told the one thing I need to market is me. You read that right… not the book, not the series, but me!
Start creating your presence on the web NOW. Buy yourself a domain name and several other similar ones if you can afford it. I use Go Daddy. They are user friendly. I use WordPress for my website and blog. Take your time and keep tweaking what you’re doing. Then start reaching out to social media darlings like Facebook and Twitter. After that you can expand to others like LinkedIn and MySpace. Wherever you go… remember you are an author! That is the way you should represent yourself.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to people. Being connected makes a big difference. Be sure to check out some awesome experts like… Kristen Lamb, Stacey Myers and Melissa Foster. These are three ladies I follow and read their tips and advice! I am still a work in progress. How about you?
Happy promotion of your creation!
Visions is at Barnes and Noble and as of today is 10% off! I don’t know how long that will last so get it NOW!