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Switching from YA to Adult


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#1 Midnight Whimsy

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:19 PM

I've written four YA urban fantasy manuscripts, three of them in the last two years. I'm currently in the beginning stages of plotting a new novel and I find myself facing a choice: YA or not YA.

 

With each successive YA novel I've written, I've found myself pushing the boundaries of acceptable YA content more and more. The themes, romance, language, and darker/violent content keep trying to shift toward an older audience. I've been wondering, especially with my last novel, if I've been holding back to suit my intended audience. If I stopped aiming for YA, would I find more freedom in storytelling?

 

On the other hand... I don't know how to write adult. Saying that sounds stupid; after all, I read lots of non-YA books. But the one time I tried an adult novel, I got about 65,000 words in and gave up because I just didn't like it. It lost that... sparkle. There's something about YA that I love, the fresh innocence, the fun spunky life. I can't quite put my finger on what my adult novel attempt was missing, but the story just came out flat and lifeless.

 

I'm afraid that if I write another non-YA book, I'm either going to end up with a "tried too hard to be grown up" flop like the abovementioned incomplete, or I'm going to end up with a YA novel that's too mature for teens. I won't know unless I try, but stepping out of my comfort zone is frightening. I don't want to waste time, effort, and inspiration on another flop. Should I stick with the genre I know I'm good at? Or venture into unknown waters where I've already failed once?

 

I'm mostly just venting insecurities here, but if you have any thougths or advice, please share!

 

M.W



#2 LucidDreamer

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:31 PM

I say give it a chance, Midnight. Start writing the new ms, not worrying about the age level. Just write what feels appropriate for the story. Then step back and evaluate.

Don't limit yourself. Tell the story (stories) you WANT to tell and then decide.



#3 T.J.

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 03:30 PM

what Lucid said. 

 

Write first, worry about age later :)


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#4 JA Trevor

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:03 PM

I agree with Lucid. Just write what you want to first and foremost. YA does have that sparkle, I know what you mean, but if an adult story ends up with that sparkle too, what's wrong with that? Just write what comes naturally.


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#5 Midnight Whimsy

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:20 PM

Good advice from everyone, thank you! I will write first and worry about audience later. :)

 

Thanks!

 

M.W



#6 SC_Author

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:40 PM

Also, YA has gotten more 'dark/edgy' material acceptable, so don't rule out YA just because of sketchy content :D Unless it is erotica, or something.


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#7 Midnight Whimsy

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:04 AM

Also, YA has gotten more 'dark/edgy' material acceptable, so don't rule out YA just because of sketchy content :D Unless it is erotica, or something.

 

Teen erotica? ...Great idea!

 

Haha, just kidding. You make a really good point, the "rules" aren't as strict as they once were. About time, too. ;)

 

M.W



#8 KrystenH

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:26 AM

Ew....50 Shades for teens...

...If ANYONE takes that idea, I swear to god I'll hunt you down and beat you with a good heavy book I haven't decided on yet. Maybe War and Peace.

#9 Midnight Whimsy

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:40 PM

I think you should beat them with the 50 Shades boxset. ;)



#10 Aaron Bradford Starr

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:58 PM

Yep.  YA is a marketing term, not a genre.  Write your story, and then figure out who to market it to.



#11 KrystenH

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:37 PM

I think you should beat them with the 50 Shades boxset. ;)

Well no. I want to beat good books into this person, not encourage the bad books.

#12 AFord

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:45 PM

Go with the sound advice everyone has already offered. Best wishes. You can do it!



#13 Midnight Whimsy

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:22 PM

@Aaron and AFord: Thanks! I will write my next novel straight from my muse without self-censoring. Not sure what I'll end up with, but it should be fun either way! :)

 

@Krysten: But if you traumatize them with a good book, they'll avoid it even more afterward.



#14 KrystenH

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 07:24 PM

@Midnight: But, I'm trying to smash the good books into their brains!

...Fine. You have a point. 50 Shades boxset it is.

#15 Midnight Whimsy

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:29 AM

Okay, but we'll have to borrow it from someone because I'm certainly not buying it. ;)



#16 Alys Cohen

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 04:35 AM

Ew....50 Shades for teens...

...If ANYONE takes that idea, I swear to god I'll hunt you down and beat you with a good heavy book I haven't decided on yet. Maybe War and Peace.

 

A study done in Britain with boy boy and girl teens, showed that about a third have read the series with far more girls than boys.  Something like 25% of those who read it got the books from their mothers, and some of those mothers were interviewed and think the books are wonderful for teens to read.

 

2% of the polled teenagers had tried acting out sex scenes from it.  One out of every fifty, folks.  Teenagers.  Reenacting the book's sex scenes.



#17 Grace Campbell

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 10:21 AM

A study done in Britain with boy boy and girl teens, showed that about a third have read the series with far more girls than boys.  Something like 25% of those who read it got the books from their mothers, and some of those mothers were interviewed and think the books are wonderful for teens to read.

 

2% of the polled teenagers had tried acting out sex scenes from it.  One out of every fifty, folks.  Teenagers.  Reenacting the book's sex scenes.

Hah, it sounds like the new sex manual.


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#18 Guest_AWExley_*

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 03:00 PM

Well good luck to them - it's so vaguely written I imagine it would be more frustrating than educational.

 

How on earth do you use "he touched me down below" as an instruction? It could mean he fondled her knee, or took her below deck on the boat... :tongue:



#19 Alys Cohen

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 12:50 AM

Apparently you ladies have missed the "sex kits" that are sold, officially branded and promoted by the author, that include a copy of the first book as a manual.  Ads have been taken out in men's magazines claiming the book is a guide to everything every woman wants.  The kits have been major sellers, and countless men have bought and red the book and endorse it as being what woman want because a woman wrote it.  One of my favorite Motown singers promotes it on his blog. I I had the money to get backstage tickets when he and New Kids and Backstreet tour (he's in Boyz II Men), I'd do it just to slap him upside the head and walk away (not literally because I'd be arrested, but I'd have a few choice words for him).

 

AWE, in the third book, Christian "touched her down there" in both of those senses at once!  Then bruised the hell out of her for daring to untie her bikini top when laying stomach-down on a French beach, bruised her so she'd be too ashamed to be uncovered at all.  Soooooo romantic.  I guess that's sex done right, y'all.

 

Oh, there have been cases of people reenacting some of the scenes ending up with arrests.  The books should realistically have a disclaimer or something.  So far one case has hit the media where a man has gone to trial as a defendant after he and his girlfriend tired to act the book out and she was hurt in a way she didn't agree to.  The book's "love means no safe word" is a deadly message.



#20 Midnight Whimsy

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 06:29 PM

I haven't read the books so I don't feel I can really shout my opinion to the world, but I've quietly thought all along, from summaries by both fans and non-fans alike, that the main relationship in the book did not fit my idea of "healthy". At all.

 

A disclaimer might be a good idea...

 

M.W






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