Young Adult Novels Besting Adult Novels?

Discussion in 'Writing' started by Laer Carroll, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. Igor

    Igor Ze vriter

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    I'm not sure if I represent anything, but even as a teen I read adult fiction and never liked YA/teen fiction back then, and even less as I got older. For example, I stopped reading Harry Potter after maybe 30 pages.

    Teenagers aspire to be adults, so having adult-facing (not adultering) characters can be a good direction. Not necessarily dwell in the world of teen or such, but be somewhat younger plunged in the world of adults. There are enough real life examples for this.

    Igor
     
  2. KatG

    KatG Effulgent Staff Member

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    I haven't seen any Spider-man YA books lately. I suppose there probably are some. I do, however, have a teenager who reads some adult books (she's working slowly through Song of Ice and Fire,) but also reads tons of YA books. She's a firm fan of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. Her favorite author is star of YA John Green (not a SFF writer.) She's annoyed because she lent her copy of The Perks of Being a Wallflower to a pal and now can't read it before the movie comes out. She studied the YA SF novel Feed by M.T. Anderson in school. She is planning to start the YA Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. Many of the writers doing YA also write adult SFF, or have their YA work sold in the adult market in different countries. Some of the YA is being written for 12 year olds, like Harry Potter, and some of it is being written for sixteen year olds. It's a very wide market.
     
  3. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    That, Ms Kat, was a spammer/bot.
     
  4. KatG

    KatG Effulgent Staff Member

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    Well, we've been having a lot of foreign visitors too, so we give certain posts a benefit of a doubt. :)
     
  5. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    Sure, but that's still a bot/spammer. The name and homepage give it away.
     
  6. KatG

    KatG Effulgent Staff Member

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    LOL, I wasn't even looking at the name. Will remove. But we'll keep Igor's post.
     
  7. SilentDan

    SilentDan Registered User

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    Not without losing YOUNG readers, anyway. They don't want exposition; they want action and drama. And the education system in Australia ain't much better. No wonder my University tutors hate marking the rubbish that school-leavers hand in last minute.

    Teenagers are a modern concept. In Medieval times you used to be a child until age 7 and them BAM! adult. No transition stage. Slowly they started to put more categories into the progression, starting with these new-fangled things called "Teenagers" in the 1950's or something. Then in the 90's, Teenagers suddenly had money, and even then books were a bit slow to cater to teens, such that my local library at least seemed to have sport-related books, Buffy and Sweet Valley High, with only a handful of others (notably, Everworld by K.A. Applegate). It was growing, but wasn't exactly a publishing power-market. Nowadays you have about 20 divisions of young people, from Tweens and Pre-Teens to YA which means 18-25 now (and thus you can have sex, swearing, alcohol, drugs and violence :)) and all sorts of stuff in between. It's slowly become a powerhouse hot market, and I think Harry Potter was the single solidifying element that pushed it into the highest commercial success it's ever seen. Suddenly, it's the widest-selling book in all time, and publishers realise that there's something to writing for young people.

    But yes, I do wonder if you really need to dumb it down for teenagers, not have any hard science (or magic, or horror), and just have teen drama dressed up in wizard robes and wands that do literally anything. It seems simple, but doing it that way does fly in the face of the golden rule: Don't Talk Down To Your Readers. Talk about Child Exploitation! (and the power of Throwing A Tantrum Unless Your Parents Give You The Shiny Thing).

    I think it's definitely more talked-about, more noticed, than adult markets - just because of its newness and the Power Of Teens Having A Voice. 10 years time, who knows what'll happen?