Thursday, May 31, 2012

New Adult: A New Hope?

No, I can't resist a "Star Wars" reference.  But seriously:

I'd never heard of the New Adult genre until yesterday.  A fellow writer I follow here and on Twitter, Carrie Butler, mentioned it with a few links, and I was curious.  What I found had me wondering how in the world I could have missed this.

New Adult is, basically, fiction targeted toward people who are just getting out into the real world.  Most information I have on it comes from this entry on Sharon Bayliss's blog and what I've picked up over at NA Alley.  The target age range is about 17-23, and that's the general ages of the characters involved as well.  This hit me hard because that's the exact age range of characters I like to write, and I had no idea there was a specific genre for that.

Of the two main characters of Skyborne, one is seventeen; the other is, in her own words, "old enough to bleed, too young for wrinkles".  (She doesn't know for sure and doesn't much care, but I think she's about twenty.)  In a long-running urban fantasy series I wrote a while back, the entire cast was in college, putting them at 18-21 over the course of the stories.  And the other novel I'm plotting now, with a title that unfortunately acronyms to OOTA, again, the main group of characters pretty much fit into that 18-21 range.  Except for the one who's not human, but I'll work that out later.

To make a long story short (too late), learning about New Adult was like finding a genre custom-made for the kind of stories I like to tell.  Writing YA never appealed to me, though I've been told some of my stories would fit with it, and I've sometimes wondered if I was writing characters too young for adult fantasy/sci-fi.  If NA is going to be a new thing, something that's going to take off in the years to come, I have to make sure I get on this and hope it catches on in the industry.

And that, for now, means more plotting.  If anyone invents plot-specific spackle, please, let me know.

10 comments:

  1. Yeah, New Adult is a hard one because there are some people who believe that it just isn't going to go anywhere. And of course, there are those who are touting it as The Next Big Thing (remember that the New York Times didn't even track "children's books" until Harry Potter held the top spot for over a year; talk about restructuring the publishing marketplace). Regardless, it ain't gonna be easy because a lot of agents say that they don't believe it exists, however the fantabulous Vicki Motter has this to say about it.

    And for the record, I'm not trying to discourage, just saying. And if you're interested in things like finding the genre that makes your heart go pitter pat but makes the agents go meh, check out this.

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    1. I'm just thrilled to find something that pretty much says "Your stuff! Right here!" Figures that it's something new and not all that recognized. @_@ But I think it's worth trying for, and it's not like I can't try other things if NA never catches on. Then again, as slow as the publishing business is, I might be learning about NA just at the right time. No way to know, sadly; my crystal ball is on the fritz.

      Also: thanks for the links. Good to add another agent to the list, and I've been meaning to follow Miss Snark.

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  2. Thank you for the mention, Mason! :)

    It's a great feeling, isn't it? Knowing you're not alone. I look forward to seeing you around the 'Alley!

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    1. Thanks! And yeah, it was like "Wait, there's a category for this? For what I've been writing for years? How did I not know this?!" ^_^

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  3. Yeah, yeah ,yeah! I'm so glad you found us and welcome aboard the NA ship :D At the end of the day if NA expands or not write for yourself. Don't let the industry tell you what to do :). Thanks for the mention!

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    1. I'm really glad to find y'all, yes. ^_^ And this won't change what I write and what I plan to write, but it's good to know there's a category it fits in.

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  4. I love the story you have shared here about discovering NA because it's almost exactly how I felt when someone said to me, "Hey, you should look into NA!"

    And, of course, now I write for NA Alley, so I think the community that has come to form around this fiction category is fantastic. Regardless, though, as a writer you must stay true to the stories you want to tell.

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    1. Definitely. I'm glad that there's a community formed around this, because that's often how these kinds of things start. I know everything takes a while to get going in the publishing industry, but I'm hoping NA finds its feet and takes off as a genre.

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  5. Thanks for the shout out!
    And welcome to the category! hehe

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    1. Thank you as well! Good to be here. ^_^

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