What really determines a Young adult story? I always thought my story would fall under the YA category because my characters were teenagers. But the more I worked in it, the more I wanted to make my characters older and noe they're in their early/mid 20s. For me it bring a love story made more sense since my characters could be more mature and ready for "true love". So now that my character ate older, is it still considered a YA story? What makes a YA story one? Thanks in advance :D
Classifying Novels - Young Adult
Awesome, I get to share another library anecdote :)
Because I spend 40 hours a week at the library for work, I basically never buy books anymore. I get all my books from the library. What this means is that every book I read has a call number on the spine so that I know exactly what I’m reading: fiction, non-fiction, YA, juvenile, sci-fi, mystery and so on and so forth. While I’m not one of the talented staffers that catalogs these books, I have learned some surprising lessons that I’ll share with you.
1) Are all novels with teenaged protagonists YA novels?
Not necessarily. The Lovely Bones is narrated by 14-year-old Susie Salmon and is largely cataloged as adult fiction in libraries.
2) Dystopian novels are always YA, right?
Not necessarily. The dystopian series Red Rising is largely cataloged as adult fiction in libraries.
3) Does “mature content” only belong in adult fiction?
Not necessarily. While controversial, the House of Night series by P.C. Cast contains explicit material that may be considered too mature for some readers, yet it’s largely cataloged as YA fiction in libraries.
Whether something is YA or not is dependent on how the publisher markets the book, how the literary community promotes the book, how libraries catalog the book, and how audiences receive the book. But here are some general rules of thumb when it comes to determining if your story is YA.
I just made a point that adult fiction can have teenaged protagonists, but the inverse of this is most often not true. YA fiction should have YA protagonists, meaning that the main cast of characters should be teenagers. The idea of the YA novel is that it’s relatable to readers of the same age range, so YA novels usually deal with the same issues that the intended audience is dealing with, often in extreme circumstances.
Can anyone relate to Katniss Everdeen? Well, no we don’t have to offer up our children for an annual tribute, but Katniss took care of her sister when her mother was unable to. She grew up in poor conditions with very little to eat. And eventually she struggles with her heart when it comes to Gale and Peeta. She struggles to understand who she is and what the right thing to do is. These are things that many teenagers can relate to.
Generally, if the content of the novel has a significant focus on the experience of being a teenager and the struggles young adults endure as they move closer to adulthood, then it’s YA. Perhaps why The Lovely Bones is not considered YA is because the story isn’t so much about Susie’s experience as a teenager, but rather the mystery surrounding her murder and the aftermath her family faces in light of it.
Anon, if your characters have moved beyond the teenaged years into their twenties, you may be looking at the emerging-and-not-yet-accepted genre of “New Adult” that focuses on that crucial transitionary period that twenty-somethings face as they try to discover who they are as independent, fully-functioning adults. Personally, I think the same principle applies. If you’re focusing significantly on the typical struggles of twenty-somethings, you probably have NA. If not, it’s probably just an adult novel.
“True Love” Storylines
My parents met as teenagers and were happily married for twenty-five years up until my mom passed away. They had three children, one of whom will always look at their relationship as a prime example of true love. You can say that young adults lack maturity to understand true love, but I don’t think that’s the issue with young relationships. It’s not that teenagers aren’t mature enough to fall in love - it’s that they’re still finding out who they are. And it’s difficult to make room in your life for someone in such an intimate way when you’re still exploring passions and interests of your own. And furthermore, this is hardly a set rule. There are always exceptions, depending on each individual.
This is starting to sound like relationship advice, and I’m so not going there, but my point is that I’d challenge your assertion that they must be twenty to have mature relationships. It may or may not be true - depends on how you execute your love story.
If this is your only reason for bumping up their ages, I’d think really hard on your plot arcs and make sure it’s the best decision for your story. I’m assuming that where your characters are in life affects your plot, whatever that plot is. So weigh the pros and cons and do what benefits the story overall (as well as whatever appeals to you, the author).
Does is matter if it’s YA or NA or Adult or whatever?
Short answer - no. Not while you’re writing it anyway.
Long answer - While I see the benefit of reading in your genre as a way of understanding what people expect from that genre, it becomes too much when you start to squeeze and stretch your story to fit into a particular mold. The writing process should be free form, and you should allow yourself to make moves based on your instincts and interests as opposed to what “sells” or what is often seen in a novel of a particular genre.
My advice? Write the story. When you have a draft complete, and you’ve got a better idea of what the story looks like, you can start to contemplate what genre/age level it might fall into and adjust yourself accordingly in the rewrites/edits.
And a final disclaimer…
These are just labels. Do adults read YA novels? Hell yes. Do teenagers read adult novels? Hell yes. People read what they want to read, regardless of how they’re labeled.
When I began to watch this series, I haven’t been attached to Erwin that much. Like many of us, I began this series with anime and at first season, I had no interest in Erwin, till the end.
To me, the series began at episode 25 of anime. I have fallen to SnK hell at that episode and since then I am happily craving there. Till that episode, characters were not interesting to me, can you believe?! But at that episode, I got hooked for characters like Annie, Eren, Levi and Erwin. And of course after that, Isayama made me swallow my words about his amazingly written characters. I remember the exact moment I got so impressed of Erwin.
Of course then I read manga and find out that this moment is actually a filler etc but as I kept reading, my love for Erwin started to grow too. And then it became a strong tree with roots and branches.
The reason I love him this much is not because he is cool, handsome and a generous wonderful commander. These reasons do help, but I have loved characters with horrible, horrible attitudes too. I don’t need them to be perfect to be loveable, I need them to be relatable.
And I found Erwin a very relatable character, specially for grown ups.
I am saying he is specially relatable for adults, because I don’t think normal teenagers can relate to give up someone you love or the grief of losing a close one, teenagers are not that broken by Life™ that much, yet. But Erwin, like many of adults, has suffered by these.
But that’s not just it.
He also knows what it feels like to be a failure. What it feels like to be disappointed by self. What it feels like to have an unachieved, broken dream.
Yet he keeps trying to reach it, trying to find a way.
Have you ever met an accountant that doodles on his desk because he wanted to be an artist? Or that catlady that randomly dances even though her joints are hurting because she just loves to dance? Have you ever met with someone that has an unachieved, broken dream?
Those are my favorite kind of people, because the child in them never dies. They always find a way to keep it alive and it’s not like all of them still want to achieve that dream, they have mostly carried on yet that dream remained a part of them. You know what they say; the beautiful and enjoyable part is the journey, not the destination.
Erwin Smith is also a part of this crew.
That’s why I find him so relatable personally.
That’s also why I found his death so beautiful, too.
I mean it.
When his father died, he could have gone rogue and swore to get his revenge, but that was not what his father thought to him. Papa Smith thought Erwin to dream, to seek for answers and Erwin followed this till the end. Many people thought Erwin may be a monster, yet he was one of the most human characters. When he died, he was surrounded by the people that loved him, other than Flocke, he got his way of a funeral and Levi even picked some flowers for him.
Before riding to death, he thanked Levi because he also understood that what matters is the journey, not the destination. He close his eyes without free from regrets and free from pain and not just that, probably for the first time in his life, someone understood him, too. Levi cared for him more than he cared about anything else at that moment. How amazing is that?
Look how soft his smile is.
This is not he smile of a man that is about to die, this is the smile of a man that is relieved.
IT LOOKS SUPER BOMB, pls tell me what brand and shade you’re wearing my love
it’s made to look like she put it on herself. there’s some of the lipstick outside her lip lines, this isn’t meant to look like if was perfectly applied with a lip brush by a makeup artist. this is the picture we’ll all be seeing on the website every single day for the next couple of months, but it doesn’t mean that her make-up needs to be applied as though they were going to publish this picture in a magazine. in this picture she’s meant to look like a real teenage girl, one people can relate to, she’s meant to look like sana, and little details such as the way her lipstick is applied help achieve that purpose
i feel so happy that we’re finally getting some muslim representation. It warms my heart so much because as a muslim teenage girl I can finally relate to something so deeply.
Sitting on the bus, your dad calls. Assalam aleikum, baba. You always get those looks. The dirty ones, ah, there’s another terrorist. then the afraid ones, refusing to meet your eyes but staring when you don’t look. You can still see it.
You know all about that damn pizza. Your best friends have ordered and when you sit down with them to eat it’s pork. They say oh fuck I forgot and then they go but we have beef! All smiles and happy and in your head it’s just but it’s not halal. okay fuck it don’t make a big issue out of this. just remove it come on. SMile. You KNOW they are your friends, they love you and they don’t really think about it, they forget. But you’re already different from them.
Sex. All your friends have had it. You respect it but it is just not in your nature to find it natural in the age of 17, before marriage. And to listen to the last gory detail, white garlic sauce dripping as she comes and comes–it’s not natural for you. but how can you say anything without sounding rude or jealous?
The home. THe cleanliness, one of the most important things in islam. Your home is clean, the carpet is the typical persian looking kind, beautiful. There’s something in the air, you can just feel it.
Finally the wallah. I swear by God! Say wallah. You always tell your siblings wallah i didn’t tell mom, no i didnt. Wall– in school to your best friends, it’s a reflex. You get the eyebrows and the laughing oh yeah alla ukbar something right? riiiiight
I have high hopes for season 4 of skam and lovely sana <3 finally maybe more people will be able to understand us.
Why do you think people were/are so fascinated with the Columbine mass murder and the two guys behind it? Whats another mass murder do you think should've received as much attention but didn't?
Although there were plenty of cases of school shootings before them, they received the most media attention and attention from the public, I assume because of the amount of victims as well as there being two shooters.
It is my opinion that they were able to kill as many as they did due to planning everything out for a prolonged period of time. (It’s also my opinion that they told a lot of people who pretended they didn’t know it was going to happen due to not wanting to get in trouble themselves). Other school shooters didn’t seem to plan it out as much, it was more of a spur of the moment thing that they decided to do. It’s usually done quickly and they are apprehended just as quickly, which wasn’t the case at Columbine. And because they planned everything out, they left a lot of stuff behind, such as videos and journals and the like, which we don’t really see with other school shooters. Then, of course, there’s the fact that they died that day as well, which leaves an air of mystery to them in that no one had the opportunity to witness them age, go to prison, write to them or anything. So they are eternally teenage boys that a lot of people, mostly young teenagers, can relate to on some level or another. What they were going through at the time, all of their teenage angst bullshit is the same kind of thing most teens go through so they understand them, as future generations of teens probably will if currently is any indication. And most other school shooters that survived their own attacks have grown up and realized they made a dumb mistake/ aren’t of the same mindset as they were as teens…which I’m confident in believing would be the same way Eric and Dylan would feel had they survived…but they didn’t, so all we have from them are their angsty words and aggression.
And then of course there will always be young girls that find them attractive and have a thing for dead bad boys.
🤷🏼♀️that’s just my opinion though. I’m not even remotely interested in the case. It’s been discussed to death and there’s no new information so it’s just the same old stuff being talked about repeatedly.