Genre Guide — Young Adult
Genre Guide — Young Adult

Young Adult Study Materials

If you want to write in a genre, you have to read that genre. Experts in the industry are consistent with their advice that you must be an avid reader of a genre to write well in it. The books below are a few staples of the genre, but with a genre this big, you'll need to go to your particular subgenre in the Amazon Top 100 to really get a feel for things.

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Should I Write Young Adult?

Do you feel younger than your age? More importantly, do you feel you can, as Susan Cooper puts it, "look again at a mystery through the eyes we used to have?" Because that is the essence of writing for the young: the ability to look at things through their eyes — which are, indeed, our eyes just, as Cooper again says, "not yet wearing our heavy jacket of time."

If you can put aside time's weighty coat and douse yourself in the heady perfume of having an entire life yet spread out before you, then you are ready to write YA.

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Young Adult Guide

Young adult (YA), new adult, middle-grade, and early reader are all what we call addon genres, in that they mostly only exist when added on to another genre: YA thriller, middle-grade fantasy, etc. They are also defined entirely by the age group of their readers, though there are style, plot, and theme considerations for each group. The age ranges are: Books obviously get longer as the readership gets older. The guidelines for book length in trad publishing are: This is also adjusted by genre, most notably fantasy books that are allowed to go a bit longer. In self-publishing, we are...

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