New Adult - More than Just Age?

Note: Sadly, I'm discontinuing Week in Short, at least for now, to give myself free time to work on revisions or write.

At WriteOnCon, Liesa Abrams quoted Eileen Cook as having said "In MG, the characters are learning how they fit into the world. In YA, they're learning how they stand out."  That quote has really stuck with me and I've realized exactly how true it is.

One of the major problems with New Adult is that, so far, the only distinction between it and any other category is the ages of the characters.I don't think that's the only difference between YA and NA, just like age isn't the only difference between high school and college.

Middle grade = learn where we fit in
High school = learn how to stand out
College = learn who we really are

In middle school and high school, there's a lot of pressure to fit in. There's quite a bit of identity searching but at the same time, you're still under someone else's control. When college comes around, a lot of people are on their own for their first time. It's a time of rapid growing up and exploration. It's a time to try new things and try to figure out what you want to spend the rest of your life doing.

I would love to read about college-age characters who are going through some of the same things that I am. College is a turbulent time. Why should that be ignored in novels? 

High school is when you think you have it all figured out. College is when you realize that you really don't.


Anonymous said…
I support the NA genre. I would have loved to have been able to pick up a book with college-aged characters when I was getting ready to go. YA made me feel like I should be finding out who I was now and having all these coming-of-age experiences. And I wasn't. College was the first time I was finding out who I was and becoming independent and we need that in literature for young adults to relate to. So I'd totally be cheering on the rise of NA.
kushi said…
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