fb

Why Do You Love YA?

Forums Fiction General Writing Discussions Why Do You Love YA?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 23 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #142740
    imwritehere1920
    @imwritehere1920

    Hey there, it’s Lily.  So, I’m a children’s/MG writer, and I love writing for that particular audience because I grew up reading a lot of MG stories.

    Anyway, I realized there are a lot of people on here that write YA.  So I’m curious. Why do you write YA stories?  Was it a particular book or author that inspired you?  Or do you strive to write the books you wished you could’ve found as a teen? (I noticed that’s why some of my friends choose to write YA).  Or maybe you hope to inspire other teens with deep stories?

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on why you chose to write for this audience!

    And before I forget, here’s the random tagging of people (please feel free to tag friends!  The more the merrier!)


    @noah-cochran


    @taylorclogston


    @rose-colored-fancy


    @josiah


    @this-is-not-an-alien


    @joy-caroline

    We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. — Ernest Hemingway

    #142742
    R.M. Archer
    @r-m-archer

    Or do you strive to write the books you wished you could’ve found as a teen? (I noticed that’s why some of my friends choose to write YA). Or maybe you hope to inspire other teens with deep stories?

    Yes. XD These are a couple of the key points. To elaborate on the second one a little bit, I’m aware that the teenage years are formative and I want to provide teenage readers with stories that don’t shy away from the important questions that they’re asking, with stories that point toward ultimate truth, and with stories that encourage them to stand firm in what’s right even if it feels like they’re standing alone. There’s so much worthless or outright corrupt YA fiction out there, and I want to put a little bit more light and hope and meaning in the category.

    Especially as my sisters are getting older and the oldest is into her teens now, I can see the failings of the YA genre even more starkly then I did when I was a teen because it’s no longer just my mind I’m looking out for; I’m also looking out for my siblings. I want there to be books that my sisters can comfortably read, that they’ll enjoy and learn from and be encouraged by and that they won’t have to skim over whole sections of. (I’ve skimmed. I know my sisters will skim. But they shouldn’t have to.)

    So. Yeah. Basically… I see a need there, and I have a strong desire to contribute to filling it. I’ve had a passion for ministering to youth for most of my own teenage years, and this is one of the ways I seek to live out that calling.

    Fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi author. Mythology nerd. Worldbuilding enthusiast. Singer. Fan of classic literat

    #142751
    Noah Cochran
    @noah-cochran

    @imwritehere1920

    Hmm…so this is a nuanced question. If someone were to ask me if I was writing YA, I would actually say no. I consider myself to be writing adult. YA in its most basic form is just a marketing title, it’s not truly a category of books. People market books as YA so teenagers can know that the publisher is aiming it at them, even if the book is more advanced in prose. The thing is, there are so many parameters people use to call a book YA vs adult. Now, I want to say something about these parameters, but before I do, let me answer your question specifically.

    I do read some books that would probably be called MG, but usually (not always), I am personally not a fan of books about young children, or geared toward young children. I prefer reading books about adults, or at least people in their high teens. Just my preference, I think more can be done with higher age groups, and more mature topics can be handled. That is the reason I don’t write MG, and instead write adult, or I suppose, YA, some might call my writing.

    Back to that YA vs Adult fiction thing. I recently heard a booktuber talking about a new film coming out based off a certain book series. In this book series, two of the characters are romantically interested in each other (courting pretty much) and their relationship develops and then changes to just friendship later on after the first book. Well this first film is only showing events of book one, and yet in a scene in the trailer, it strongly infers that these two characters’ relationship became physical before marriage, and that during this “we plan to get married” period, the two characters take things past how the book describes it (which is purely a “we are pretty much betrothed, we kinda like each other, and we assume we are going to marry). You might be wondering why I just typed all of that up. xD Well, here’s what irritated me like crazy. This foolish booktuber said that he was glad they were adding this in because not having it made it feel kinda YA. Ridiculous. Adult is not adult because it depicts explicit sexual scenes, or has characters have physical relationships willy-nilly. Not having those things does not mean it is YA. The same goes for language. Strong sexual language does not take a book to the adult level, and not having it does not mean it is YAish. If I were to say what made a book adult instead of YA (other than the marketing aspect), I would say that it was the quality of prose, and level of deep subjects and plots. Now, that is very hazy, so hazy in fact that there is no true line between the two.

    Okay, so after writing all of that, I’m not sure that was relevant to your post at all. xD It was just something I felt like ranting about because that booktuber made me want to throttle him. xD Anyways, I would probably consider myself writing adult, but some might call it YA. As I said, I like these older categories because I feel you can do more with them, in not just in mature topics. YA and adult usually have more epic plots, and most importantly for me, more interesting characters (I like reading about young adults and adults because a lot more interesting and conflicting things can happen to them).

    So, I got super off track, but I hope I kinda answered your questions. 🙂

    #142753
    Taylor Clogston
    @taylorclogston

    @imwritehere1920

    This is a really good question and I don’t have a good answer. I don’t really understand YA at the moment, and I don’t know if my impressions of the genre over the past ten years are valid any more.

    It’s really common to think of the Stormlight Archives as YA, for example, something I don’t think anyone would have done back when Way of Kings first released. The existence of New Adult as pretty much just smut in a contemporary college setting (even when all those trappings are stuck in a fantasy world, like in SJM’ House of Earth and Blood) feels like it’s urging people to draw the upper range of YA upward toward a space between “traditional” YA and adult fiction, especially in speculative subgenres.

    I don’t actively write YA, but most speculative fiction I write tends to end up something people would see as YA. Immaturity and illiteracy on my part? Probably.

    But also, most adults I know in their 20s-30s, both in person and online, seem to read mostly consume YA stories. That might come through Marvel movies, anime, or actual YA books, but it feels to me like unless I’m targeting specifically mature adults who want something like old school scifi and fantasy (and to my knowledge this isn’t a very large paying audience), the majority of people who will buy indie fiction are looking for YA.

    "...the one with whom he so sought to talk has already interceded for him." -The Master and Margarita

    #142754
    Isaiah
    @allertingthbs

    @imwritehere1920

    In the last few decades there has been a focus on making entertainment accessible for wider audiences. Take Marvel for instance. It used to be assumed that if you were going to consume comic material, you knew all the old issues and ins and outs of the universe. With the MCU beginning, we got good movies that were enjoyed by a wider range of audiences than would have enjoyed just an Iron Man comic line. This picked up steam, and now we have entire studios pumping out comic book movies for the populous to enjoy and pay for. The content itself doesn’t NEED to be good because these works have seen the wider audience and is doing what it can to keep reaching more people while keeping fans happy and satisfied.

    YA is similar. It used to be assumed that if you were a “reader” you had enough literary knowledge to pick up thick and dusty books and have the knowledge and insight to enjoy Twain, Doyle, Lewis, Tolkien, and even Homer and ancient artists like him. As the current generations grew, they wanted to be able to enjoy reading without needing to essentially take a refresher college course first.

    Generally speaking, YA works are easy to consume and enjoy. They are more refined than teens or children’s series and are able to handle more mature topics as has been said by others here, but also are not as stuffy and tough to get through as Adult/Classics. We can all understand if a passerby is handed “The Prince and the Pauper” by Twain, and declines to read it due to potential reading difficulty or boredom. If you hand that same person a copy of say, “The Last Wish” by Sapkowski, they are more likely to consume the book due to its more modern writing style and just the increased ease of getting through it. Young Adult fills a niche for a lot of people, books that can be grabbed off the shelf and started on easily while also having complex ideas and characters.

    I think there are three things that contribute to the YA genre being increasingly used in writing.

     

    1. Young Adult books are more mature than children’s books but are more accessible than Adult Fiction. This has a certain draw to it on its own as welcoming to a large and growing potential audience of new and casual readers.

    2. Most writers (yes this is a fairly large generalization) think and talk in “YA style.” When writing children’s books, language and prose usually has to be simplified for the intended audience. On the flip side, writers also mostly have to employ stylizing techniques to their work to keep their work in Adult Fiction or Modern Classic. Casual writing by adults tends to largely fall into YA, at least in my experience.

    3. Simply having the genre name of Young Adult makes it appealing to a wide audience. Anyone aged 16-30 could fall into this category, and newcomers to literature can easily look at YA and think “I am a young adult, I can consume these.” Because time ceaselessly marches on, there are ALWAYS young adults that are looking to enjoy a story.

    "Only a Sith deals in absolutes"
    -Quipmaster 2005

    #142755
    Bethania Gauterius
    @sparrowhawke

    @imwritehere1920

    I honestly hadn’t thought too hard about this question before and I still don’t have a good answer other than “I’m a young adult myself and so I just find it easiest to write for my own age group”. I guess not everything I’ve written would be considered YA–but I don’t know if it would be considered adult either. Most of my protagonists are somewhere in their teens. As I get older, perhaps my protagonists will get older as well.

    Most of the stuff I read is YA, MG, or classics. I shelve books at my library and cringe every time I have to do the adult fiction section. It’s horrendous. So maybe I’ll try to fix that problem one day by writing adult fic. But at the moment, I don’t think I have the maturity to write for that audience. Nor do I really have any ideas for adult fiction stories. I guess that proves I’m not ready to write that yet–I don’t really have any adulthood experience to draw from.

    "For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust." - Psalm 103:14

    #142759
    Joy C. Woodbury
    @joy-caroline

    @imwritehere1920

    Hi, Lily! 🙂

    I write Biblical fiction with a YA audience in mind. It’s what I want to do because I’ve observed that many teens don’t want to read the Bible because they find it boring – which is honestly understandable! I believe that by crafting Biblical fiction that is riveting and exciting while proclaiming deep truths, I can help to encourage teens to have a relationship with God and view the Bible as the amazing Book it is.

    In the rain the pavement shines like silver
    All the lights are misty in the river

    #142771
    imwritehere1920
    @imwritehere1920

    @r-m-archer

    Yes. XD These are a couple of the key points. To elaborate on the second one a little bit, I’m aware that the teenage years are formative and I want to provide teenage readers with stories that don’t shy away from the important questions that they’re asking, with stories that point toward ultimate truth, and with stories that encourage them to stand firm in what’s right even if it feels like they’re standing alone. There’s so much worthless or outright corrupt YA fiction out there, and I want to put a little bit more light and hope and meaning in the category. Especially as my sisters are getting older and the oldest is into her teens now, I can see the failings of the YA genre even more starkly then I did when I was a teen because it’s no longer just my mind I’m looking out for; I’m also looking out for my siblings. I want there to be books that my sisters can comfortably read, that they’ll enjoy and learn from and be encouraged by and that they won’t have to skim over whole sections of. (I’ve skimmed. I know my sisters will skim. But they shouldn’t have to.) So. Yeah. Basically… I see a need there, and I have a strong desire to contribute to filling it. I’ve had a passion for ministering to youth for most of my own teenage years, and this is one of the ways I seek to live out that calling.

     

    Yeah, there’s a lot of junk out there for teens (which was why I moved away from reading in that category when I was in highschool.  It’s depressing.)  But I think that’s awesome that you’re looking out for your sisters, and that you have a passion to minister to fellow teens!  Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

    We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. — Ernest Hemingway

    #142772
    imwritehere1920
    @imwritehere1920

    @noah-cochran

    Okay, so after writing all of that, I’m not sure that was relevant to your post at all. xD It was just something I felt like ranting about because that booktuber made me want to throttle him. xD Anyways, I would probably consider myself writing adult, but some might call it YA. As I said, I like these older categories because I feel you can do more with them, in not just in mature topics. YA and adult usually have more epic plots, and most importantly for me, more interesting characters (I like reading about young adults and adults because a lot more interesting and conflicting things can happen to them). So, I got super off track, but I hope I kinda answered your questions. 🙂

     

    No, no problem!  I enjoyed hearing your thoughts (and totally understand the throttling thing. haha  Feel free to rant)  Yikes, I’ve heard they added some of the physical stuff in some YA books (maybe not as explicit as in some adult books, but it’s pretty clear what’s going on.)

    Yes, there’s a lot more you could explore with YA/Adult books, and I’ve read some deep ones (Fahrenheit 451, and currently, Animal Farm).  What’s your favorite Adult book so far?

    We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. — Ernest Hemingway

    #142774
    imwritehere1920
    @imwritehere1920

    @taylorclogston

    @imwritehere1920 This is a really good question and I don’t have a good answer. I don’t really understand YA at the moment, and I don’t know if my impressions of the genre over the past ten years are valid any more

    Hmm, yeah I’ve noticed that sometimes it seem to be a broad and kinda vague term.

    it feels to me like unless I’m targeting specifically mature adults who want something like old school scifi and fantasy (and to my knowledge this isn’t a very large paying audience), the majority of people who will buy indie fiction are looking for YA.

    Ah, is old school sci-fi and fantasy your favorite genre to write in?

    We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. — Ernest Hemingway

    #142776
    imwritehere1920
    @imwritehere1920

    Generally speaking, YA works are easy to consume and enjoy. They are more refined than teens or children’s series and are able to handle more mature topics as has been said by others here, but also are not as stuffy and tough to get through as Adult/Classics….. Young Adult fills a niche for a lot of people, books that can be grabbed off the shelf and started on easily while also having complex ideas and characters…. Simply having the genre name of Young Adult makes it appealing to a wide audience. Anyone aged 16-30 could fall into this category, and newcomers to literature can easily look at YA and think “I am a young adult, I can consume these.” Because time ceaselessly marches on, there are ALWAYS young adults that are looking to enjoy a story.

    Hi Isaiah, it’s nice to meet you!  I really enjoyed the points you made, and it’s given me a lot to think about.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. — Ernest Hemingway

    #142804
    imwritehere1920
    @imwritehere1920

    @sparrowhawke

     I honestly hadn’t thought too hard about this question before and I still don’t have a good answer other than “I’m a young adult myself and so I just find it easiest to write for my own age group”

    Oh, there’s no good or bad answer!  Actually, I like it.

     I shelve books at my library and cringe every time I have to do the adult fiction section. It’s horrendous. So maybe I’ll try to fix that problem one day by writing adult fic. But at the moment, I don’t think I have the maturity to write for that audience. Nor do I really have any ideas for adult fiction stories. I guess that proves I’m not ready to write that yet–I don’t really have any adulthood experience to draw from.

    Yeah, I also don’t feel ready to tackle adult fiction yet.  But I do hope God brings the right story for you to write when you’re ready!  Also, that’s cool that you work in a library!  Do you volunteer, or are you employed?

    We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. — Ernest Hemingway

    #142810
    imwritehere1920
    @imwritehere1920

    @joy-caroline

     Hi, Lily! 🙂 I write Biblical fiction with a YA audience in mind. It’s what I want to do because I’ve observed that many teens don’t want to read the Bible because they find it boring – which is honestly understandable! I believe that by crafting Biblical fiction that is riveting and exciting while proclaiming deep truths, I can help to encourage teens to have a relationship with God and view the Bible as the amazing Book it is.

    Hi Joy! That’s awesome that you want to encourage teens too!  Hey, have you ever read Twice Freed (by Patricia St. John)?  It’s been a long time since I’ve read it, but I remember it was based off Onesimus, the slave Paul helped in the book of Philemon.

    We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. — Ernest Hemingway

    #142811
    Bethania Gauterius
    @sparrowhawke

    @imwritehere1920

    I volunteer! I needed a certain number of community service hours to graduate, so that’s one way I got them. I enjoy being at the library though so I plan to keep helping out for as long as I can.

    Do you write YA, or just MG? And have you read any of Gary D. Schmidt’s books? He’s one of my favorite authors and writes MG and YA–though his books tend to be on the upper side of MG and the lower side of YA since the protagonists are usually around 14 years old.

    "For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust." - Psalm 103:14

    #142812
    Joy C. Woodbury
    @joy-caroline

    @imwritehere1920

    Thanks!


    @scoutfinch190
    has mentioned that book to me before. It sounds interesting!

    In the rain the pavement shines like silver
    All the lights are misty in the river

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 23 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Pin It on Pinterest