Genre Basics - Young Adult - article

The Young adult genre is rapidly growing and targeted at, you guessed it: young adults. These readers can be between 10 and 17 years old. You’ll find many genres in this field under the heading “fiction,” including historical, sci-fi, young women, thrillers, mysteries, westerns, fantasies, and more. Young adult manuscripts tend to be between 45-80K words, depending on their target audience and the sub-genre within the young adult family. 

One of the main characteristics of young adult novels is the protagonist, who is typically in the same age group as the target audience. The protagonist has an obstacle to overcome, as is true of the lead characters of adult fiction novels. Authors hoping to write for the young adult genre are fortunate these days because the bar has been raised, and the plots and characters are much more sophisticated and worldly. These books attract readers of all ages.

The young adult genre has recently become extremely popular, thanks to the success of authors such as J.K. Rowling (the Harry Potter series), Stephenie Meyer (the Twilight series), Christopher Paolini (Eragon and the Inheritance cycle), and Suzanne Collins (the Hunger Games series). These authors crossed over by appealing to young adults and their parents and sometimes even their grandparents and younger siblings. 

The best young adult novels aren’t those that are written specifically for teens while alienating people outside their age group, but rather they appeal across the spectrum. The good news is you don’t have to write a saga to please young adult readers. Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief was one of the most creative novels of 2010, set in World War II and narrated by Death. When you write a young adult novel, strive for excellence more than anything else.

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