Hi my creative readers! Today we're going to just dive right into the topic of discussion. Last year while I was working on my first book, I kept going back and forth about what genre it belonged to. I couldn't decide if my book would fit in the Young Adult (YA) or New Adult (NA) genre so I decided to do some research. Imagine my surprise when I found very little on what makes up a YA book or a NA book. The latter because it is a recent emergence in the literary world and the former because I suppose people just already know what the characteristics are and I just happened to miss the memo. No matter, that's what this post is. It's my idea of what the characteristics of a YA book are.
So, let's break down what makes a book fit into the YA category. From all the reading I do, it's clear that age matters. Your protagonists have to be between the ages of 12-18. Any younger or older and your diving into Middle Grade (MG) and New Adult (NA) territory. Just from that one requirement, my book, The Crown of Amiriel, fits this genre. One of my main protagonists, Raynin, is 17 and the other, Riley, is 19 but most of the other characters still fit into the age range. Obviously, that's not the only requirement but it's a start.
Next, when doing my research, I found that YA books need to meet a certain word count. Yes, you heard me correctly. Word count is more important than page count. When writing a YA book, the word count needs to fall somewhere between 50,000-80,000 words. The Crown of Amiriel, is about 74,000 words so again I can safely say the book fits in the YA category. Now, I'm sure we can all name books in this genre that exceed this word count, but they are an exception not the norm. Most agents can attest to that so I don't recommend adopting the mind set of being the exception.
Another thing I feel makes a book YA, is the content. Every time I'm reading a book in this genre it seems like the protagonists are always going through some self-discovery journey. Questions like, "Who am I?" or "What is my purpose?" are often asked. The idea of finding ones' self is a huge theme in my opinion. I'm sure there are other themes that are prevalent in YA books but this is one of the ones that I have noticed. I even use this theme in my book though I didn't recognize that until recently.
Anyways, there you have it. This is my idea of what makes up a YA book. What do you think? I'm sure there are things I'm missing so comment and let me know what other characteristics make up the YA genre. Also, be sure to check back for my book review of Kendall Ryan's latest book, Bro Code.
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A contrarian at heart. I prefer The Lord of the Rings over Harry Potter and Narnia. I love Country Music and John Hughes movies and am the worst at singing the correct lyrics.