Questions tagged [young-adult]

This tag should be used for questions about writing intended for readers between 12 and 18 years old. (Often abbreviated YA.) For readers ages 8-12 use [middle-grade]. For readers under 8 use [children]. For questions about characters, use [child-characters]. For questions about children or teens who are writers, use [young-author].

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23
votes
8answers
3k views

Referring to different instances of the same character in time travel

I am writing a story that involves time travel, and I have a chapter where a character from the future interacts with his present-day self. This chapter is written from the present-day self's POV. ...
20
votes
8answers
7k views

What can I do if I hate my own protagonist?

So I'm writing a fantasy novel, and I have my plot fairly fleshed out, and I have my main players, my world is built, and now I've started to really flesh out my characters more. The only problem is, ...
18
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6answers
6k views

Why is young adult romance now being written primarily in the first person?

My recollection is that when I started reading romance novels in the 1980s, the majority (perhaps 60%) were written in the third person. This included some "young adult" romances with characters in ...
15
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10answers
1k views

How can I accurately represent young adult dialogue?

There was a recent question that caused quite a stir around here, not so much for the question itself, but more the purpose of the question. That aside, there was a valid question being asked, and it ...
12
votes
4answers
352 views

How to go about breaking up a looooong YA story?

A while ago, I played around with a short story idea in a genre I don't normally write (Young Adult fiction). The story took on a life of its own, growing quickly to a novella, and now is definitely ...
11
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5answers
2k views

How explicit can violence and sex be in a YA novel?

Many of the most popular YA novels are pretty brutal, rape and murder are a common ingredient. Many show teenagers having sex. But how far can you go, before you cross the line into adult fiction, ...
9
votes
8answers
54k views

How to describe an angry voice in dialogue?

I've been looking for a word to describe this tone of voice for a long time but never came across it. Now let me just spread a pinch of context. It's a first person novel, and our protagonist is very ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Should I stick with American terminology in my English set young adult book?

I am writing a book that is set in England, but because I would get the book published in America I don't know what terminology to use. My main character is in the equivalent of 7th grade but in ...
9
votes
2answers
214 views

When writing in a school context without ever having been to school, how do I make sure that my story is accurate within school context?

I read a lot of YA fiction, a lot of which happens to take place in schools. Recently, an idea jumped into my head for a YA-ish story and told me that it was going to take place in a school. The idea ...
9
votes
4answers
617 views

How explicit should a YA novel be?

For a romance YA novel, how explicit can it be? Are there certain descriptions or words that shouldn't be used?
8
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4answers
550 views

How to write a board game scene?

My book is about a girl who is a compulsive gambler, and I'm trying to write a scene where she is playing a board game with an old dude who also has a gambling problem (eventually, she wins). My ...
7
votes
7answers
2k views

Using footnotes in fiction: children's book which can be enjoyed by adults

I would like to write a children's story which is appealing to both children and adults. However, the world in which the story takes place requires the use of higher vocabulary and slang (it is a real ...
7
votes
4answers
575 views

Describe illustrated characters?

I'm writing a YA fantasy novel in my free time that I plan to illustrate myself. Most if not all named characters will have their 'picture' presented to the reader as soon as they are introduced. ...
7
votes
2answers
780 views

What are some clear differences in theme/story between children's, middle grade, and young adult fantasy?

At the moment I'm trying to write a fantasy novel, and I think it's leaning more towards middle grade rather than children's or young adult fantasy, but I'd like to know if there are any particular ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Is mild sexualization of minors allowed in writing?

Her clothes screamed bohemia, with a prominent cleavage, leather bands running up her arms and nails painted black. In my book there is a romance between two 15-year-olds, and the book is from one of ...
6
votes
4answers
439 views

Should my story's main obstacle be secret or common knowledge to the society?

I'm writing a teen dystopian adventure/thriller/romance novel. I've been thinking about the plot for awhile. I've got an idea I want to develop: a dystopian world where the government has gotten rid ...
6
votes
4answers
246 views

Library of Congress filing: answering "intended for children or young adults"

I'm going to submit a request for a Library of Congress Preassigned Control Number (PCN). One of the questions on the form is: Is this title intended for children or young adults? Because of the "...
6
votes
2answers
303 views

Who decides how to classify a novel?

Young Adult fiction is distinguished from Adult fiction typically by the age of the protagonist(s) and the subject matter or experiences involved. You can, of course, have adult novels starring ...
6
votes
3answers
625 views

Is there such a thing as using too Many "I's" in a first person novel?

For example, would you say this section of copy has too many "I's" or even "my's"? I woke in a daze. A drug induced daze. I recognized it instantly, the feeling of being disconnected from my ...
6
votes
2answers
202 views

Crossing the line from Middle-Grade to Young-Adult

I would like to followup on this excellent question which outlined differences among works for children, middle-grade, and young-adult. What are some clear differences in theme/story between children&...
6
votes
1answer
259 views

Fantasy Series - YA or Adult protagonist?

I plan on writing a fantasy series at some point. Based on what I've read, my automatic assumption was that the protagonist of such a series would be a teenager, probably around the 17-18 year range. ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

A flower's head or heart?

I’m currently writing a story and one of my characters is a butterfly. In one of the scenes, she manages to run away from a bunch of hungry lizards and hides into a flower; let’s say a Zinnia. When ...
5
votes
4answers
20k views

What is a "light novel" and how does it differ from a novella?

My friend has sent me a work to critique which he hopes to make into a light novel. I've never heard of this type of story before and a quick Google didn't give me much context about how it differs ...
5
votes
5answers
865 views

Why do Popular Fantasy Novels of Today Feature Teenagers?

This could be a misconception of mine, but I've noticed that the popular fantasy novels of today seem to nearly all have main characters who are children or teenagers. I have a list of some off the ...
5
votes
2answers
334 views

Should I use different pen names for different audiences (non-fiction)?

I am working on three separate works for three different audiences. All are non-fiction. One is for children ages eight to twelve, another is for teens ages fourteen to twenty, and the third is for ...
5
votes
2answers
551 views

Is having a specific town for a setting in a young-adult novel a bad thing?

I'm writing a young-adult story, that is quite clearly set in my home town, because this is where I grew up as a young adult and it is easier to write about. Everyone speaks English, but speaks French ...
5
votes
3answers
210 views

Can I change tenses in my first person YA novel?

I'm half way through a YA science fiction novel that is told in 1st person, past tense. Currently there are two chapters in different tenses. One is 2nd person, present tense - the p.o.v. of an AI. ...
5
votes
3answers
293 views

Is it possible for "weakness" to be a "virtue" in context?

I'm working on a teen romance. The event is the high school play, the "Sound of Music," in which there are two main contestants for the role of Liesl. They are designated "A" and "B," because those ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I handle teenage sex in books for teenagers?

I am writing a book, in which the protagonists are two teenagers. They fell in love and it is time they were alone and had sex. As long as the book is destined for teenagers from 15-19, I would like ...
5
votes
3answers
155 views

YA Literature - Violence

I'm working on a trilogy of YA novels that revolve around a group of teenagers (aged 15, though in the made-up world, 16 is adulthood) who set off to rescue someone who has been kidnapped. When they ...
5
votes
5answers
429 views

How far can insults go in a "Young Adult" novel?

In a Young Adult (>12 y. old) novel, once the obviously bad words (F-word, C-word, N-word, etc.) taken away, how far can rude language go ? For example, can I use insults like : "Go sit on a rusty ...
4
votes
10answers
2k views

Genre conventions: Which end do readers expect?

I need help with the concept of my story: My protagonists live in a mild dystopia. Think of your own country today ;-) They have the opportunity to kill about 20 persons, which will cause a ...
4
votes
2answers
267 views

How to fill novel if you have just some moments prepared?

I read some of my old novels and realized that I often filled them with unnecessary info and pseudojokes so I could quickly rejoin my favourite moments in the planned plot. I found those moments more ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

YA novel with old protagonist?

Edit: There have been a few very good answers and comments. The feedback I've got so far has made me question whether I'm even going into the right direction with my story. I felt like the themes and ...
3
votes
1answer
105 views

Is there a market for all-ages novels?

Historically, books and movies didn't always have a specific target age. While some material was just for adults, a lot of what we think of now as being for kids or teens had a more general market. ...
3
votes
4answers
255 views

Where can I find a professional publisher who will accept my book?

I started writing a book at the end of my 5th grade year. My 6th grade teacher is totally against teen authors, so I stopped for a while. Then my 7th grade teacher inspired me to start again. I'm 13 ...
3
votes
2answers
873 views

How to write for a certain audience?

I'm busy writing a book that I've been putting off for years. In this book the main character starts off as an 18 year old but grows up to be a young adult, sometimes she will think about when she was ...
2
votes
2answers
214 views

Wanting to write a gay kiss... for young audiences

I wanted to write a gay kiss at the close end of my third book. I already started their chemistry with each other on the first and more in the second now it's leading up to the kiss. I have a ton of ...
2
votes
5answers
6k views

How many pages make a chapter in a chapter book?

I am writing my first chapter books for an older audience around 18+ and I need a little help with knowing when one characters point of view should end and the next begin. Can anyone help me?
2
votes
3answers
200 views

When writing a YA novel, how necessary is it to include LGBT characters?

I am attempting to write a YA novel, and I keep wondering if it is important these days to include at least one LGBT character. So far, no LGBT character has 'organically' come up in the story, and ...
2
votes
4answers
835 views

How to choose ideal number of main characters?

As I already mentioned in my previous question, I'm writing a novel with personages both that I created and some already created by others (well, I wrote that when I was younger and now I just ...
2
votes
4answers
192 views

Are My Novels Middle-Grade or Young Adult? Having Trouble Figuring It Out

I have written and thoroughly reviewed/edited three novels that I don't know if they would be marketed as Middle Grade or Young Adult. I am currently working on a fourth. Okay, the first novel is ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

First person from the point of view of a child

Is it ok to use first person when the one speaking in the narration is a child? I guess it doesn't matter too much when the narration is about things that the child hears from other people or he is ...
2
votes
3answers
120 views

seeking advice - screenwriter looking to write novel

All. I'm looking for some advice. I'm interested in writing a young adult mystery novel, but I don't believe I'm a good writer in the traditional sense. My background is in screenwriting, so my ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the average word count for a scene in a chapter?

Does the average scene-word-count lessen for a YA/children's novel and increase for, say, an adult thriller?
2
votes
2answers
180 views

Is my Fantasy YA series idea interesting and unique? [closed]

For a while now I’ve had an idea for a YA series brewing in my mind. The series takes place in an urban setting much like our world now, but each human has the ability to wield an Element ...
2
votes
1answer
133 views

How to Categorize Novel Set in 1930s where people got married at 11+ years

I am writing fiction novel with historical event as backdrop. During 1930s British India people got married at 11+ years old and had full adult responsibilities. My story is a memoir of a fictional ...
2
votes
2answers
5k views

What are some rich but respectful ways to describe various skin colors?

Say I have a kid's book with children of varying skin tones: a boy with British/Germanic background, a girl with Indian parents in the middle point of Indian skin tones, a girl with a Germanic ...
1
vote
4answers
263 views

Should I add more detail to my story, or just leave it vague and add it all in later?

I am having a hard time with adding detail, I feel it may leave a good chunk of the story out, but I don't know for sure if I should really add it or not. If I do end up with too much detail, my ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

Explicit language in YA fiction

I'm writing a YA novel where most of the characters are in their teens or early 20's. One of my characters has some "colorful" language in certain situations, (e.g. she twists her ankle, ...