Salon Saturday- YA Novels

Thanks to Nova Ren Suma, I am immersing myself in YA novels this week. After reading her post, I went to the library with a list of titles she had mentioned and came home with this:

You should know that I write adult fiction. It never occurred to me to write anything else. When I was at a writing workshop and a classmate asked if I had ever considered writing YA, the answer was no, even though many of my responses to the writing prompts featured, well, young adults. Even now, my novel-in-stories, follows a girl from age eight into adulthood. After being carried away by Laura Kasischke’s “Feathered” I am beginning to suspect that I may have some YA novels lurking in the shadows, waiting for me to finally acknowledge them.

So, the topic for this week’s Salon is two-fold:

1. Did you naturally gravitate toward a particular genre/age group or do you write for more than one?

2. What makes a novel adult vs. YA? It can’t just be the sage of the protagonist. Janet Fitch and Curtis Sittendfeld have both written about teenage girls but they are not considered YA.

Please leave comments below or a link to your own blog where you muse on this particular topic.


6 thoughts on “Salon Saturday- YA Novels

  1. Wintergirls is going to be a treat – the writing is so powerful and beautiful!

    As to the salon questions:

    1. I tried writing adult fiction and could never make the story work. It wasn’t until I re-discovered young-adult fiction (after reading The Hunger Games) and switched to writing young-adult that the themes and stories I cared about began to flow.

    2. I see young adult stories as ones that follow teen protagonists personally (without the aid of adults) solving internal/external conflicts that are thematically related to crossing the threshold of adulthood and that generally have a sense of immediacy and take place over a short period of time (e.g. not from age 13 to 16).

    But commence discussion of rule-breakers. 🙂

    • Martha- I hadn’t decided what my second book would be out of that stack after “Feathered” so I’ll go with “Wintergirls”. Thanks:) I really like what you say about what makes it YA. I never noticed that before but I will watch for that as I continue to read. And it makes sense. We have a picture book author in my writer’s group and I learned from her that the child in the story has to solve the problem. Makes sense that the same would apply to YA.

  2. 1. I naturally did go toward the genre I read…mystery/suspense. I have written two adult novels but have been thinking of two YA novels that have been rolling around in my head.

    2. Mmmm…I have to agree with the definition that Martha gave.

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