Writing YA Versus Adult Fiction – Three Hot Tips! by Talia Hunter
Confession time. When it comes to reading, I’m an unashamed genre slut. I’ll quite happily jump into bed with a hot and steamy romance, and later you might find me cozying up to an epic fantasy, or switching to a fast-paced young adult novel to get my heart pumping.
But one of the first things people told me when I started writing my own books, was not to write in different genres. Apparently it’s hard to connect with readers if you write different kinds of stories for different audiences.
So what did I do? Yup, exactly what I shouldn’t! I’ve published two books for young adults - an adventure story and a comedy - and my first adult romance, Her Hot Number, has just been released.
So what’s the difference between writing for different audiences? Here are three hot tips:
1. Keep Your Foot On The Gas Pedal.
If you’re writing for teens, keep in mind that you’re competing with games, movies, and other media, so whatever you write needs to cut through that noise to hold your readers’ attention. Make sure your story maintains a good pace and doesn’t sag. Many YA novels are written in first person, and some in present tense to give them a greater sense of immediacy. It’s an excellent challenge for any writer!
If you’re writing adult romance, you can ease up on the gas pedal a little as long as you still keep your story moving. The important thing is to dig in deep to your characters emotions, laying out what makes them tick. Take your characters (and your readers) on a deep emotional journey, travelling through hope and anticipation, through despair, to intense joy… and of course, love. The more profound the journey is for your characters, the better for your readers.
2. Let Your Characters Speak.
If you’re worried about what kind of language is appropriate for your readers, don’t! No matter who you’re writing for, you should always stay true to the language your point-of-view character would use. If your adult novel protagonist is uneducated, write simply. If your young adult protagonist is highly intelligent, go ahead and use complex words and sentences. If you remember that your characters, not your audience, should define your language, you’ll avoid any temptation to talk down to your readers. Concentrate on telling the story truthfully, exactly as your point-of-view character would tell it, and it will have the right voice.
3. Book Monogamy Is Boring!
My final tip is one you’ve probably heard before, as it’s the single most important thing any writer can do. Get promiscuous with books and read widely—and especially read in whatever genre you want to write in.
Even if you don’t want to write for teens, I challenge you to make your next read a YA novel. Personally I think some of today’s most exciting writing is for young adults, with authors like John Green, Holly Black, Maggie Stiefvater, Laini Taylor, and Rainbow Rowell some of my favorites. Give them a try, and you might just find a new love!
And if you’re looking for a hot adult romance that will take you on an emotional journey, check out Her Hot Number. It’s out now from Entangled Publishing.
Talia Hunter likes writing about smart, funny women, and the men who set their hearts on fire. Her motto is, If you aren’t laughing, you aren’t doing it right.
A formerly committed city dweller, she’s recently moved to the country. She’s put in a vege garden, learned how to make bread, and is now the proud owner of a pair of gumboots. These days she spends time Googling important questions such as how to cope with a runaway zucchini crop (make fritters), and narrowing down exactly what kind of giant hairy spider might be eyeballing her from the washing tub.
To learn more about Talia, visit www.taliahunter.com or connect with her on social media.
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