Thoughts About New Adult Fiction

(I think this is definitely a first, where I purposely retract something I previously said on my blog.  However, in my mind, I consider that to be quite alright and normal, for that just shows I’m growing and evolving as a person and a thinker.)

About a year ago, I made my argument regarding how reading too much young adult fiction post-adolescence can be worrisome, in response to an article author John Green had written for the Cosmopolitan.  Ultimately, it led to me saying that my first novel, A Moment’s Worth, would considerably be a young adult novel despite it all, even though none of the characters are within range of being in high school, let alone the themes and subject matter as well.  Not to mention that since I had said that the youngest appropriate age to read my book would be 16- an opinion I still stick by to this day- it’s since bothered me why I called my novel YA in the first place.

It’s with that that I’d like to take this time and retract that statement, which also brings me to my subject for this week’s post.  While A Moment’s Worth may infuse contemporary, fantasy, and science fiction into one cohesive piece, age range-wise, I do not consider it to be a young adult novel.  If anything, I would consider A Moment’s Worth to be a new adult novel.

It’s not a term that’s as commonly used as young adult fiction, but it’s nonetheless one that’s a genre in development.  The term “new adult fiction” was first used in 2009 when St. Martin’s Press made a call for entry for fiction that’s for a slightly older audience than the young adult readership.  Common subjects that are often covered in this genre- some of which may be recognizable had you read A Moment’s Worth– include going to university, first jobs, living away from home for the first time, romantic relationships as an adult, etc.

There’s a reason why new adult fiction isn’t as commonly used compared to young adult fiction.  A lot of it is due to criticism.  It’s considered a “hybrid genre” by the publishing industry, where such authors are being split amongst the children’s and adult’s divisions, as described by the New York Times.  It’s with that that authors of the genre have taken matters into their own hands and, primarily within the last four years, there’s been a rise in the genre via self-publishing (*wink wink*).

In 2012, when The Guardian opened up the platform to gather people’s opinions about whether or not they’d read new adult fiction, there was one comment that caught my eye that I completely agree with.  In a nutshell, this individual spoke of how the time period between being over 18 and under 30 is one that is not often covered in fiction; as if life suddenly stops during that otherwise crucial transitional period.  You’re no longer a teen, but you’re not quite an adult who’s got their sh** together either.  She spoke of how there needs be a diverse range of books that can explore that time period with the proper respect and attention it deserves.

And I couldn’t agree with her more on that.  I too have noticed a lack of characters in fiction who are well within my age range, which was one of the reasons why I gave my characters the ages they are in my first novel.  Some might argue that it’s all a marketing ploy.  Some might say that there is no audience for such works of fiction.  But as many can see, especially as my generation enters this crossover period of our lives, one can beg to differ.  Besides, already it was William Shakespeare who originally created the term “adolescence” in the first place; as a way to acknowledge the time period where you’re no longer a child but not an adult either.  Who’s to say that there isn’t such a phase for the stage post-adolescence?

And while there’s plenty of self-published works that abide by making the new adult fiction genre more prominent than it would be otherwise, that’s not to say that it’s completely left out of the equation in mainstream novels as well.  A prominent example that comes to my mind is the works of Haruki Murakami, where about half of his works focus on that time period in one’s life; such as Norwegian Wood, After Dark, and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage to name a few.

Even beyond the format of books, I’m starting to see a wider representation of my age demographic in other storytelling mediums as well.  Like I had said before, the works of Wong Fu Productions does well with telling stories during this crossover time period.  Another example: “Legend of Korra.”  Notice how they aged up the characters in that series, in contrast to the characters in “Avatar: The Last Airbender.”  This was likely a way of appealing to the viewers who grew up with the original series.  The film “Big Hero 6” can attest as an example as well, where despite the protagonist being a 14-year-old genius, look at who his friends are; college students.

There is a time and a place now for new adult fiction, and it’s growing prominently in presence in books, TV, and movies.  I’m happy to see my age demographic no longer being dismissed for being one not worth exploring in-depth and with profound thought; and I’m happy to be one of the ones to also have the reigns on that too.

A Moment’s Worth is now available through the following venues: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, iTunesPlease leave a review if you can, for my goal is to get a total of at least 20 reviews on all venues (so far, I’ve gotten 5 reviews so I’m already a quarter of a way to my goal).

Check out its Goodreads page, which includes two trivia quizzes for all who’ve completed reading it already.

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One thought on “Thoughts About New Adult Fiction

  1. I love it! I believe that I write new young adult finction, my characters grow up in a love story together from 5 to age 35, so focused right on the center of this age group. Great post, keep up the good work!

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