Are you thinking about branching out when it comes to your writing?
NaNoWriMo, or the upcoming new year is the perfect time to start something new. What better way to diversify your writing than to branch out into YA?
YA is a booming sector for writers, and it’s here to stay. But before you begin penning that awesome teen book that’s been bouncing around your brain, make sure you understand the market.
Here are three things you should know about YALit:
1. Not all readers are teens
The statistics vary, depending on who you ask, but the bottom line might surprise you: the majority of YA readers are not actually teens. Adults make over half of all YA book purchases We can debate the why (better stories perhaps, a way to relive the teen years, or more compelling writing), but for you as a writer it’s mostly important because you should know who your reader and buyer is. If you are already writing for adults, perhaps in romance, mystery, or science fiction, branching out to YA is a logical way to go—and a great way to expand your work.
So how is YA different, if so many adults are reading it? Often, YA has a strong coming-of-age element—this makes logical sense of course, since a lot of big life changes happen when you’re a teen. The writing is more concise, and often pushes boundaries. Writing YA can be a lot of fun.
2. You can write in any genre you want
YA is its own genre, but has secondary genre classification like fiction written for adults. So, if you’re a romance writer, why not write a YA romance to diversify? Because YA is its own genre, it also lends itself to blending other genres. Mix sci-fi with romance, or mystery with fantasy—why not? Feel free to think outside the box, as long as your protagonist is a teen. Anything goes in YA, which makes it a lot of fun to write.
3. Think shorter, sharper, fresher
YA is generally shorter, usually between 50-70k words for novel length works. This can be a great benefit if you are in need of something new and fresh to write, but maybe have existing series books that you need to keep up with. Generally, the plot is more focused in YA, and the story is more to the point. In fact, writing YA may even improve your other writing.
Before you take the plunge and get started on your YA novel project, make sure you read some YA first. That way you can get an idea if this genre works for you (and it might spark some ideas). Consider writing a few YA short stories to dip your toe in the YA waters. Check out YA publishers and other YA writers—maybe ask a YA writer friend if they have any tips.
Most of all, have some fun writing in a new segment of the book market! It’s cool over here on the YA side.
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About Double Vision:
In the trilogy opener, twelve-year-old Lincoln Baker finds himself in a world of trouble! First, Linc’s seemingly harmless prank on a school field trip ends in expulsion and a lawsuit. Then two mysterious figures from a secret government agency called Pandora show up at Linc’s house with a proposition for him.
Turns out Linc looks exactly like one of Pandora’s top kid agents, Benjamin Green, who vanished while on a critical spy mission in Paris. If Linc agrees to take his place, they’ll get him back in school and make that costly lawsuit disappear.
But the mission is a lot more complicated than it seems. A highly valuable copy of the Mona Lisa has gone missing and now Linc must make sure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Too bad Linc isn’t a black belt math genius who can run a four-minute mile like his double, Ben, because he’ll need those skills to make it out alive…