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The Craft > Need help identifying genre

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message 1: by P.J. (new)

P.J. Lazos (goodreadscompjlazos) | 15 comments I'm have the same dilemma, Lauren. Dark themes, and characters that span the ages from 10- 22, and that's just one half of the story. There's a whole other plot that only has adult characters. Do you take the strongest character and then categorize the entire novel based upon that character or do you go with the overall feel of the book, and what if "overall" is really for any age. Help!


message 2: by Christine (new)

Christine Hayton (ccmhayton) P.J. - Books need to be categorized based on readers, not fictional characters. YA should not include detailed sexual activity and readers top out at 18. The NA category goes to the 18-24 crowd.

Lauren - Your last paragraph definitely puts your book in the NA category.

IMHO Both of you are trying to categorize based on characters instead of target readers.


message 3: by Luna (new)

Luna Claire (lunasaintclaire) | 58 comments Lauren wrote: "Hi everyone.
So I'm getting close to self publishing my debut story which I originally called a YA Dark Fiction.
For a moment, I worried that it would fall under erotica because there is some 'sex..."


I agree with Christine who posted above. This is the Wiki page for New Adult and I think it really covers it. The protagonists in NA are themselves generally over 18. But Christine is correct genre classification is to the readership. With sex, drugs, suicide etc being in the NA category. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New-adu...


message 4: by Mellie (new)

Mellie (mellie42) | 618 comments Lauren wrote: "Hi everyone.
So I'm getting close to self publishing my debut story which I originally called a YA Dark Fiction.
For a moment, I worried that it would fall under erotica because there is some 'sex..."


Well first up there's no such thing as "dark fiction". If it's a novel it is by definition "fiction". Do you mean "dark fantasy"?

The YA/NA distinction is based on age of the characters and then predominant themes in your book. It has nothing to do with if it has sex or not. It's a common fallacy among authors who don't read many YA books that they think if it has sex it's not YA. There are plenty of YA novels with sex in them, it all depends on the journey the particular character is taking. Also, YA is an age group, within that classification there is the full range of genres and in terms of tone, they range from sweet to very dark.

You are also confusing sex and erotica. Again they are 2 different things. Lots of books have sex, that doesn't make them erotica.

NA is (at the moment) a very defined segment. NA = contemporary romance and usually of a high heat level. Readers of NA have very specific expectations. You need to do your research but from what you have said, it certainly doesn't sound like NA.

What are your comp titles? What books have you read that are similar? You need to look at the market and see how other similar novels are categorised. Then you need to ask yourself for that particular genre, have I met the tropes and reader expectations?


message 5: by Mellie (last edited Mar 04, 2016 12:34PM) (new)

Mellie (mellie42) | 618 comments Luna wrote: "Lauren wrote: "But Christine is correct genre classification is to the readership. With sex, drugs, suicide etc being in the NA category. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New-adu... "

No. You guys have it wrong. There is an age classification (MG/YA/NA/Adult) and then there is genre, which tells you the type of book. Eg: romance, fantasy, historical, thriller.

The age classification is the target audience. YA readers are typically teens. But again it has nothing to do with the book containing sex or drugs. Many YA books contain sex and drugs, it is afterall something that many teens deal with in real life.

Please don't rely on a wiki article to make a decision about the publishing industry. Shocking as it sounds, wiki isn't the font of all knowledge and in this particular instance, is years out of date on many aspects of NA.


message 6: by P.J. (new)

P.J. Lazos (goodreadscompjlazos) | 15 comments Christine wrote: "P.J. - Books need to be categorized based on readers, not fictional characters. YA should not include detailed sexual activity and readers top out at 18. The NA category goes to the 18-24 crowd.

L..."

No real sex in mine so I guess I'm going YA. Thanks, Christine!


message 7: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Franks (cynfranks) | 22 comments A.W. wrote: "Lauren wrote: "Hi everyone.
So I'm getting close to self publishing my debut story which I originally called a YA Dark Fiction.
For a moment, I worried that it would fall under erotica because the..."

Oh, I disagree.

YA does not have sex scenes. They may talk about sex and it may be implied that characters have sex, but there are not graphic sex scenes in YA novels. I read a lot of them and I write young adult.

From both descriptions above, both books seem to fall into the New Adult category. Don't worry about the sub-catagory to much, well except for the designation of Fantasy or Realistic.

Your agent will know best how to sell the novel. If you are self-publishing, well, good luck.


message 8: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Franks (cynfranks) | 22 comments The best source for questions like this is Writer's Digest. They regularly do articles on this topic.


message 9: by Mellie (last edited Mar 24, 2016 05:22PM) (new)

Mellie (mellie42) | 618 comments Cynthia wrote: "YA does not have sex scenes. ."


Then you need to read more widely. *Some* YA novels most certainly contain sex scenes, because (and here's the shocker) teens have sex. Does all YA contain sex? Or course not. And of those that do, it's certainly not dealt with the same way as sex scenes in NA for example, but there are YA novels where the characters have sex. And its the messy, awkward, sometimes not quite right sex that you would expect from early sexual encounters.

Also keep in mind it depends on the particular novel and if the sex is relevant to the storyline or the character development. But it's not accurate to say YA never contains sex, or drugs or dark themes. Those are all things teenagers face and there are stellar examples that deal with them in a sensitive fashion.

Here's a listopia with over 700 YA novels with sex scenes. Many of these novels are by agented authors with Big 5 publishers. It would certainly appear that agents and publishers think YA novels can have sex scenes, perhaps you should let them know they are wrong?
https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/7...


message 10: by Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) (last edited Mar 24, 2016 05:58PM) (new)

Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) I agree with A.W. -- YA/NA designations are for intended audience with certain themes/settings (like in a high school) almost screaming YA.

But they're not exactly genres. Categories/sections in retail stores and libraries the same as genres to keep them together just like there's also a children's section, beginning reader's sections ... -- but not a genre.

Sure, goodreads shows it as a genre just like they show "ebooks" "DC comics" "BBA" (badly behaving authors) "Demons " and lots of popular shelf names as genres. But that's just because goodreads crowdsources genre from member shelvings.

With traditional publishing, you're also looking at marketing needs, the YA market. And marketing not just to teens but too parents of teens, libraries and schools who might balk at some sex scenes (many publishers have repackaged decades older backlist books as YA with more appealing to YA covers just because we're free of cintent causing parental objections). YA sells. Getting YA readers and keeping them as they age past Twilight and Harry Potter fandom -- publishers and others definitely do have a category for YA and NA.

But it's not a genre.


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