Young Adult or New Adult
Most of my writing gets tagged as Young Adult, and I suppose I mostly had teenagers in mind when I started out at least. But most of the main characters are in their early twenties, so maybe it’s New Adult? Except there is Tenley who’s eleven, so maybe she drags the average back into the Young Adult range.
I don’t think there is a New Adult catergory on Amazon (at least not last time I looked), and anyway aren’t most main characters in stories in their twenties anyway? Come to think of it I don’t know. I might have to look into that.
I think the major difference between young adult and new adult (from what I’ve read) is the content of the stories as well as the age of the characters. So an 18yo protagonist could be considered young adult or new adult depending on the amount of sexuality (usually) present in the story. Young adult, since it’s marketed for teens, has less sexual content than new adult, which explores it a little more deeply. I’m sure drug/alcohol use and violence plays a role as well.
If you find anything, let me know!
Well I’ve looked around, and starting on Wikipedia, it says:
Many themes covered in young adult fiction such as identity, sexuality,
depression, suicide, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, familial struggles,
bullying are also covered in new adult fiction, but the various issues that are
dealt with in the category hold it separate. Some common examples of
issues include first jobs, starting college, wedding engagements and
marriage, starting new families, friendships post-high school, military
enlistment, financial independence, living away from home for the first
time, empowerment, loss of innocence, and fear of failure.
But on sex inparticular:
Since new adult fiction tackles issues such as sex and sexuality and
many of the categories’ successful titles deal with those same issues
the category itself and the single issue of sex have been stated as
synonymous, and even been called over-sexualized versions of young adult fiction. Both readers and authors of the category combat the claim by stating
that the category deals with the exploration of a character’s life, and that sex is not ubiquitous in new adult titles.
For me, I tend not to write about sex and romance very much, at least not so far. Jen lives in her own world insulated from most of those issues, although Kaya is going through a phase of trying to leave her teenage self behind and figure out how to be a responsible adult and Sayuri has mentioned being under pressure to start a family (something I will explore in more detail, if not in the story I’m currently writing then in another – I have ideas). So I’m not really much closer to figuring out which category I belong in (mainly because of the lack of sexual content in my current writing). Guess I’ll stick with Young Adult for now. Although the Wikipedia page does also say:
YA does not usually include characters over age 18 or in college, but
these characters are featured in new adult books. New adult can best be
described as the age category after young adult.