My name is Summer Lane. I’m a writer by profession and obsession, as evidenced on my blog, Writing Belle http://writingbelle.blogspot.com/ .
If you’re like me, you know that nothing is quite as delicious as a great story. Today I’m representing the group blog NA Alley http://naalley.blogspot.com/ , and I’m here to talk about New Adult, its impact on the world of books and the direction it’s taking both readers and writers.
Just remember one thing: it all starts with a story.
What is New Adult?
“What is New Adult?”
I can’t tell you how many times I have been asked this question over the course of the year. Sure, we’ve all heard of Young Adult, Children, Middle Grade, and Adult. But New Adult? What in the world is that?
New Adult is a unique niche. Unlike Horror or Fantasy, it is not a genre, but a category. A category that can hold any genre within itself. New Adult focuses on protagonists anywhere from 18 through the late 20s. In other words, it’s not quite YA, not quite Adult. It’s in-between, just like we are when we graduate from High School. We struggle to find a job, fall in love, move away from home, and pay income tax. (Yes. Income tax!) New Adult gives a voice to the characters that are too often skipped over in favor of younger or older protagonists. In this case, the age of the character greatly impacts the story. How does the character handle a crisis when he or she is on her own, living in a single bedroom apartment?
New Adult is a new way of telling a story.
How did it New Adult get Started? Where is it going?
I’ll be honest. Until last Winter, I didn’t really know what New Adult was. I had read books with college-age characters but they were either classified as Adult or Young Adult. I was introduced to New Adult through the wonderful world of blogging. In truth, that’s how New Adult really got its start: from one blog to another, spreading the word and popularizing the idea. People love New Adult once they find out about it. Where is it going? On the shelf. You can browse New Adult books on GoodReads, now, and find New Adult books in the Kindle Store on Amazon. NA Alley’s very own Carrie Butler will release a New Adult book, Strength, next year! It’s growing every day.
What is NA Alley?
At the beginning of 2012, seven girls from all over the country got together to form a group blog devoted to shining a light on New Adult. Victoria Smith, Jaycee DeLorenzo, Bailey Kelsey, Carrie Butler, Juliana Haygert, LG Kelso, and myself. The blog is incredibly successful, a testament to the fact that people are excited about New Adult and the places it can take them – and their stories.
What Makes New Adult Unique?
New Adult opens up a whole new world for characters. Think about it: Young Adult characters are usually under the care of a parent (or some form of authority), and most of the action is close to home. Why? Because they can’t drive yet, still live at home, have to go to school every single day, etc. Adult books, on the other hand, usually feature people who have been out in the world for quite some time. Examples include divorcees or young mothers. They’ve seen things, and they’ve matured because of it. But New Adult characters have the absolute freedom of an adult, and usually the naiveté of a teenager. It’s an interesting mix, and allows that youthful character you love to be thrown into a situation that would be impossible for a YA character – like living in an apartment in Venice. It gives books more story possibilities.
Identifying New Adult Novels
Your book just might be New Adult! Is your character 19 to 29? Does he or she struggle with issues that are age-inappropriate for adults, but way over the heads of Young Adult characters? You might find yourself with one leg on a rowboat and the other one on a dock. Don’t worry. Keep your balance. Build a bridge.
Build a bridge and call it New Adult.
- Check out NA Alley http://naalley.blogspot.com/ and join the growing community of New Adult writers, readers and fans! We would love to hear from you!
- Every Thursday night at 9 p.m. EST, join us for #NALitChat on Twitter. We discuss New Adult topics and trade advice about publishing, writing and more. You’re invited!