Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Why I Haven't Signed A New Adult Novel Yet

As we know, New Adult became a hot topic last year. Everybody really wanted to jump into the game with these stories. Tales of characters stuck between youth and adulthood. Struggling with the age-old question, "Holy [you know what]! Now what do I do with my life." These are great stories and something that every adult in the world has faced during their life. So, if there is such an abundance of authors trying this genre, why am I still on the quest?

The answer is simple.

The voice of the story is not there.

I have found that so many authors who attempt New Adult struggle for the same reason that authors trying YA and Middle Grade face. They simply do not understand or know this voice. Either they have not been this age for a while, or they aren't "actively" around this age group on a regular basis. This group has a unique
voice and perspective on the world. They see things in a light that no one can see unless he or she is sitting in that same situation.

If you think of the movie REALITY BITES, when it came out, people either liked it or hated it. The reason is they either "got" the voice or they didn't "get" the voice. They had to connect with the characters and their situation.

The problem is that too many authors are trying to duplicate this voice strictly through technique. There is a belief (and I do think this extends to other genres as well) that if you use certain phrases, if you set up the characters in certain situations, you end up with the perfect story. While these elements are certainly a part of the puzzle, it takes a bit more than just following the techniques. In other words, just slipping in phrases such as:

  • "I know, right?"
  • "That totally sucks."
  • "Let me call my BFF."
is not going to get you into the genre.

I see a lot of premises of the story that look great. I have to compliment you authors! You are finding the great stories and the great messages to tell. The problem is the voice and the writing is just falling apart.

I would also add that this is not necessarily something that can be taught. In other words, don't expect to go to a workshop or take a class and learn "how to write" New Adult. It is simply not going to happen. These people will speak of the elements that show up in the story, but you still have to nail the voice.

As for me, I am going to continue to search. I honestly don't know how long this genre is going to last. Personally, I think it is going to disappear before the end of the year for the simple fact that agents and editors just haven't found those amazing voices. Until then. I will keep looking.

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