Audiences are pretty important. Even when we write for ourselves, we write for an audience. So let’s dig into various audiences on occasion. What are our connotations with YA fiction and its young adult audience?
This may be one of the broadest categories out there. What are our connotations with that audience? What tips or principles can we follow?
- Is age a primary consideration or content rating (like PG-13)?
- What assumptions do we have about “young adults” as far as language is concerned?
- As far as topics are concerned?
- How can we appear both timely and universal? (Relevant may the term, despite the baggage it carries for some. I wrote about that some here.)
Ultimately, the Young Adult Audience is just like every other audience. They’re sinners. There is stuff they want to hear and stuff they don’t want to hear. They have struggles. They are forming ideas while regurgitating others.
They’re not necessarily as well-practiced at reading as those heading down library aisles of classical literature for thick dusty tomes. Their vocabularies may be different—although given how quickly slang becomes dated, I fail to see why writers would willingly embrace it unless for an actual period piece.
Writers have a lot to balance. The considerations can be a burden. But I hope other aspects can keep us spry, nimble in knowledge and know-how, but vulnerable enough to bear up the humanity of it. Putting your shoulder to humane cultural work isn’t always easy, but maybe it’s best when it is hard and humbling!
Anyway, if anyone has experience with writing YA fiction, I’d welcome a guest post on it. I have a few more thoughts in mind about it, but I’ll intersperse other topics into additional posts.