Monday, 20 April 2015

NEW ADULT - My Opinion

There’s always seems to be some debate raging about New Adult, and seeing as my current Romantic Fantasy is New Adult, I thought I’d add my views on this genre.

For me – the age of the characters immediately plays a part in whether a book should be New Adult or not.  You can’t write about 22 – 25 year olds and try to pass it off as Young Adult—it just won’t work or fit. I also think the topics written about tend to be more adult. You’re dealing with characters that have lived a bit, have experienced many things (even sex) so you’re not necessarily dealing with ’first times’.  
Also, these characters are still learning. They’re not grown ups. They’re stuck in the middle land, and it’s a great, crazy place to be.

It's madness photo loki_madnes.gif

New Adult characters have great back stories, some tragic, many inspiring, but all of them have arrived thrown into the adult world with a thirst for life and a passion for what’s to come. And that’s what really defines them for me--and that’s what makes them New Adult rather than Adult.

Whether these characters are set in school or college, ‘yawn, yawn,’ (Sorry – my personal love/hate with YA and NA) or starting a new job in a new town, or stepping away from the familiarity of home, they all have fantastic opportunities opened up to them.

It’s a fantastic genre to write in, an exciting blank page to throw a rainbow of words at. There are no immediate restrictions, no worries about whether the characters will offend. If it’s New Adult then readers should expect a little more of a rough ride than a book that sits within Young Adult, and potentially even more of a rough ride than within the Adult genre. Where's the fun if you know how to deal sensibly with situations because you've experienced it all as an adult?
‘That’s all fine, Melody,’ you may say. But hear me out, here comes my grumble:

Some people tend to have certain expectations about New Adult, and top of that list seems to be sex. And lots of it. The more the merrier, a sex scene each chapter please, I don't care that they've only just met--please make them have sex! In the car, in the toilets, around the back of the building . . . and so it goes on.

I say 'No!'

Now, I’m not opposed to a bit of horizontal wriggling, and Sachael Desires, my next book in the series does include a sex scene.

But why do people expect it as given, and complain when there's none there? Seems I’m writing in the wrong genre if that’s what I should be writing.

*SIGH* photo epomkx.gif

But, I know I'm not.

I could actually take this further and say that I’m offended by anyone who picks my book up and expects it to have a sex scene in just because it’s New Adult. Do readers expect sex in every adult book they read? Probably not—so why in every New Adult book?

Eye roll *shaking head* photo Judge-Judy-Shake-My-Head-Gif_zps66b02891.gif

When I wrote Sachael Dreams I didn’t set out to NOT write a sex scene, it was always a possibility. But with the way the story progressed, I felt it didn’t warrant one. There’s plenty of unspoken passion, sexual tension and lots of smoochy moments, but the whole of Azariah’s character, his reassurance of not using Estelle to impregnate her, would have been ruined by them having sex.

'You're a prude, Melody.' I hear some of you shout. I can confirm that I am definitely not, I have written words in the past that would set your screen on fire. And I’m certainly not shy about writing sex scenes, but the story HAS to need one, almost demand one for it to work. It shouldn’t be forced or put there just because it’s a New Adult book.
I’m sure Sachael Dreams isn’t the first New Adult book that doesn’t include a sex scene, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.
What do you think? How would you classify New Adult? What do you think sets it apart from Young Adult and Adult? And what do you think about 'expected' sex scenes?
And now, I shall be quiet.
Melody xx

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