Monday, May 20, 2013

Some Normal Guidelines While Writing YA

Now, the title of this post might be a bit misleading, because I'm just pointing out some tropes that seem to rule/govern YA writing and also posting about some books that totally break the guidelines. Remember that most great books do break the guidelines, but they generally have some reason to do so.

1. The main character should be a boy. Unless you're writing specifically for girls, this is something that you may have come across/read about somewhere. Girls will read books that have boys as main characters, but not the other way around so much. Of course, The Hunger Games disproves that to some extent, but most people seem to say that if you want to reach a large general audience, you should go for a male main character.

2. People always read up. Remember how old you were when you read a specific book. Generally, you probably don't read about people younger than you. It's generally reading about characters a few years older. While it's true that most people read up, it's not that they won't read down. I read books where the characters are younger than me sometimes. Sure, it doesn't happen usually, but it's not an impossibility.

The main thing to consider while determining your main character's age is that an older age will result in a different tone for the book. Also, people at different ages behave differently.

3. YA books are always thin. Most people would suggest you to that YA books should be between 40-50k words in length, but this rule gets broken so many times that it isn't even necessary for me to put too many exceptions. You'll probably hear of a lot of people who managed to get their books sold to an agent at around 75k words even. Concentrate on your story more than your word count.

Just remember that these are considered rules for a reason. If you have a good reason to, feel free to break them. But if you're trying to change the world of publishing, I would say that you should probably try to get published first, and then write something truly revolutionary. 

No comments:

Post a Comment