Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Why New-Adult Fiction?

I had a few choices to make when I was writing Task Force: Gaea (TFG, henceforth)—I could tailor it to the Young Adult audience, or I could write to the type of reader I am. I have a pretty strong vocabulary and use what I would consider a sophisticated sentence structure. I'm not afraid to use polysyllabic words (see what I did there?) when I know a simpler word would do. If I happen to like the word 'tenebrous' to the word 'dark', then so be it. I like the mouth-feel of the word 'tenebrous'. It almost feels like 'tentacle' and wraps itself around your tongue.

I know that plenty of YA readers enjoyed books like Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, and I did, too. The thing of it is, I didn't want to add to what I perceive is a saturated market. I wanted my story (and, now, stories) to reach readers whose vocabulary and appreciation of some more mature themes would resonate. As I have said in the past, I write to tell stories, not to retire on my royalties. If people enjoy reading my novel(s), then that's all that matters.

As a teacher, I see nothing wrong with challenging my readers with a few vocabulary words or perhaps some mythological references that require Google. Having active readers means people pay attention to the story; I don't want to write books that people can skim and enjoy as much as if they read it in depth. I leave "gems" throughout the novel so some people will pick up on them and say to themselves, "Clever, Mr. Berger, very clever." Well, at least I try. For those whose knowledge of Greek mythology is extensive, some of the gems shine a bit brighter. I have learned a few lessons, though, and I'll be including a pronunciation key and glossary (of a sort) in the sequel, Memory's Curse.

Growing as a writer over the years, I've learned a bit about audience, and even just teaching English has taught me much as well. If you have an audience in mind, and the right people read your work, then they'll hopefully pass it on to like-minded readers. I just want people in the 18 - 30+ bracket to be able to enjoy a Greek mythology fantasy as much as the YA readers do.

I would love to know what you think. If you have comments or questions about this, please post them below!
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