Coming of age in the 20-teens…the new adult genre is for you!
A while back I wrote about the New Adult genre and the various elements or characteristics that make this unique genre for many. I used my New Adult Romance, “Life’s What Happens” and as reminder here are the highlights.
New Adult fiction is still about the obvious –
• Boys and girls transforming into men and women, ages 21 to 23 years old
• College life
• Drugs, sex and rock and roll
• Consequences of making one decision over another
And here’s the highlights of how “Life’s What Happens” fits the NA criteria:
• College life – Life’s What Happens is told in flashback and the flashback is 100% the senior year for nine fraternity brothers and their friends. It’s all college all the time.
• Moving out of your parents’ house and living alone for the first time – Most of the characters in the Life’s What Happens story live on campus or in town and not at home and all for the first time. What’s interesting is the character arc of those that maintain a weekend tie to their families and those that are immersed into the on-campus life.
• First jobs – By senior year they have studied and majored in the classes necessary for their first real job as an adult. This criteria is part of the angst that some of the characters go through. What happens if you’re not allowed to start your career? What will you do about it?
• Deciding who you want to be, career-wise, and in general. Identity issues. Existential issues. – By senior year they have made these decisions and are actively trying to make their decisions come true.
• First serious relationships, finding love – Anyone who has gone through college knows that it was very rare that anyone retained any opposite sex relationships by the time they reached their senior year. In Life’s What Happens one of the nine fraternity brothers set out in their senior year to accomplish this.
• Sex – It’s less important that it be a “first time” as it is in YA. But the character should still be figuring stuff out. Since our readers can watch R rated movies, we can also be a little more explicit here without as much controversy. – Because this is all about New Adults in 1969 and 1970 and despite the publicity or history of the sex in the sixties, sex then was different than sex in the 21st century especially compared to the beliefs and actions of the millennial generation, the target market to a degree of the New Adult genre.
• Experimentation – Sex, drugs, alcohol. Of course, not all new adults engage in experimentation, but the phrase, “I experimented with “x” in college,” is a phrase for a reason. – Drugs were relatively segregated to some of the class of 1970 but wine, beer and hard liquor were center stage. Even states were confused back then with the application of blue laws and 3.2 beer. Fake IDs were a cottage industry for one purpose and that wasn’t to outsmart and outwit the TSA.
• Isolation – Living alone for the first time can be difficult – Most of the characters in Life’s What Happens lived in the fraternity house where living there was more difficult to living alone.
• Single life – New adults often do not have life partners and families yet, so their main relationships may be with friends and boyfriends/girlfriends. – Many stories centered around the characters living their life with their brothers and girlfriends on campus and no longer at home with family.
• A struggle to “find yourself” – This was the mantra of the 1960’s. No further comment needed. Yes there is actually. The major plot point in the book is what happens when everyone finally is on the path to fining themselves and someone totally blocks the path.
• Change – Moving out, going to college, finding a job…it’s a lot of transition. – Triple check and then add the draft road block thrown at them with a last minute Thanksgiving Eve congressional vote. You never can say enough about Nixon.
• Money challenges – Goes without saying. In some cases in the story a temporary shortage of money and the decisions made can lead to a life time change in goals.
You can read the excerpts of this book on my blog and acquire the book on Amazon at http://astore.amazon.com/nightwriter93-20 and check out the book’s blurb in detail on http://www.nightwriter93.com
This fall, a my New Adult Romantic series, Scandals, comes out. It takes place in the Live Music Capital Of The World, Austin, Texas. Austin’s unofficial motto, Keep Austin Weird, makes an excellent background to the stories. This is the story about five people, three girls, two guys, ages 18 to 24 living in five different cities in the Western US. At the start of the book they know nothing of the others but soon find out that have not only the connection of a lifetime but they have a reason to team u and survive issues about their love life’s, money, health, career, education…sounds like a great New Adult novel.
What’s really sweet about writing this series is that it builds on physical and emotional attraction probably a dozen romance books I’ve written before they were called new adult books and provides a story line that allows me to bring in my favorite part, suspense. If you like romance, suspense, living the life of the rich and famous and sharing the angst of growing up and coming of age in the 20-teens …this will be for you.
Here’s the cover for Life’s What Happens and the unofficial cover reveal for Scandals book #1…