Understanding YA, NA and MG – A Writers Bible

(reblogged from Sascha Black)



One of the most salient memories I have from childhood, was the desire to grow up. I was like the opposite of Peter Pan. I couldn’t get old fast enough. Sixteen was this magical creature where suddenly I would be grown up and allowed to do lots of things. I’d be a ‘real’ teenager.
Sixteen came and went, and then eighteen arrived and before I blinked I was twenty-one. By the time I was twenty-five, I realised I’d made a heinous fucking mistake.
Adulthood is the equivalent of being slapped daily with a decomposing Kipper infested with rabies. My life was filled with a suburban nightmare, bills, a work monotony that could make paint drying seem like the Oscars and a side order of fuck my life.
Peter Pan syndrome rapidly kicked in. I wanted to be a child forever. I rebelled against the rules, had a bit of a break down, got very fucking drunk, had my skin inked and then bitch slapped the sense back in.
I had to tell myself: That magical envelope was not going to fly down my chimney and whisk me off to wizarding school, neither would Edward Cullen fall in love with me and make me immortal, and sadly, I had neither angel nor demon blood, so I wasn’t a shadow hunter either.
I spiralled into an intensely primal binge fest of YA fiction and TV series and then I had an epiphany. If I wrote it, I could live it.
But understanding the differences between Middle Grade (MG), Young Adult (YA) and New Adult (NA) fiction is easier said than done.
Now, before you read this, let me make a caveat: I am not a publisher, nor (unfortunately) am I J.K. Rowling. I am just a lowly writer, reader and lover of YA stories.
Some time ago, I promised a two-part series on sex in YA and MG and NA fiction. I will deliver but those posts are still in research. First, I wanted to define the differences.
Way back when I was still in nappies, and drooling over a hot milk and mush, there was only MG and YA fiction. NA fiction is a relatively new appearance. But even my mum knows, if you want a publisher you need to know your market. So understanding what NA is, is vital.
MIDDLE GRADE- Shorter than traditional fiction and ranging somewhere around the 25K – 50K word count.


Like me as a child, reader ages are ALWAYS younger than the protagonist. Kids are idiots. They want to grow up which is what makes pitching the themes and content such a sticky topic.


Read the rest of the post here.