Monday, January 12, 2015

Young Adult

THE SCORE SHEET
~ ALL SPECIFIC SECTIONS

Most of the opinions on judging and interpreting the questions’ intent are my own words. I’ve only been in the business 15 years and have spoken to many authors, gathering information. A lot of the time when a question is asked, I go to authors who publish in that genre for advice. Please use your own expertise and experience, but keep our humble interpretations in mind. Thanks, Angi

~If you have an additional question regarding your specific category, please send it directly to GEcoordinator@ntrwa.org.

~Some of the explanations are the same for general questions which require some expected knowledge of the sub-genre. If you require a more in-depth definition of the genre...please send an email for additional information. Additional resources are being posted this week.

~For your convenience we’ve included a description of each category as described on our FINAL EDITORS page.

The Young Adult category entries were emailed 1-13.

*YOUNG ADULT* 
Novels appropriate for young adult readers. Includes young adult heroes and heroines not exceeding 18 years of age. An example is the 2013 RWA RITA winner: THE FARM by Emily McKay.

Need more about what the trends in YA are? Try Romance University
Or how about Publishers Weekly

SPECIFIC TO THE YOUNG ADULT CATEGORY
Possible 20 point total to award, 5 points per question
        Does the main character face his / her problem in a believable manner?
        Does the author capture the dialogue of a young adult romance?
        Is the main character moving toward discovering who he/she is as a person?
        Are the secondary characters necessary, interesting, and believable?

Breaking Down the Questions
        Does the main character face his / her problem in a believable manner?
Young adult manuscripts encompass a wide range of subjects, tones, and styles. Contemporary to historical paranormal, first person or third person, slow and steady or action-adventure. Anything goes. The goal of any manuscript is to provide an excellent book. Please keep the writing in mind.
        Does the author capture the dialogue of a young adult romance?
Dialogue is an important part of any manuscript. Do teens curse? Yes. Do they use slang? Yes. Do you still want the story to flow? Yes. Finding the perfect balance is difficult. The most important thing about dialogue is to convey information, progress the story, and NOT interrupt the reader. If you’re jarred from the story…you might want to verify why. Is it because you can’t understand? Or was it a good shock? Only you as a reader can decide this answer. I like the Writing YA for Dummies dialogue section: “blurt it out.” As in teens often TALK first and THINK second.
        Is the main character moving toward discovering who he/she is as a person?
 “The elements of storytelling are the same for young adult fiction and adult fiction, but writers of young adult fiction must come at those elements with a wholly different mindset. After all, this category has its own rules, its own quirks, and its own very opinionated audience: teens and tweens.” ~ Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies by Deborah Halverson  The main character must overcome their obstacle.
        Are the secondary characters necessary, interesting, and believable?
As with any length and any sub-genre of romance, the secondary characters must have a purpose in the scene. One point to watch out for is if they’re info-dumping. Now, a second character in the room is the perfect way to give the reader information without the POV character just thinking about it. Dialogue is always better (in my humble opinion). A dialogue (or mental note that the secondary character is talking a lot LOL) gives purpose and makes the character necessary.

If you have specific questions regarding this section, please contact GEcoordinator@ntrwa.org.

Additional help tips for this category may be available through the coordinator or on our blog.

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