Editing YA and Adult Fiction – What’s the Difference?
With a million articles out there about “How to Edit,” some ask what’s the difference between editing YA and adult?
Surprise! There isn’t all that much. Not these days, anyway. Teens aren’t stupid, you know, and they have pretty good BS detectors in their ever-growing minds. Writers and editors need to be privy to that, or they’re going to lose readers and / or respect from readers. That is the last thing any one in the literary world wants!
Don’t get me wrong– there are some differences in editing between the two genres sometimes, but they’re not exactly actual rules.
Though many adult books have more complicated vocabulary and structure, that doesn’t mean that young adult readers can’t understand adult novels. And it’s not always the case anyway. Some adult novels can read easier than young adult novels. Again, it’s all dependent on the author.
Besides vocabulary and structure, vulgarity is generally worse in most adult novels, too. When it comes to young adult, there are some writers that are known for being pretty vulgar, but the general consensus is that young adult books will have cleaner language.
As an aside, I will add that, if you ask my opinion, I’m totally cool with that. As a mom, I feel there is plenty of time for my kiddos to learn and read profanity and sex. Why should it be thrown on them at thirteen years old? There are other ways to be realistic with language and life situations without going “wild.”
Besides all of the above, in all honesty, the rules are the same in editing of any genre. Punctuation works the same. Sentence structure / syntax works the same. Plot structure, spelling, grammar– they’re all of equal importance, no matter the genre.
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Well, besides books for young children, (ahem, like look and find books.) But that’s obvious.