YA or not to YA

AnyaKimlin

Confuddled
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Sep 21, 2011
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#21
For me, as a writer and a reader, it has always felt like a frustrating distinction. A good story is a good story and a good character is a good character.

It's a big part of why I don't do much with my work. I'm not good at pigeonholing it. Mayhem became a fantasy because Angus had to listen to a conversation and it seemed a good idea to turn him into a bird. It's not really a YA book even though my protagonist is YA. My protagonists have ranged in age from 17 to 68. I've not approached writing them much differently. I'm currently writing a mystery but I'm not really doing anything differently to how I write my fantasy.
 

sknox

Member and remember
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Mar 25, 2013
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Idaho
#22
I started reading from the public library as a teenager, in the mid-1960s. There was no YA section, but there was Juvenile section. I think before that (pre-WWII?) it was all just Children's Literature. I'm mildly wondering when YA replaced Juvenile, but that's a side-thread.

I'm wondering if there was the same kind of gender bias back when the name was different. Were women pushed to write Juvenile? I do recall a very real split in boys books versus girls books. Hardy Boys versus Nancy Drew, to make an anachronistic example. I suspect most girl book authors were female and most boy book authors were male.

But with SF (fantasy barely existed for me until the later 60s), I saw no such division. There were some SF books for youngsters (Heinlein, mostly), but for the most part I read SF with no awareness at all of a particular work being written to a particular age or gender. To my young eyes (and my old memory), SF was indifferent to such things. It was about stories and ideas. I cannot help feeling the current awareness--even preoccupation--with age and gender is not necessarily an improvement.
 

AnyaKimlin

Confuddled
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Sep 21, 2011
Messages
5,822
Location
North Scotland
#23
I'm wondering if there was the same kind of gender bias back when the name was different. Were women pushed to write Juvenile? I do recall a very real split in boys books versus girls books. Hardy Boys versus Nancy Drew, to make an anachronistic example. I suspect most girl book authors were female and most boy book authors were male.
t.
In the case of your particular example they were both syndicates. Although Franklin W Dixon and Carolyn Keene are male and female names the actual authors seem to have been both male and female with the majority being female.
 

sknox

Member and remember
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Mar 25, 2013
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Idaho
#24
I learned they were not individuals some time ago. Neither was Ellery Queen. Seems to have been a pattern back in the day. WRT to the OP, though, I was wondering if women were pushed toward "juvenile" or if that is a recent phenom, peculiar to this strange YA thing.
 
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