YA Author Dalya Moon discusses Why the Young at Heart Love Reading YA (and gives YA authors a few helpful tips!)

It is with great pleasure that I introduce a great friend of mine, YA author Dalya Moon.  Dalya has written Charlie Woodchuck is a Minor Niner and her latest release is Practice Cake.  Today Dalya discusses why adults love to read YA.  As an adult who loves YA, I can honestly say, she’s hit the nail on the head.  She also leaves us YA writers with some helpful tips to bring along with us as we write that YA novel. 
Welcome Dalya, and thanks for coming today!

It’s not just Twilight!  More and more adults are diving into YA (Young Adult) fiction.  When I was a kid, I’d borrow my mom’s sci-fi novels, but nowadays, the moms are borrowing from the kids.

1. Diversity.  After graduation from high school, our lives branch out.  Some go to college, some don’t.  We branch off further with career choices, marriage, children, and cats or dogs or both or maybe snakes.  The people we surround ourselves with become more and more homogeneous as we age.  But, back in high school, future brain surgeons and future fashion designers all shared the same sweaty gym change rooms.  Drama!

YA writer’s tip: Be sure to throw your young characters together with some people they would not choose to socialize with.  The more diverse, the better.  One of my favorite TV shows, Community, does just this.

2. First love.  First kiss.  I don’t think this requires further explanation!

YA writer’s tip: How many firsts does your main character get to experience?  How can you amplify the experience further?

3. More story per page.  The average length of a YA book is about 75% that of books marketed to adults.  People of all ages can enjoy a book that can be read over just a few days.  Devouring a book in a single sitting is exhilarating!

YA writer’s tip: Keep it moving and cut the backstory.

4. Escape from grown-up worries.  Teen protagonists don’t typically worry about corporate restructuring, mortgages, and poopy diapers.  Sure, they have to save the world and stuff, but defusing bombs won’t remind the reader of their laundry that needs folding.

YA writer’s tip: If your characters use the word boring to describe something they’re doing in the book, consider changing or cutting the scene.  If the protagonist is bored, we’re bored.  We’re often reading to escape boredom, so don’t drag it in.

5. YA books are hot hot hot.  Since Harry Potter made reading kids’ books cool, YA books have been topping the bestseller charts.  Most of us prefer to read great books, whether they’re popular or not, but being popular sure doesn’t hurt!  The only thing more fun that reading a book is discussing it with other people who’ve read the same book.  When I near the end of a book, I race to finish it, so I can log on to Goodreads.com and see what other people are saying.

YA writer’s tip: Books can take years to get from idea to print, so writing for trends may not be wise.  However, if you write about things you are passionate about, chances are other people will also care. The trends in settings may come and go, but stories about love, loss, friendship, and identity will always be on-trend.

Dalya Moon writes novels that are called “sweet” and “light-hearted.”  She may have to one day murder someone (on the page) to be taken seriously, but for now she’s happy to not be taken seriously at all.  She is the author of Charlie Woodchuck is a Minor Niner and Practice Cake, which are both available on Amazon and Smashwords.  www.dalyamoon.com

12 thoughts on “YA Author Dalya Moon discusses Why the Young at Heart Love Reading YA (and gives YA authors a few helpful tips!)

  1. Pingback: Links to my guest posts on other blogs | Tamara's Little Writing Corner

  2. Pingback: Guest post – 5 Reasons Adults Love YA + 5 Writing Tips « D A L Y A   M O O N

  3. Excellent article and tips. I love writing and reading YA for the reasons you posted. I write characters I care about and then I take them and put them in the most exciting circumstances I would never want to be in.


  4. I don’t usually read much YA, I confess, but I totally connected with the idea of more story per page and having the common ground of adolescence to connect with in YA books. Thanks to Dalya and Emerald!


    1. Thanks for stopping by, Laura! I think some of these tips can cross over into more adult fiction as well. Glad you liked the post. It’s been great having Dalya on my blog. Her post was fun to read and post for all you great bloggers!


  5. Thanks everyone for your comments! To be really scientific, I should probably write some books with adults as protagonists and see how that goes. Ah, if only there were more hours in the day. 🙂


  6. Your writing tips are excellent, especially the last one about being too trendy. How many future teens, now in fourth grade, will catch a reference to a currently popular “indie” label grunge band five or six years from now? Or understand the significance of “Kristen” wearing Brand X clothing or shoes to the prom? Thanks for a great post, Dalya.


  7. Good advice in general, I would say. I agree with staying away from the trends. I was reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and it gives the exact specs of all the computers. Which is tedious to begin with, but it also shows up immediately how old the book was, since “top of the line” has moved a lot in the last few years.

    Oh, and escape from grown-up worries. That’s an attraction of other genres, too. If you’re going on a quest for a magical artifact, or fighting a zombie horde, or solving a locked-room murder, you’re also probably not fretting about laundry or bills or the morning commute to work.

    Now, if I could just get the hang of #3… 🙂


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