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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » From MG to Adult?

   
Author Topic: From MG to Adult?
enigmaticuser
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Well, I asked earlier about YA vs. MG, but I just launched New Arbor Day via Smashwords (strange feelings involved). And it asks you "does this contain adult content?"

And I was like . . .

See, if I go by does it contain violence, profanity, or nudity, I would have to say yes. Which is what I originally clicked, later people couldn't find it and I noticed that the adult filter is blocking or not blocking. So I turned mine off and suddenly my book is surrounded by . . . well . . . books I do not want it surrounded by. Let's just say when I say adult, I mean mature, I don't mean "The Half Moon Virgin."

I mean by that standard Ender's Game is adult, but having read it I just consider it "not a kid's book". So how do you know? Is it just the aim you're going for. So is just me or when they say adult despite the listed criteria, they actually mean "heavy, gratuitious, this IS THE POINT of the story"?

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extrinsic
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A simple filter from a writer's perspective for what constitutes middle grade is a first foray into self-identity formation away from persistent parental guardianship. Good and evil, right and wrong are black and white, but over the course of a saga shade into gray areas that a protagonist must negotiate.

Young adult is about forging self-identity independent from parentally imprinted identity, and more shading into gray.

Early adult, self-identity reinfocement and coping with adulthood's responsibilties and privileges, more shading into gray.

And so on into middle adulthood and late adulthood.

What any given moral arbiter determines is too much edginess is subjective. Only matters for the long run that middle graders don't have the same degree of access to forbidden fruits that young adults do.

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LDWriter2
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As you probably have figured out on smashwords "adult" means erotica so I would think there it would be okay to say no even if it has nudity as you may have done already.

As to what makes up MG, YA etc. I have read books marked MG that have adult situations in it. In one the MC is 12 or 14 years old and before he gets involved with the adventure he finds out that his mother is having an affair with his dad's secretary so he has to deal with that as he heads off to another dimension to fight for a new friend he accidently discovers. Some YA have a lot of violence. But the style is different in both cases.

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Pyre Dynasty
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Yep, by "Adult content" it means X-rated. There are plenty of things you wouldn't let kids read, but you wouldn't get arrested for it if you did.

I had to read Of Mice and Men in high school, I haven't read your book but I can bet you that it has much more profanity, violence, and sex in it than your book does.

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micmcd
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I had that issue with smashwords at first. I switched my stuff to be non-adult, despite one villainous character shouting the f-word. They really need a movie rating system instead of just adult/nonadult.
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Merlion-Emrys
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Just my thoughts.

Personally, if you're self/e publishing I see no reason to be worried about "YA" or "MG" since they are, as near as I can tell, demographic tags and marketing tools that have little or no story/artistic meaning (despite the concepts eloquently laid out by extrinsic which I feel could be part of any work, whether aimed at a specific age or not, and certainly regardless of whether it falls into "YA" or "MG" as currently conceived of.)

"Growing up" is a life long process. Many of the things we consider "adult" in the current model of 18+=adult is stuff that is part of peoples lives since way before that age, and a story about growing up, about finding identity and all the other stuff that's currently labeled "MG" could easily contain many things that many people would consider "adult" especially depending on the time period of the piece, the location and the socio-economic status of the characters.

All of the systems we currently use to "rate" material need to be drastically overhauled. "Adult", especially in the context of the publishing industry where "MG" and "YA" are such a big deal, is far to ambiguous and even movie rating systems...personally, I feel instead of ratings all such things should be based on listing and disclosure, as different people have different sensitivities and criteria of acceptability.

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