Friday, March 26, 2010

The thin line of adulthood

In The Sims 3: you are a teenager for 14 days then you become a Young adult for 21 days, then you are an adult for 21 days before you become an elder. As a teenager you cannot get pregnant, but as a young adult you’re pretty fertile and can keep having babies from young adult to adult.

Okay now really what did my description of The Sims 3 and pregnancy have to do with anything? Well I’ve been thinking a lot about adolescence and adulthood recently. Okay more so since I started trying to write Young Adult novels and finally graduated from the juniors section at the department stores. So my big question is, “Where is the line of young adulthood and adulthood drawn?”

In The Sims 3 it’s by a couple of days (or hours if you are sitting on your couch playing like me). The only thing that really defines the difference between teenagers and adults is the ability to have children and not go to school. In the literary world I really feel like this line is even more discreet. JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer introduced a lot of adults to books that were aimed at a younger audience and could keep mom and teenager both entertained. When I was a teenager/ middle schooler I was actually reading VC Andrews and Charles Dickens and now I read Mandy Hubbard and Meg Cabot, so it was kind of like a role reversal there.

But I really question this line the more I write. Some people say that in Young Adult books there should be sex or profanity. Well let me tell you I read “Forever” by Judy Blume and “Perfect Chemistry” by Simone Elkeles and neither of those books (that are both YA) were nothing short on the sex or swearing. The main difference that I do see in these novels is the age and that’s it. Honestly I think the main character in a Young Adult novel in the book store can be anywhere from twelve to nineteen and be the same book as one written about a fifty year old in the fiction section. Do you agree?

These questions go through my head as I go on my journey from teenager to young adult and as I decide where I want to play in my own role as a writer.

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