Calling All New Adult (NA) Writers - Opinions Needed

I know some of you - especially the girls over at NA Alley - have gotten into this genre, and I was wondering if any of you could offer Kyra Lennon and I some opinions, please.

As you may - or may not - know, Kyra ans I are currently co-writing a NA romance about best friends in their first acting job out of Uni and the experiences they have.

We recently got onto the subject of sex scenes, and wondered what the precedent for those type of scenes in NA fiction is. Whenever I've written erotic fiction it's been pretty graphic, and purely erotica. I don't think we're 'allowed' to go that far, but we have no real insight into what is accepted. Would it be the same as in romance novels or toned down for NA stories?

Any thoughts, opinions and experiences of writing sex scenes in NA would be most welcome.

Thanks. 

23 comments:

  1. LOL, I just laughed seeing my name next to "erotica" in your tags! :p

    Can't wait to hear some advice from experienced NA writers!

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    1. *giggles* You're very erotic! ;)

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  2. Sorry, no help here. I struggled just to do a kiss in my last book.

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    1. LOL See I have trouble toning it down! ;)

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  3. I think it all depends on what the tone of your story is. Obviously you can get away with a bit more than in YA, but personally I wouldn't go as far as romance unless that is the tone of your story. I think I prefer it, when I'm reading, to have a detailed build up but then let it drift off. If that's any help lol.

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    1. A lot of the story is romance driven (probably should have mentioned that) and deals with how the two girls interact with the guys they meet at their job.

      Good advice, I think if you build it up enough, readers can probably imagine the rest themselves.

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  4. Ooh, I love this question! *limbers up* The answer to your question is there are no rules, lol. But seriously though it all depends on if you want crossover potential. If you want readers 15 and up to read it, it can't be graphic, but it can still be there. It's really all about the wording and you can go as far as you want really. You can "close the door" and fade to black or you can go all the way through the deed to the morning after. It's just all about descriptions. If you want to crossover there are certain words you would stay away from that you won't see in erotica or romance novels. It's more leaving things to the imagination and not stating every little part or graphic words. With NA you can put in as much or as little as you want. It's all about how it's described and who you are targeting. I use books such as Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire and Thoughtless for inspiration for the type of smexy I describe. They "go all the way" but the erotic words aren't there. I hope that helps! Pick up those reads and you can get a pretty good idea of one angle of how to do it. I feel those books are 16 and up. Also, Fifty Shades of Grey I would consider is NA erotica. The main character is in college, but the sex is described in a way that is WAY different than regular erotic. Example "He touched me there" True story that line is there :D It's all about the way it's described!

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    1. Thanks for the advice, it's really helpful. I think perhaps rather than describing the deed in detail, and what is going where, it's the feelings said deed are invoking. Am I understanding that right?

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  5. Because it's totally not my style to write sex scenes, I plan on doing a "fade to black" on those type of scenes in my NA titles. Easier, leaves the reader with their imagination, and I don't have to come up with 45 synonyms for "thrust" :)

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    1. That made me laugh out loud! :D

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    2. Yeah, it made me laugh too. Fade to black can be good sometimes, as it's so hard to get erotica wrong.

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  6. I think NA has a lot of crossover reading from YA readers, too, so you DO get younger teens reading it...therefore I'm with Victoria on this one! However, there are TONS of YA novels that are unbelievably graphic (I can't believe they're even labeled 13 and up), but I personally think that's crazy for that age group....but for NA, I'd just keep in mind that younger readers cross over all the time, and many NA readers are fresh out of High School and stuff. So I'd go for the "fade to black" stuff, lol.

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    1. Thanks for the advice, you made some good points that I'll keep in mind. I'm not sure about the fade to black, but I don't think anything I write will be graphic.

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  7. Hey, Clare! I’d say add as little or as much detail as you want (ditto Victoria’s comment), just make sure you show a change in the characters’ relationship afterward. The only “no-no” is gratuitous sex that doesn’t move the plot/characters forward. :)

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    1. That's excellent advice. I think any scene - sex or not - need a purpose either by advancing the plot or developing characters.

      Thanks for commenting.

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  8. I don't see why it shouldn't be there. Aren't there some YA books with sex scenes in them?

    Whatever you choose to do about the sex, there will be readers on board.

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  9. Oh Clare, great question. I think I have to agree with Victoria here. Most kids read up and I always try to keep that in mind, without compromising my story line.

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    1. Thanks Jay! Kids reading up is certainly something to keep in mind, especially because books don't have age ratings like movies and video games do.

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  10. I don't write NA, but as some others have been saying, you still get a lot of younger readers with it. I think you can go to a certain point and fade to black/just say it happened, give the emotional response afterwards. It would probably depend on the publisher too. If you have a certain publisher in mind, you could check other NA books they have put out.

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    1. Thanks for the input Christine. I think if it ever gets that far we'll fade to black, just to be safe. :D

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Thank you for taking the time to read this entry, and comment. I really appreciate it.