Get your terminology straight!
Middle Grade versus Young Adult.
Magical Realism versus Fantasy and Science Fiction.
Don’t make querying an agent more difficult than it already is. Know your genre, and be certain of your age group. It might only help you in the future! So, if you have no idea where to start, this is where:
1. Young Adult VS Middle Grade
Young Adult literature has a much more flexible spectrum than Middle Grade. With it ranging anywhere between the ages of 12 to early 20’s, juvenile fiction captivates an audience of teenagers and – as its name suggests – young adults. Protagonists of Young Adult novels are usually about the age of 18.
Middle Grade on the other hand, is actually aimed at a much smaller variety of ages (it reaching readers between 8 and 12). However, adults may also read this genre – Harry Potter is one example which comes to mind.
Unlike Young Adult, Middle Grade protagonists can’t be any older than at least thirteen years old. And because so many 8 and 9 year-olds read these books, we can’t have high school or college students feature with their complicated lives!
2. Fantasy VS Magical Realism VS Science Fiction
You read it, this one is a triple whammy!
Fantasy is a genre of fiction taking place in made-up world with made-up people and their certain special abilities. Most fantasy novels include magic, supernatural creatures and/or objects and gifts. In some cases even Greek Mythology makes its reveal. The popular series, Percy Jackson comes to mind. (Wonderful novels, if you haven’t read them!) Another example is the Game of Thrones series.
Think of it this way, Fantasy is the occurrence of unexplained things against modern logistics. Anything you might deem impossible and otherwise unexplainable events taking place.
Science Fiction on the other hand, is also a genre concerning the unlikely happenings of the world. The only difference is, this genre revolves more around modernized and/or futuristic technologies and science.
Some of the most popular examples includes novels with a dystopian feel. Think Divergent and Hunger Games. One of my recently reviewed novels, Frankenstein, by Mary Shelly, is also a fantastic example of this genre! If you’re thinking of finding out more about said novel, happily head over to my reviews page!
So, in short, extra-terrestrial life, different universes, time travel . . . if it can be explained in the eyes of scientists, you know you’re on par!
Magical Realism is a concept I myself have been wondering about! It is actually what gave me the idea of this post! In most submission requirements paragraphs, I see agents with an interest in Magical Realism, yet I never really knew what that meant. Magical Realism (also called fabulism, apparently) revolves around a story set in a normal word, with hints of magical elements.
Now, what exactly is defined as hints?
Something happening which is too strange to believe. It might include fables – like red riding hood or beauty and the beast – or miniscule gifts such as telekinesis or the ability to set back time. A fair example of this is something such as If I stay (which I also did a review about if you’d like to check it out). A normal girl in a normal life . . . walking around outside her body.
See, Magical Realism at its best!
Impossible as it might sound, that is all there is to it! I hope this brief, and extremely wordy, post brought your writing terminology up to par! (For now at least!) I also hope I wasn’t the only one wondering about some of these things . . . either way, now I finally know.
And, hopefully, you do to!