QUICK NOTE: Adults in Fiction

In my previous “Top Five Wednesday” post, I mentioned Brandon Sanderson’s lectures on creative fantasy/sci-fi writing. Specifically, I referenced his comments on adult characters in both Middle Grade (MG) and Young Adult (YA) genres.

I figured it was only fair to summarize what it is he says in his lectures, for those who were not quite sure as to what I was getting at.

Within MG novels, adults are either clueless or useless — think the adult figures (perhaps excluding Count Olaf) in Lemony Snicket’s A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS — and, thus, it is up to the child/young protagonist(s) to save the day.

YA takes this a step further and, here, adults are either obstacles or enemies — think just about every YA dystopia ever written — whom often represent the system or established order. Therefore the protagonist(s) must stand in opposition to the adults in order to form a new/better version of their world.

I am summarizing this VERY briefly, but I think it’s important to know tropes like these so that one may more easily recognise them. It is only then that one may take their analysis of literature a step deeper.

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