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College-age protagonists in everyday settings, falling in love. NA Contemporary Romance is quirky, funny, awkward, dark, gritty, real and everything in between. Every topic under the sun is up for grabs: military matters, drinking, pregnancy, marriage, drug abuse, sexual assault, first jobs, first time away from home, etc.
Pros/Cons of Writing NA Contemporary Romance:
- It’s crazy popular (right now). NA Contemporary Romance is huge right now, which is great because there’s plenty of reference and interest in the genre. But it also has a downside, mentioned below.
- YA energy with more mature NA themes. This is something I love about NA in general (not just Contemporary Romance)—the energy and raw quality often seen in YA novels is still present in NA, but now there are more mature themes and characters. As they say, “old enough to know better, but too young to care.” And it’s awesome.
- It’s fun. NA Contemporary Romance is a really fun space for writers. There’s tons of room for experimentation and so much potential for some really great variety.
- It’s crazy popular right now. As great as it is, this also makes life a little more difficult for a writer trying to get published, both because your book has to be awesome to stand out among the crowd and because, as it is with trends, this is a trend. I don’t know what will be next for New Adult, no one does, but every bubble eventually bursts.
- Certain areas are over-saturated. This is pretty inevitable considering how popular NA Contemporary Romance has gotten. There’s definitely overlap with many of the plots, but to me, this is just a challenge to push the boundaries. There have been a lot of stories told, true, but there’s so much room for stories that haven’t been told and twists that haven’t been explored.
- Stigma. Unfortunately, there are still people out there who believe NA is just sexed-up YA. I’ve already written about why this isn’t true, but the stigma, while not as bad as it used to be, is still there.
As I’ve said before and will say again: you must read what you’re writing. So if you’re writing (or thinking about writing) NA Contemporary Romance, here are some great recs, all of which I’ve read and enjoyed:
- Only the Good Die Young by K.K. Hendin
- The Sound of Us (Radio Hearts series) by Ashley Poston
- Easy (Contours of the Heart series) by Tammara Webber
- Faking It (Losing It series) by Cora Carmack
- Best Kind of Broken (Finding Fate series) by Chelsea Fine
- What is New Adult? by the awesome people at NA Alley
- Young Adult vs. New Adult: What’s the Difference? by me. :)
- YA Common Clichés series: YA Romance by S.E. Sinkhorn on Maybe Genius. (Yes, this is for YA, but the clichés are definitely present in NA romance too).
Do you enjoy reading or writing NA Contemporary Romance? Share your experience!
Thinking about writing NA Contemporary Romance? Writer @Ava_Jae shares some tips, recommendations and more. (Click to tweet)
Do you write NA Contemporary Romance? Share your experience at @Ava_Jae’s So You Want to Write series. (Click to tweet)