Adult Coming of Age Novel

by Betty K

Question: I have been debating the genre breakdown of my historical fiction novel and have come to the conclusion that it may fall into the category of an Adult Coming of Age book.

It actually has two protagonists: the father and his step daughter who is really his actual daughter but she doesn't know that at the beginning. She learns it later in the process of growing up.

The book starts out in his point of view and later goes into her point of view as many things happen to her that cause her to "grow up" quite rapidly. Sometimes it switches back to him. Do you think it may qualify as an Adult Coming of Age?

It is the second novel in a Family Saga series, but this one is mostly about the girl's romance. She is 15 at the beginning of the book and it ends 12 years later.

I hope some of this make sense?

Response Hi Betty,

Could it be an Adult Coming of Age novel? Sure it could. Though it is a little difficult to say since your brief description tells very little about the actual plot. (Of course, I get that the story is probably more character-driven than plot-driven, but still...)

One thing I wonder about is why you begin in the father's point of view. It would be more typical to write a coming of age story in the girl's point of view, establishing in the beginning how she is at odds with or in ignorance of the adult world.

Readers tend to latch onto a character. So once the father is established as the main character, it might be a little disconcerting if he is dropped in favour of the daughter - unless, of course, you have a really good reason and don't mind the distance that creates.

What I wonder is whether the reader who could relate to the 15-year-old girl and her story would be the same reader who would get into the father's story. If not, then you might loose potential young adult readers if you make the beginning all about the father. Similarly, would readers who relate to the father's point of view be disappointed when he turns out to be a minor character?

As always, I'm just speculating here. Obviously I haven't read your manuscript or fully heard the thinking behind it.

You might consider joining a writers' group where you can show the manuscript to some fellow writers and solicit feedback from them, since they may have the time to read it thoroughly and therefore give you a more fair assessment.

Best of luck.

Click here to post comments

Join in and submit your own question/topic! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Character Invite.

search this site the web
search engine by freefind

Celebrating our 2nd year as one of the...

 Step-by-Step Novel Planning Workbook

NEW! Make Money Writing Nonfiction Articles

"I've read more than fifty books on writing, writing novels, etc., but your website has the most useful and practical guidance. Now that I understand how a novel is structured, I will rewrite mine, confident that it will be a more interesting novel." - Lloyd Edwards

"Thanks to your "Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps," I was able to take a story that I simply just fooled around with and went willy nilly all over, into a clearly defined, intriguing battle where two characters fight to keep their relationship intact, and try to find a balance in control of themselves and their lives. Thanks to you, I'm not ashamed of the poor organization of my writing." - Nommanic Ragus

"I am so glad I found your site. It has helped me in so many ways, and has given me more confidence about myself and my work. Thank you for making this valuable resource, for me and my fellow writers. Perhaps you'll hear about me someday...I'll owe it to you." - Ruth, Milton, U.S.A.

"I never knew what to do with all the characters in my head, but since discovering Dramatica I am writing again in my spare time. Thank you for making this available. Yes, it is a bit complex, and it does take time, but I love it because it works." - Colin Shoeman

"I came across your website by chance. It is a plethora of knowledge, written in a simplistic way to help aspiring writers. I truly appreciate all of the information you have provided to help me successfully (relative term) write my novel. Thank you very much!" - Leo T. Rollins

"I can honestly say that this is the first website that is really helpful. You manage to answer complex questions in relatively short articles and with really intelligent answers. Thank you for taking the time to write these articles and sharing them so generously." - Chrystelle Nash

"...had no idea that a simple click would give me such a wealth of valuable information. The site not only offered extremely clear and helpful instructions but was a very enjoyable read as well. The education from your wonderful site has made me a better writer and your words have inspired me to get back to work on my novel. I wish to give you a heartfelt thanks for How to Write a Book Now, sir." -- Mike Chiero