Adult Fiction Conventions Vs. Indie Book and Teen Book Conventions

I’m getting real tired of readers today thinking the way teen books, and e-books by the majority of indie-authors, are correct for adult reading. Seriously people, don’t assume that crap is correct and then read something actually written correctly, with correct conventions, grammar, and spelling, and think it is jacked up. Open up a print book and compare, most indie-authors are trying to write correctly but according to the way major publishing companies edit manuscripts, these e-books are all messed up, and teen books fall in a completely different set of conventional standards since young readers don’t have the ability to read more complex text yet. These indie and teen authors are flooding the market with these books and in turn are changing the way adult readers think books should be written.


People would think this is correct – 

I heard a knock at the door so I walked to it and opened it to see my friend Kyle waiting for me.



There was a knock at the door, drawing my attention away from my readings. Standing up, I went to it to discover my friend Kyle waiting on the other side.

I see this too often. The top one would be fine for a teen book, like maybe 5th grade reading, but the bottom is how adult books should sound.

Here is an example of dialogue done wrong and right:

Wrong:  “No,” I shoved him back a few steps, “I’m not going with you!”

Right:  “No” —my hands hit his chest, shoving him back a few feet— “I’m not going with you!”

In that example, nearly ALL indie authors don’t know how to use the em dashes to add action to dialogue. 

People, before you leave reviews, or blog about books, be sure you know if they are written correctly or not. Don’t read tons of indie books that are not edited by CMS or teen books and then read a correctly formatted adult book and think it is jacked up. 

As an indie author, I don’t quibble too much when I read bad conventions in indie books, I get it, I used to do the same thing. If you read my early books they are poorly edited–something I’m in the process of fixing. But I won’t leave a review saying it is correct, I will leave high stars, kind remarks to the story, and add, “With some editing this would be perfect.” That is it, that way others know it is a good story, but not correctly edited. It would be nice if all e-book readers and adults who read teen books knew the difference when they read a correctly formatted adult book so that they too could leave educated reviews and suggestions for books.


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