Topic: What is the difference?
What's the difference in novels, YA, Mid-grade, and picture books?
Yes, I left out a couple of categories, but I just wanted to compare these.
Adult novels deal with adult issues, things that are of importance to adults from an adult perspective. And they can be longer. I've read gripping novels which were only about 50K. Almost any reader can finish that in a day, sorta like a beach read. Westerns (one of my favs) can be from under 50K to over 120K and all of them are just as good. I think Louis Lamour books are about 50-60, maybe a bit longer but not by much. Of course Adult novels cover every genre from Happy to Horror, sexy or solemn, and even the romances can be clean and Christian.
YA and New Adult, just touches on the grown up issues, but what is important to young readers isn't so much politics, and terror (Steven King excepted) but relationships and dreams, whether in contemporary form, Sci-fi, or mystery. Of course our amazing members like Susan Stec and Ann Walters have a better handle on YA than I do. These books rarely run over 60K, unless your last name is Collins or something like that.
Mid-grade issues are school yard politics, family, hero quests, and animals for the most part. The interest and topics are deep and wide. We can have talking animals, space travel, adult or child main characters (Magic School Buss, Winnie the Pooh, and Toy Story, etc). These books are long at 45K - and they have pictures at the chapter headings. Most of your animal centered stories are in this age group.
But Picture Books can cover almost anything!
Are they easier to write just because they are shorter? Not a chance. You have much less time (200-500 words) to have a complete plot, well rounded characters which arc, excitement and danger and lessons learned, and a satisfying resolution. Thankfully the setting goes under the responsibility of the artist. And picture book agents and editors are hard to please.
Key to writing a winning picture book? Read about a million of them! Also follow picture book authors and go to conferences and workshops.
Okay, I've done all of that and have yet to sell a book, but hey, that's why I started this group!
Let's write a book!