"What is a twentysomething mythology? It's just that there is this passage in your life where you create the person you're going to be. When you're in your teens, you're in a structured environment where they're telling you what to do. When you're in your 30s, you're dealing with the choices that you made. It's when you're in your 20s that you made a lot of really important life decisions. It's when you first learned how to be a grown up. And even if that's not the most torturous thing that's ever happened to you, there's a lot of interesting stories there and a lot of opportunities for fear and things to explore."
Reading this, it struck me that this is what the 'New Adult' market is shooting for. It's a relatively new term in publishing-speak, but one which is rapidly gaining enthusiastic support.
I remember being in my early 20s and feeling frustrated that there were so few novels that featured characters my age, who were exploring the myriad facets of that in-between stage of life. One of my old novels is set among a group of university students, and it explored some of the areas Whedon talks about. Using metaphors of the fantastic, I played with notions of how choices made when we are at that newly-adult stage of our lives can have lasting consequences that can effect even subsequent generations. Maybe I wrote it because I was subconsiously responding to that remembered frustration of the lack of novels that spoke to me as a New Adult,
Returning to Whedon's stated intention to create a mythos, it seems to me all writers are busy inventing our own individual mythos (mythoses? Is that the plural?!) Our stories are created from deeply personal facets of what has shaped, obsessed and informed our life experience. They are filled with metaphor and symbolism that speaks to us, and which we hope will convey our themes and subjects to others. Whatever form or genre of writing we are drawn to work within, that highly individual mythos evolves as our body of work grows, until it becomes as uniquely recognisable as a fingerprint.
**UPDATE** No sooner do I post this than this piece appears on The Writer Unboxed.