Read Books By AWers!

Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

editing for authors ad

A publisher or agency using Google ads to solicit your novel probably isn't anyone you want to write for.


Go Back   Absolute Write Water Cooler > General Writing Interest > Young Adult
Register FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-19-2012, 08:28 AM   #1
rwm4768
practical experience, FTW
 
rwm4768's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Missouri
Posts: 11,511
rwm4768 is better than ice cream with hot fudgerwm4768 is better than ice cream with hot fudgerwm4768 is better than ice cream with hot fudgerwm4768 is better than ice cream with hot fudgerwm4768 is better than ice cream with hot fudgerwm4768 is better than ice cream with hot fudgerwm4768 is better than ice cream with hot fudge
Is my fantasy novel actually YA?

I've been getting my query for White Fire critiqued recently in Query Letter Hell. A lot of people have commented that it seems YA even though I don't mention character ages.

I can see where they're getting this from, but it's also a multiple point of view novel. My male main character is 18. My female main character is 16. But the other two viewpoint characters, who do not get mentioned in the query, are 25 and 30.

That's why I have trouble thinking of it as YA. Yes, most of the book focuses on the teenage characters, but I'm just not sure. I'm looking for some input. Is it YA or not? Personally, I don't think it is. I've read a lot of adult fantasy with one or more teenage character points of view.
__________________
My writing blog: Ryan Mueller's Writing (updated 9/19)
Writing Advice
The Fantasy Reading List

WIP:
Empire of Chains (Epic Fantasy): 158K Revising
Sunweaver (Epic Fantasy): 105K Revising
rwm4768 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2012, 08:36 AM   #2
WriterWho
Edit . . . Edit . . . Edit . . .
 
WriterWho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Follow the ruby slippers
Posts: 5,645
WriterWho is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsWriterWho is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsWriterWho is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsWriterWho is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsWriterWho is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsWriterWho is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsWriterWho is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsWriterWho is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsWriterWho is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsWriterWho is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsWriterWho is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
What about new adult?
WriterWho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2012, 08:38 AM   #3
WillSauger
The Crazy Man in the Sun. Feel me.
 
WillSauger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 5,043
WillSauger is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsWillSauger is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsWillSauger is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsWillSauger is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsWillSauger is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsWillSauger is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsWillSauger is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsWillSauger is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsWillSauger is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsWillSauger is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsWillSauger is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
I think it's because you've used "Princess" in the query letter.

I would bill it as a normal Epic Fantasy novel. A young character/narrator doesn't automatically make it a YA.
__________________
Don't Fear Failure.

"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn" -- Alvin Toffler.

"The heights of great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night" -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
WillSauger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2012, 03:56 PM   #4
KateSmash
[Insert something witty here]
 
KateSmash's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,210
KateSmash leaves trails of profuse coolnessKateSmash leaves trails of profuse coolnessKateSmash leaves trails of profuse coolnessKateSmash leaves trails of profuse coolnessKateSmash leaves trails of profuse coolness
It depends. (OMG, if I had a nickel for every time I say this in a post ...)

Even with multiple POVs (which are totally kosher in YA), there's still going to be one or two main main characters. I get from your OP that these would likely be the teen characters since your query focuses on them. Do they get more "screen-time" than the adult POVs? So that opens another level of questioning.

How much of the plot revolves around common YA themes? Coming of age, figuring out your identity, love, loss, etc, etc and are those themes told in a particularly teen way? If yes, it might be a YA. If not so much, then it would probably be straight epic fantasy.

The only way to really know for sure is to A) read a few YA epic fantasies (I suggest Rae Carson and/or Tamora Pierce) to see how you compare or B) get yourself a fast reading beta familiar with the YA and adult fantasy markets that can do a read through and give you a firm opinion.
KateSmash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2012, 04:22 PM   #5
waylander
Who's going for a beer?
 
waylander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: London, UK
Posts: 5,962
waylander is better than ice cream with hot fudgewaylander is better than ice cream with hot fudgewaylander is better than ice cream with hot fudgewaylander is better than ice cream with hot fudgewaylander is better than ice cream with hot fudgewaylander is better than ice cream with hot fudgewaylander is better than ice cream with hot fudge
Try querying it as YA and let the agents decide if it is.
__________________
Behind the smile, there's danger and a promise to be told.
waylander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2012, 04:25 AM   #6
Sage
Hero, villain, angel, demon
AW Moderator
 
Sage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the TARDIS, next stop: Everywhere
Posts: 50,869
Sage is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSage is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSage is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSage is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSage is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSage is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSage is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSage is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSage is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSage is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSage is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
I would guess that it's probably not, but your query might make it seem that way, which is something to work on. I just read an agent tweeting about a book she thought was YA even though it was never queried as such, and she rejected it because it didn't fit the YA market, and then found out it wasn't meant to be YA. But she had thought it was when she requested and read it. Something led her to believe it would be and it affected her reading.
__________________


Love Sucks - Musa Publishing, B&N, Amazon
"Fireflies" - Absolute Visions


A Paranormal Bromance - 65K-word YA contemp fantasy
Waiting on betas



Taylor-Made, version 4: Sent to editor!
Sage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2012, 04:39 AM   #7
itsmary
have faith, restart
 
itsmary's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 271
itsmary is on a distinguished road
In general, there are a few major criteria that classify novels as YA:

1. The protagonist is between the ages of 12 and 18. (Though 12 is bordering on middle grade and 18 is bordering on new adult/adult. Most stories that have an MC who is college age or beyond fall outside the realm of YA.)
2. The protagonist goes through some sort of "coming of age" experience as the story unfolds. (Not an adult protagonist looking back on his/her childhood.) The protagonist and his/her peers have to solve major problems with minimal or no help from adults or other authority figures.
3. The story is shorter, pacing is quicker, and the story moves along faster than an adult novel.

Of course, I'm not the ultimate authority on what is or isn't YA. Only you can decide what to market your book as. But these are things I always ask myself when I'm not sure if I should classify a book as YA.
itsmary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2012, 05:18 AM   #8
Slyest Fox
practical experience, FTW
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Sometimes LA, Mosttimes Chicago.
Posts: 224
Slyest Fox is on a distinguished road
It often strikes me that the division between YA and New Adult seems arbitrary. Especially the 18 cut-off point. Because, really, I think 16 and 17 year olds (which strike me as the most common ages for YA protagonists) have a lot more in common with 18 and 19 year olds than they do 13-year-olds. And 18 to 19 year olds generally have a lot more in common with 16 and 17 year olds than they do with people who are like 25.

Some of this is just my own frustrations because I consider my book YA, but my two central YA characters are 18 and in the summer before college, and I have a lot of people asking me whether that even makes the book YA anymore - and it really should, in my opinion.
__________________
Working on...
Haven
: YA Fantasy, 107K and counting... on hold.
Zephyr: YA Fantasy, 20K and counting...
Slyest Fox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2012, 05:58 AM   #9
W.L. Marks
practical experience, FTW
 
W.L. Marks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 127
W.L. Marks is on a distinguished road
If you feel that it's for adults, it probably is. I mean, look at an author like Mercedes Lackey...tons of books about teens and young teens, even with coming of age elements, but they're almost always marketed toward adults. I really think there's a tone to (most!) YA books that distinguish them from adult fantasies...pinning that tone down will have to be the work of people wiser than me though!

Review of a Lackey Book
W.L. Marks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2013, 09:04 PM   #10
DecemberDay
New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Beijing, China
Posts: 9
DecemberDay is on a distinguished road
Yes, I used to feel weird about this with my own WIP. I didn't begin it as YA, but because the protagonist is a teenager it seemed impossible not to make it YA. (It turned out to be the right choice so far).
But I feel it would be really hard being in a teenagers head and writing from their POV and not be YA, unless done very cleverly, or as a memoir with adult commentary put in.
I would be interested in learning about exceptions to this.

I suppose Gone With the Wind focuses a great deal on a girl in her teens and isn't YA, but even then she is seen as an adult in her time and culture... so I don't know.
DecemberDay is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Custom Search

If this site is helpful to you,
Please consider a voluntary subscription to defray ongoing expenses.

Buy Scrivener 2 for Mac OS X (Regular Licence)


All times are GMT +4.5. The time now is 06:55 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.