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Zipotes
03-12-2009, 06:39 PM
I have two versions of my books, the only changes are the ages and related events. Personally, I think they could go either way, older end of YA or adult.
It doesn`t matter to me but I`m not sure which way to query agents. Since I read both myself it`s hard to distinguish between the two. I don`t want to query YA and they think it`s too mature and I don`t want to query adult and they think the characters, etc. are more YA.
Is there any defining factor that seperates the two (I don`t know why my question marks are appearing as today, it`s driving me nuts)

aka eraser
03-12-2009, 07:11 PM
Can't answer your question but perhaps the good folks in our Young Adult forum can.

I'll punt your thread over there to find out.

Kathleen42
03-12-2009, 07:26 PM
Here's the sticky on what constitutes YA: http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=98377

In my opinion it boils down to a combination of the age of your protagonist(s), plot elements (is it something teens will relate better to than adults), and word count.

Zipotes
03-12-2009, 08:11 PM
My pre-teen daughter loves the books which is what first made me wonder what I was writing. But, she is very mature and reads at a higher level than her peers. I have a family member beta my stuff and she thinks the first one should be YA since there's not a lot of sex, etc. in it and it's a first love romance.
The second one is more tricky, it's a paranormal romance but not sure if it's YA.

Kathleen42
03-12-2009, 08:25 PM
I wouldn't say the fact that your preteen daughter loves them necessarily means the books are YA. Some kids just read above their age. I started reading a lot of Stephen King and Dean Koontz when I was 12/13.

First love, however, does sound like a YA element. Have you been reading many YA books? It's never a bad idea to sample a genre.

Zipotes
03-12-2009, 09:12 PM
I like reading YA and Adult myself.
Can a book be YA if the main characters are in their early twenties? This is my biggest obstacle. I'd like to submit as YA, but the characters aren't teenagers.

Shady Lane
03-12-2009, 09:20 PM
it is probably not YA if your characters are in their early twenties.

13-18 is standard. 14-17 is even more standard.

Zipotes
03-12-2009, 09:31 PM
it is probably not YA if your characters are in their early twenties.

13-18 is standard. 14-17 is even more standard.

See that's the part that throws me. In both books the characters are just finishing college or finished (too old) but they are facing YA stuff like first love. Drives me nuts.

Toothpaste
03-12-2009, 10:36 PM
Why not make them just finishing high school? I know that makes a difference especially if your characters have been living on their own in University etc, but that one change totally saved my YA MS. I had the characters in college and I knew it was too old, so then I decided I would make the school a private exclusive boy's school (which has a lot in common with university, structured often a similar way), and put them in their last year. Had to change some things, but it actually worked out better.

In your case instead of dealing with university grads embarking on jobs, have highschool grads dealing with becoming adults.

Only if you want to of course. But if it involves first love, even though I know that I myself didn't experience such a thing in highschool, it is a little more believable if the characters are younger for some reason.

Zipotes
03-12-2009, 10:47 PM
Why not make them just finishing high school? I know that makes a difference especially if your characters have been living on their own in University etc, but that one change totally saved my YA MS. I had the characters in college and I knew it was too old, so then I decided I would make the school a private exclusive boy's school (which has a lot in common with university, structured often a similar way), and put them in their last year. Had to change some things, but it actually worked out better.

In your case instead of dealing with university grads embarking on jobs, have highschool grads dealing with becoming adults.

Only if you want to of course. But if it involves first love, even though I know that I myself didn't experience such a thing in highschool, it is a little more believable if the characters are younger for some reason.

Thanks, this is helpful.
I started with my MC being 22, then changed things up to put her at 18 and kept both versions. Hope that is young enough as YA readers like to 'read up', right.
My WIP might need changing too as the MC is 22 again and I'll have to cut her age down a bit. So maybe a diploma instead of a degree, I don't know.

Kathleen42
03-12-2009, 11:49 PM
Thanks, this is helpful.
I started with my MC being 22, then changed things up to put her at 18 and kept both versions. Hope that is young enough as YA readers like to 'read up', right.
My WIP might need changing too as the MC is 22 again and I'll have to cut her age down a bit. So maybe a diploma instead of a degree, I don't know.

My characters are 18 (just out of high school) and I'm pitching it as YA.

Megs123
03-16-2009, 05:38 PM
Squee!! This makes me feel a lot better about my WIP. It is either YA, or it's middling between YA and Adult, but not quite Adult. The characters are dealing with 'coming of age' and 'discovery of self' issues.

The MC is 18 and at the point where her plans for the future (which did not include college) fell to pieces at the beginning of the book. Her parents have their own deal and ship her over to live with aunt.

Odds are, the plot could work for either side, but I was definitely aiming for the YA crowd when it came to the voice and narration.

I got a little stressed out when two agents pointed out that they prefer high school settings for YA. At least one was quick to add that it depends on the writing too and there are exceptions.

I have more rewriting to do and I could make changes here and there to move the novel over to the adult side in case it would sell better over there. But it's nice to know I'm not alone. :P

Kathleen42
03-16-2009, 07:15 PM
Squee!! This makes me feel a lot better about my WIP. It is either YA, or it's middling between YA and Adult, but not quite Adult. The characters are dealing with 'coming of age' and 'discovery of self' issues.

The MC is 18 and at the point where her plans for the future (which did not include college) fell to pieces at the beginning of the book. Her parents have their own deal and ship her over to live with aunt.

Odds are, the plot could work for either side, but I was definitely aiming for the YA crowd when it came to the voice and narration.

I got a little stressed out when two agents pointed out that they prefer high school settings for YA. At least one was quick to add that it depends on the writing too and there are exceptions.

I have more rewriting to do and I could make changes here and there to move the novel over to the adult side in case it would sell better over there. But it's nice to know I'm not alone. :P

Yay! I'm not the only one! I've actually tried making my mc older but it just doesn't work. The story takes place the fall after graduation and the story (and coming of age elements) peg it squarely as YA.

Elidibus
03-17-2009, 02:33 PM
Just to add a little more here, I've done something similar to what Toothpaste did. At first, my MC was 22 because I needed her to be on her own and know how to shoot a gun, and a few other things. But I heard it wasn't really YA. So, I changed a little bit.

I booted her down to 18. I had her attend school at the church she now works for, thus giving her freedom like I wanted. I made her graduate just a few months prior to the opening of my WIP and had a friend teach her to use a gun while she was growing up. Now all of a sudden, I have an easier time marketing as YA. And nothing changed. Well, actually, because she's a teen and another MC is a teen (13), I got some really cool dialogue about them arguing about the use of guns and age. Pretty neato stuff I think.

Dialogue still stayed the same. It was the same character. Just some background changed. :-)

Zipotes
03-20-2009, 05:16 PM
This is the most difficult thing to figure out - YA/Adult - as it's so bloody undefined.
Figuring this out has been harder than writing the book. I think both my books would be good for older teens/early twenties, but that category doesn't really exist, it just jumps from teen to adult. So, I don't know how to pitch the books.
I've read YA books that seem mature and 20's and 30's like them a lot. Then there are some YA books that are way too lame and childish for me to read past a few pages.

First Book- the youngest I can make the MC is 18 as she needs to be out of high school and have some college. But, she still lives at home and goes through the whole first love thing. She was originally 22, but I lowered her age and events, but worry if it's young enough. But, I'm more confident that I could get away with YA for this one than the second...

Second Book- the MC is currently 22/23 and it's a paranormal novel. She has to be old enough to be alone, far from home for it to work. There is romance, but again, it's the first love type. There is a marriage and also a baby involved later, so not sure if it fits YA. I'm thinking too much about this, seriously. I wish there was a magic answer.

MichelleC
03-20-2009, 11:08 PM
Since I don't know what your first book is about, I'm not sure if what I am going to suggest will work. My son is a junior in high school this year, this summer he will be taking a college class at the local university and next year dual enrolling at the same local university. This would keep your MC young enough for YA, but also give them some college credits.

Good Luck.