View Full Version : YA Epic Fantasy-Seasons of Destiny

06-22-2007, 07:54 PM
Hey all, the names Ebenstone and I'm a bit of a lurker but I want to get some general feedback from some of you to see if I am barking up the wrong tree with what I've got cooking. I need to tell you two things to start so this makes sense.

First, I am a RABID fan of George RR Martin, he of A Song of Ice and Fire, and in no small way he is the inspiration behind much of my writing and in particular the series I have named Seasons of Destiny. When explaining the series, I basically say it is ASOIAF for Teens and YAs. I have patterned it very much in the same manner as ASOIAF and had some die hard fans read the outline so it didn't sound like I had crossed over from allusion to plagarism. I didn't.

Now I've completed the first draft of the first book Winter's Discord, which clocked in at just shy of 99k and am presently 30k of an intended 110k of book 2: Spring's Tempest. I start rewrites on Winter beginning July 1 and am really excited about changes I intend to make. That being said, on Sunday I was at my wife's aunt with no computer and I hadn't written since Friday because of a grad party then Father's Day, so I scrounged up some paper and started freehanding what was bouncing about. I was then barraged with question about what I was writing (I had about 3 hand written pages), which ranged from impressed (the 16 yo neighbor girl raved and raved about how cool she thought that was) to impassive (one aunt kind of curled her lips at me kind of funny). Now when pressed about what the books were about, I froze. To me this is the hardest part of the process. How can I describe the book in a few simple phrases?

Now to her credit, the 16yo still thought it was cool even though I explained it was epic fantasy and that it was the story of a family during a great civil war. (She's on the ARC list and free copy list now too!) However, I am barking up the wrong tree by calling it a YA book? All four books will each be between 90-120k but I still call them books for teens.

But I'm still struggling with the hook. Seasons of Destiny is the story of a family (the noble Granges and thier allies) who gets caught up in events much bigger than them and how they cope with thier united destinies as the possible saviors of all they know and love set against the backdrop of a realtively warm southern continent embroiled in a conflict that dates back centuries.

Too cliched? Does it sound interesting? What else do I need? Want to read it? Has this happened to anyone else when you were found out to be a writer?

06-23-2007, 02:54 AM
Ack! You let someone read a rough! I used to do that until I read "On Writing" By Stephen King. He states that its good to get through the rough, and the second draft before sharing it with your closest fan. (for him it was his wife) Then after the third draft, he would share it with a few close friends. Since following that advice, I've been able to complete my fictional quests without any of those nagging insecurities generated from the input of others. Go with the flow that you gained from your favorite writers, use their tools to help you create your own style, and finish your 1st before you second guess it. Its your baby. The story sounds very interesting, and I will be looking forward to reading the series when it hits the bookshelves. (whether it is in YA or not)
Enjoy the process.
Hope that helps

10-06-2007, 11:34 PM
There's generally not a lot of difference between YA and adult. I think the story sounds good but you should probably think about whether it would be YA or adult not so seriousy as some adults do read YA (mainly authors though I think) and tons of teens read adult.

I think the subject's fine for either. Marcus Sedgwick (not sure if that's spelled right) just released a book about the russian revolution so that might give you an idea about the age bracket.

10-06-2007, 11:45 PM
I'm going to disagree :) and say that there can be a vast difference in YA and adult literature. Perhaps slightly less in fantasy, but perhaps not.

Your differences are going to be in the intangibles. Voice, style, tone, and theme.

The question is probably going to be how many of your main characters, assuming your pov changes like Mr. Martens does, are actual teenagers?

If I were you, I would polish the first book and get some beta readers and start subbing it. Many of the agents who rep YA fantasy also rep adult fantasy. They'll be able to tell you how to position it. I think that it might be easier to sell a YA epic fantasy that adult, but I know very little about this.

Carrie R.
10-07-2007, 07:06 PM
Also, if you're book straddles the line between YA and adult, your agent might market it to both houses -- that's what is happening with my ms (I wrote it as YA). Same thing happened with a friend -- her book is set during college and her agent marketed the book to both YA and adult and she had offers from both (eventually sold at auction to adult house).

10-09-2007, 08:01 PM
Wow, I forgot I posted this! Thanks for the input. I'm in the process of revision now and hope to re-beta read it again in November/December with the hopes of subbing it perhaps in January.

See my quandry with the YA/Adult thing is that many of the POVs in epic fantasies, adult or otherwise, seems to be teens, so I wasn't sure if I was writing with the proper tone...hense the reason I'm reading a few teen/YA fantasies now to get the story right...