1. Ohlookabunny!
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    Ohlookabunny! New Member

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    Have I picked the right genre?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Ohlookabunny!, Jul 21, 2012.

    My main character just graduated from high school. Most of the other characters are older. Since none of the characters are still in high school, is it wrong to call it young adult? Nothing in the story would be worse than PG-13. But if I start here, what happens when my character grows up?
     
  2. jane elliot
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    jane elliot Member

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    If you'd like it to potentially sell in a young adult market, and if the themes of the novel are appropriate for that market, then I don't think that the characters being a bit older than usual would deter you much. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series is definitely a young adult read, and those characters' storylines move on to college. While audience is an important consideration when marketing any product, especially a book, I wouldn't worry so much about whether the book is "young adult" or not, and just focus on writing a really awesome story that people can learn from and enjoy. And if that awesome story is something that appeals to young adults, even in a new way, then that's great. Of course, reading and researching other young adult books to see what is selling out there is still a good idea.
     
  3. adampjr
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    adampjr Member

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    If it starts as "young adult," and you follow the same character as he/she (English really could use a generic personal 3rd person pronoun) gets older and you keep it at a similar level and PG-13 - it's still the same audience and genre, I think.
     
  4. Vanlande
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    Vanlande Member

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    "They" would've worked fine there, maybe?

    'And you follow the same character as they get older'...

    That being said, the central character doesn't HAVE to be in HS for the book to be a young adult book. It just really has to have subject material that young adults can relate to.
     
  5. kingzilla
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    kingzilla Senior Member

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    Young adult books are all about the characters. If targeted to older teens 16+, its alright. Any younger are no-no's for the type of book you are writing. People my age, (12-15), are all about characters they can care about and relate with. The key word is relate. Can your a fourteen year old girl relate with your main character? How about a fifteen year old boy like myself? Ask these questions and if you decide yes then its about the themes. Are the themes about the character's adolescent problems? Ender's Game is one of my favorite books that mixes adult and YA themes together. If you do that, then even better. Potential YA themes are all about independence and finding the true self. It's rather simple themes, so for me, who is righting a YA/adult book mix, I am using character that kids can care about and relate with and using more adult themes. Having a theme for kids and adults alike is a good idea. My theme is: You have to make sacrifices to do great things. Good for adults and kids. Think about it and decide yourself. Remember that in the end, its all about your writing. Don't do what you think you want, do what you do best. I tried to write Young Adult fiction but my writing was to adultish for it. So I moved up to 14+ books. Good luck.
     
  6. Mark_Archibald
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    Mark_Archibald Active Member

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    I wouldn't sacrifice what your 'dream' book is about to make somebody happy. Is it being banned from schools and library's that you are worried about? Than you would have to weigh what you value more as a writer. Money, or a quality book. Neither of them are the wrong answer.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    YA is not a genre, it's a market segment. But either way, you don't need to label the genere or market until you are looking for publishers for your finished manuscript.
     
  8. adampjr
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    adampjr Member

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    True on the last sentence.

    Regarding "they": I suppose this is a common use, my understanding is that this is incorrect. Hmm, I might have to ask in the grammar forum...
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    as cog noted, 'YA' is not a genre, it's a market...

    and if your mc is a teenager at the beginning and only college age at the end, then i'd say it's definitely aimed at the upper half of the YA market, since the age range for that readership is roughly 13-20...
     
  10. Ohlookabunny!
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    Ohlookabunny! New Member

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    Thanks for all of the feedback! Maybe I should quit overthinking and just write the thing! :) I think, originally, say several years ago (this has been simmering a while), I wasn't thinking YA, but the character was older. She was so much older then, she's younger than that now. ;-). (Sorry, oldies flashback there.) But you know how there are only so many ways that things fit together when you're plotting, and it would make more sense for my character to be 18 in this situation. I guess I'll just write it the way it makes sense and let the marketing guys figure it out.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    'the marketing guys' are not gonna figure it out for you... first of all, to get an agent, you have to know what market you're targeting with the book, so you'll only be querying those agents who handle it... wouldn't make any sense to query an agent who only takes on adult novels, with a YA ms...

    of course, if you're going to self-pub, it won't make much difference...
     

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