1. Phil Partington
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    Phil Partington Member

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    Is my novel YA or Adult (or NA)?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Phil Partington, May 29, 2015.

    I'm having trouble determining my novel WIP's target audience, specially whether it fits better as a YA or Adult novel. I know there are certain things to look for, but it feels like it teeters a little in between, and I even had one established writing friend who claims it was more MG! (I and another established writer/mutual friend think she's nuts). If it teeters, I almost wonder if it's more of a NA, but really have no idea how to go about making this distinction. I know there are articles on the subject, but they're so general.

    Anyone have this problem? Any tips?

    Much appreciated in advance.
     
  2. neuropsychopharm
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    neuropsychopharm Active Member

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    What makes you feel like it's hard to distinguish, specifically? May help. I think the general articles are probably your best bet in helping you decide, honestly, older protag (18+), older themes all would help tilt it toward NA.

    Where I'm confused is why someone would think it would be MG when you can't decide between NA and YA haha.
     
  3. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have this problem in all of my stories.

    My characters are all NA age. But NA is heavily focused around romance, of which there is none in my books. I can't change their age either because it would completely change the story. So I'm sticking with NA and looking to self publish if no traditional publisher will accept the genre.

    Without knowing any information of your story, I can't give you any advice on what to do. Except, don't worry about it. Write what you want to write, and don't change your story into something it isn't just to fit it into an age group. If a publisher picks it up, they'll determine the age range for you. If they don't pick it up, there's always self publish.
     
  4. Phil Partington
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    Phil Partington Member

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    lol Yeah, the MG claim came as a huge shock to me. I think she's dead wrong.

    The challenge is that, the MC is a teenager and faces the not-so-atypical teenage challenge of young love, growing up in a coming-of-age kind of plot, while also dealing with a rebellious nature against her parents (in a fantasy setting). On the other hand, the language and approach, I'm told, tend to be more adult, as are the overarching plotlines (meaning those not dealing with the MC's personal journey but the one the entire fiction world faces)...if that makes sense. It might just be that I need to get better at mastering my voice and bringing them together, but dammit that's hard :).
     
  5. Phil Partington
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    Phil Partington Member

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    I guess my main question is, with this dilemma, what's the best way to pitch it to agents? I suppose that's a hard question to answer, since you're not going off the specifics.
     
  6. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wouldn't worry TOO much about getting the classification wrong when you pitch to agents - if they like the book (and if it's something they think they can sell) they'll want to rep it despite your mis-classification.

    Maybe you could start your queries with agents who represent YA and adult SF/F. Then even if they disagree with your classification, they'll still be interested in the story.
     
  7. Phil Partington
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    Phil Partington Member

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    Thanks, BayView. That's sort of what I was hoping to hear (and kind of figured), that most would look at the story for the story itself and not the classification. I do worry a little with agents that might rep one genre but not the other, though in most of those cases I've heard they'll refer it to a fellow agent that does rep that genre.
     
  8. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think most of the important stuff has been gone over already but one other small thing to remember is that YA and Middle Grade aren't just genres, they're also rating systems for content and reading level. Middle Grade is PG, YA is PG-13, and if it's rated R then it's adult. If there are certain levels of violence, sex, or profanity - it's not YA (at least not unless those things are toned down). And YA should be at a high-schooler's reading level.

    Based on what I've read it doesn't sound like the content stuff is going to be an issue with you - but worth keeping in mind, especially if the characters drop a stray F-bomb or something.
     
  9. Phil Partington
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    Phil Partington Member

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    That's a very good point. In that light, it's definitely not MG (which I pretty much knew. I still have no idea why this author thinks it is--and she's pretty adamant about it. She's the only one, though). There's young love, but no sex or profanity. It's mostly the language and the style, I think, that makes people think adult. Could just be I need to hone my YA voice. Working on that.
     

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