Right now I am furiously working on my first real (yay!) book.
However...I am starting to become paranoid that it won't be classified as YA.
The story starts when the characters are 6 and ends when they are 26. The majority of the story happens between the ages of 11 and 18. My intention was always to write it for the YA market and I honestly believe it will appeal to teens (I kind of am one :D).
When I get to the stage where I start looking for agents (it seems so far away but we must prepare mustn't we?) will I meet resistance?
The material is definetly mature but I don't think it is quite at the adult level. It wouldn't be the end of the world if I ended up having to sell it as adult but...I live and breath YA! Its my world!
What do you guys think?
My contemporary historical Bildungsroman, set from 1959-74, sounds similar to yours. My main character goes from age 5 to 20, and ends a married woman and mother. I think I got a lot of rejections because I was misclassifying it as YA in a lot of queries. I've shared a number of excerpts on my blog for the weekly Sweet Saturday Samples bloghop I take part in, and I've gotten a fair number of comments from people who like the way I write my younger characters. Have you shared any of your story with other people to get a feel for whether it sounds more like a typical YA voice or like a more adult story that just happens to have younger characters?
Hey Anna! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
I haven't shared it with anyone yet. Mostly because its not finished but also because I don't want to do so until it is the best I can make it.
I am a more at peace about this issue since I wrote this a couple weeks ago. Either it ends up sounding typical YA or it doesn't. I am also a bit disenchanted with what is being published as YA these days. Why aren't characters who are 18 YA? Or 20? Or 24? As a college student I feel a bit under represented :D
So I guess I just have my fingers cross that when the story is at the right place that the market will be more accepting of the higher age group. Oh, and the lower age group. Though God forbid people want to categorize it as "literary fiction" uh that just sounds so...boring! lol
Hhmm its hard to say at this point. I am hoping that in its final product the novel will be 30% 6-11 yrs old, 50%11-18 and 20% 18-26.
The more I consider it I think I might end it at 21 yrs old. I can accomplish what I need in that time frame (with some rearranging and some cuts of course :) while also keeping it in the top YA range. Although there is New Adult right? Maybe that would be more accurate?
Anna above is right though that it might end having a more adult voice. I guess I will have to see!