Thursday, April 29, 2010

If it walks, talks, and acts like a duck ... is it?

My current WIP is actually an older WIP that I'm trying to convert from women's fiction to YA. Voice-wise, it's always belonged in YA. And I'm totally loving the changes.

But here's the deal: I have 2 sisters as narrators. Originally, they were 22 and 25. Now, they're 17-18 and 20-21.

It feels like YA. It sounds like YA. It walks, talks, and acts like YA. But, well, can it really be YA when only one of my 2 protagonists is a teen?

What do you think? Be honest. I'd rather not look like an asshat when I query the thing.


storyqueen said...

I actually have no clue what the cut off is....but I am pretty sure you'd be safe if the narrators were 16 and 18 maybe....

But rules are only there until someone comes along and writes something wonderful that breaks them.

Gor for it!


MeganRebekah said...

My thoughts (for what they're worth):

I learned over at AbsoluteWrite that there is always one MAIN main character. Even if there are multiple POVs or multiple MCs or multiple plotlines, one character should be a teeny, tiny bit above the rest.

If your teen POV is the MAIN main character, I'd think you're okay.

Well that, and if the plot itself is relatable to teens. If the story revolves around the sisters getting jobs and husbands, it probably would work :)

(and I have two POVs as well - a 17yo girl and a fortyish man. And it's definitely YA)

Aubrie said...

If the teen character is the main character, then you're all set. I have a YA epic fantasy and some POV's are told through older woman characters. They are not the main characters, though. The main characters are teens.

Tere Kirkland said...

I agree with what everyone else said.

But yeah. I feel ya. I've got a contemp. fantasy wip with a 19 year old MC, and three other characters who are 20-22. I never wanted to market it as YA, but it is a maturation story. Luckily, I think the genre will help it work.

What ever happened to "early adult"? Is that ever going to be a viable genre?

Elana Johnson said...

I think, in this case, since it's not the teen's mother narrating that you'd be okay in the YA genre.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Go with your feelings here. They won't betray you. Roland

Lisa and Laura said...

I think you'd be okay--upper YA, right? And I think more and more college kids (and adults *ahem*) are reading YA these days. They'd probably appreciate the older ages.

Theresa Milstein said...

I agree with everyone else. When manuscripts get into murky territory, it makes it difficult. Once, I had that with a MG/YA hybrid.

Angela said...

It's tough to say without reading, but if a teen gets the most airtime, I think you're okay. I've read lots of teen books where the main character is a teen but has a college aged cohort that is a big part of the story, too.

Maybe for clues, look at the internal conflict. Is it more cenetered around teenage needs/wants/problems, or not?

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Who do you want to read it? 16-18 year olds? I think that's what you have to think about then decide the ages of the characters. Kids and teens like to read about their ages or older, usually.