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Genre help: YA crossover? mainstream?


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#1 fernet

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 05:48 PM

Is a novel that features teenagers considered YA by default?

 

I had no particular intention to write for a YA audience when I started out, but about 2/3 of the book follows two protagonists who are in high school. The other parts deal with the family background of one of the protagonists, so they veer into historical fiction (Spain, 1930s-70s) and are written from the perspective of adult characters -- one in his mid-30s, one in her early 20s. Some family saga, some historical stuff, plenty of teenage drama.

 

Should I just call it mainstream fiction? I have found some references to "YA Crossover" which seems like a handy way to fudge it -- I can imagine YA readers reading it, for sure, but it isn't really tailored to that audience. Length is 100,000 words.

 

 



#2 ale_acri

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 02:51 PM

A work of fiction with YA protagonists does not necessarily put it in the YA genre
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Think of The Place Beyond the Pines that whole beginning section with teenage protagonists. Reminds me of what your doing. That wouldn't be considered YA fiction. I think mainstream fiction would be good way to describe your work.

#3 RG Christmas

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 03:00 PM

Is a novel that features teenagers considered YA by default?

 

I had no particular intention to write for a YA audience when I started out, but about 2/3 of the book follows two protagonists who are in high school. The other parts deal with the family background of one of the protagonists, so they veer into historical fiction (Spain, 1930s-70s) and are written from the perspective of adult characters -- one in his mid-30s, one in her early 20s. Some family saga, some historical stuff, plenty of teenage drama.

 

Should I just call it mainstream fiction? I have found some references to "YA Crossover" which seems like a handy way to fudge it -- I can imagine YA readers reading it, for sure, but it isn't really tailored to that audience. Length is 100,000 words.

I got nervous reading about your book - two protagonists in high school, then historical fiction, but Spain relieved my anxiety.  Those two items sparked my interest immediately and are similar to my 97,000 word novel.  Although, after reading further it appears there is a big difference - thank goodness.  I was especially intrigued with your use of dual protagonists. I was not even sure that using dual protagonists was even an acceptable method of writing, at least not in the beginning.  But is does seem to have its place.. 

 

My story is about 16 year old fraternal twin brothers, Zach and Zane, whom accidentally travel back in time - specifically Benjamin Franklin flying the kite - and through a series of mishaps bring Benjamin and a nemesis forward to current day.  Benjamin learns what electricity has done for todays society, while his nemesis learns of Benjamin's fame and social status and how far it has reached into the future.  This incites him and he decides to steal Benjamin's electrical letters, the kite experiment and his notoriety, leading Benjamin, the two boys and their parents on a journey through time to correct history.

 

I first thought of the novel as a Historical Fiction for adults, but have since been told on multiple occasions that it really fits within the YA, historical, science fiction genre.  YA was not my intention, but I have embraced it and understand that this genre is very popular with adults as well. It sounds like it may be a bonus and cover multiple genres. 

 

Have you put it through an outside source of editing?

 

Keep up the hard work and good luck on your novel.



#4 janeald

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 06:08 PM

This is a difficult one. Since you say 2/3 is from the teenage POV, I might go with YA. I haven't heard of YA Crossover, but from your description, that sounds the most appropriate.

#5 dogsbody

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 02:49 AM

"YA crossover" is not a thing -- crossovers involve genres, not intended audiences. 

 

Lots of books have been written largely with younger, teenage protagonists who then age up for the remainder of the book -- The Notebook, Love in the Time of Cholera, etc -- which were always intended for the adult market.

 

Teen protagonists do not mean YA, but (recent) YA has to have teen protagonists. But if you didn't set out to write YA, which has its own distinct style, I think you're fine being an "adult" book. 



#6 kailam

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 04:13 AM

What dogsbody said. In my current MS, the MC starts out 12 and ends up 22. Like you, I can imagine some YA reading if they choose, but the voice and subject matter mean I've always thought of it as intended for an adult audience.

Do you have any particular themes that you explore? The fact you mention it isn't really tailored to that audience suggests a wider scope than pure teenage drama?






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