Question & AnswersProtagonist Growing older
Stephanie Waters asked 3 years ago

Dear Polly
Please accept my apologies for my second question. I’m trying to determine if my story is YA or Adult. If the protagonist starts off as 18 years old, but grows into her twenties through the story, would this be classed as YA or Adult? My Protagonist is only 18 years old in the story for a very short while. It’s very difficult for me to make her younger due to the time in history I am using.
Thank you for your time.
Kind Regards
Steph

1 Answers
Polly Nolan Staff answered 3 years ago

Dear Steph
From what you say, it would seem to me that your novel is for adults.   Although many adults read YA novels (which is what can cause confusion for writers when thinking about their target audience), the heart of the market is readers who are still at school.  They tend not to be so interested in books where a protagonist is working or at university/college.  Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, but if somebody queries me with a novel in which the protagonist is 18 or older, it tends to be an automatic pass from me, unless I feel the novel is exceptional and would work equally well with a younger hero or heroine.
I’m not sure how many YA novels you’ve read but it might be worthwhile having a look at what is working well in that market.  You will quickly get a sense that way of what is meant by ‘YA’. Reading as widely as you can in the market for which you want to write will also give you context for your own novel and give you a clearer sense of your target audience.
Good luck with it, and thanks for your questions.
Polly