More About YA Genre

by Betty K

Question: I was wondering if my book would fit this genre. It's about a sixteen-year-old girl in the 1600s who gets into trouble (no gratuitous sex scenes) and has to marry an older man. The book tells her story from that age up til about 26 when she finally marries the man of her dreams and the father of her child.

Would that be too old a plot for YA?

Answer: Hi Betty. Your story actually sounds more like an adult book than YA (though it's a little bit borderline).

I say this because YA books generally deal with issues of concern to teenagers and are told from the perspective of teenagers or in some cases unmarried young adults. The protagonists are generally those for whom sex and relationships are largely unexplored territory.

Women who are married with children are not generally YA protagonists, nor are adults looking back on what it was like to be a teenager.

Yet I presume your heroine is telling her story as a 26-year-old woman on her second marriage who has an eight-year-old child, if not additional children. Her perspective would seem to be that of an adult.

Don't get me wrong, it still could be a great book, but probably for adult readers.

If you are set on writing YA, you might need to compress the timeline a little. Could your heroine, after getting pregnant, be forced to decide which man to marry within a matter of months, rather than have to endure one bad marriage before making a good one? Just a thought.

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