YA, or not YA. That is the question….

So, after all that talk about getting back to work on my cyberpunk stories, what ended up grabbing me instead was my drama about teen suicide and fundamentalism, By That Sin Fell the Angels.

It’s a good novel, in my opinion.  I picked it up again and immediately got caught up in it, unable to put it down until I got to where I’d left off, just before the end.  Since then, I’ve written a little over 2,000 words (about two days’ work) and I’m within a chapter of the finish.  It will probably have an epilogue.

But after regarding it as a YA novel for the past year or so, I’m beginning to wonder if it really is.  The story is told from three points of view:  Jonah, a teenager who was friends with the kid who killed himself; Terry, a teacher at the high school; and Isaac, the fundamentalist minister whose son killed himself.  All of these are narrated in 3rd person. 

When I’m writing the story from Jonah’s point of view, it feels very much like a YA novel.  But not so much, when I’m writing from Terry’s or Isaac’s point of view.  So can a novel be considered a YA novel, when only one-third of it is told from a teenager’s point of view?  I’m not sure.  But if it’s an adult novel, I’m at a loss where to send it.  Because the issues it deals with are more of interest to teens, I think, than adults.  Though, of course, that isn’t strictly true.  I still read YA novels for fun, and so do a lot of adults, and a novel about teens dealing with suicide is something adults could be interested in reading. 

I’m just not certain which publisher or agent I should approach.  Certainly, it doesn’t seem appropriate for most of the ebook publishers I buy from.  There’s no sex, to speak of.  A lot of crude language (because, hey, Jamie wrote it) and frank discussions of sex (and drug use), but nothing explicit.  There isn’t even any real romance, though there are characters who are in romantic relationships or grow fond of each other during the novel. 

But it does have something important to say, I think.  I don’t want to let it languish, even if that means self-publishing.

I guess I’ll just finish it and have some people read it, to see what they think.


Filed under Drama, Writing, Young Adult

2 responses to “YA, or not YA. That is the question….

  1. Claire

    You could submit it to both YA and non-YA, and see what the editors have to say.

  2. Maybe. I suppose my first choice might be to submit it as a YA novel and see if I get told, “No, this isn’t YA.”

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