Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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This survey has accumulated enough votes —

To be interesting.

What genre is your WIP? asks Nathan Bransford.

The results were pretty skewed when I voted a couple of days ago — like, 17% YA fantasy and 18% adult fantasy. Much more balanced now.

I’m surprised that paranormal has fallen under other fantasy. I think that’s good. I was finding it impossible to notice one fish in that sea, but maybe paranormal is going to settle down to a reasonable level. Just so long as I sell *my* paranormal, right? I hope my agent will read it Real Soon Now, not see anything big to fix, and start shopping it around pronto. Wouldn’t it be great to end the year with a nice sale? Time’s getting short, though, so don’t know how likely that is.

Almost none of Bransford’s responses indicate people are working on nonfiction, but I think that’s probably a self-selection effect — I expect the readers of his site are mostly into genre fiction.

I’d tend to lump MG and YA together. After talking to people at the World Fantasy Convention, I’m pretty much of the opinion that the two categories aren’t really distinct. For example, I’d say that the Harry Potter series is fundamentally MG, though it was sold as YA; and Merrie Haskell’s THE PRINCESS CURSE is really YA even though it was sold as MG.

Or really I’d say there’s no clear distinction and it might be better not to act as though there was. I don’t think it helps a book find readers to say it’s MG or YA — I think the opposite, that if you say a book is MG, a lot of readers who would love it will avoid it (like me: I’ve only just started reading more MG stories because I thought they were too young for me, but I’ve found out a lot of them don’t read as young as the MG label implies).

And I think parents might avoid looking at YA for their youngsters because they think all YA is hot paranormal romance, which if that’s the trend, I’d like to see a lot of pushback.

Anyway, interesting survey!

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1 Comment This survey has accumulated enough votes —

  1. Elaine T

    I agree that MG and YA can be lumped together, but I do see differences. MG tends to be simpler and have fewer layers than YA. Not always, but often. Harry Potter I would say started as MG and grew into YA.

    I just read the Haskell, and agree with the publisher it is more of a MG than (what I would expect for) a YA. Or maybe it’s for the young end of the YA.

    (thinking aloud here)

    I’ve been trying to figure out why I think so, and it came down to layers and tonality. When I look back on it, I hear mostly one tone and see one layer. Even though the writer used lots of interesting folklore elements, it lacks density for me. I compare it with ENTWINED by Dixon, (also a 12 dancing princesses retelling) or DWJ’s HOMEWARD BOUNDERS(lots of folklore/myth elements) and the relative thinness stands out.

    Maybe if I knew more about the particular Middle European folklore she used it would come across as having more layers.

    ENTWINED has several stories going on under the surface of the obvious one. The father has his own journey and it is shown enough for the reader to get it.. In the Haskell book, the father suddenly does something startling, but we don’t see him grow into it. The narrator doesn’t know him well enough, or see him often enough to be able to convey it. I miss that layer.

    The first person narrator though is something of a first person smart mouth and single focused to the detriment (IMO) of the larger aspect of the story. Which probably makes it more accessible to younger readers, so it’s not necessarily a flaw..

    Note on recent reads: Carson, GIRL OF FIRE & THORNS – excellent. Sullivan, CRYSTAL THRONE – eh. Triggered a ‘is this self-pubbed?’ on the first page and never recovered. G. Bradshaw’s e-book trilogy – ok, rather YA or MG, actually, not nearly up to her best, but certainly readable.

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