Do You See This as YA or Adult Fantasy?

Do you see this story as YA or Adult writer? Please let me know what tipped the scale for you.

  • YA

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  • Adult

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  • Neither

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  • Total voters


I'm writing a high fantasy trilogy that follows a family seeking refuge in a fast developing world. The teenage son and daughter (14 and 15 right now, though could quite easily shift to 17 and 18) are main characters with around half the POV chapters in each book. A quarter of the chapters are from the viewpoint of another adult and the parents own the rest. I'm looking at anywhere from 150k+ words per book.

The story deals in part with the growth of the two teens but also of the parents. I don't think of the story as a coming-of-age so much as a group of characters all with their own arcs. They're faced by plenty of external as well as internal conflicts, though the plot isn't terribly complex and character development is everything.

I plan to cover suicide, revenge and betrayal. Violence will be rampant with quite some attention paid to realism and real consequences. If I include sex it'll be from the adult, experienced perspective of the parents rather than a bumbling affair. I'm undecided on whether I can do rape justice at this point. I'd like to include real world swears for one race as a means of separating their voice.

There are a few parts of my story in which it'll help for the reader to be aware of the stresses of serious relationships and finances. A love of nature will also make a huge difference.

I would describe my language as accessible to a young audience but hopefully not too simple for adults. The story is linear and I don't use overly archaic language. Please see an example below (first draft, go easy!):

Iren was the last to exit the mine. He willed his fingers open with a stare, pry bar narrowly missing his toe as it clattered to the floor; the loose claws were cold and dead despite the sweat pooling at his bare lower back. His face felt as though it were one flat surface — eyes protruding and lips withdrawn — though he hadn’t seen his reflection in water. He had spent the last two days sucking it from the rock’s face, avoiding the long climb to the workers’ abandoned snow barrels. He saw himself in his tools, though they weren’t reflective. They too were cracked and blackened, mirroring only the rifts between himself and the boy attached to his name.

As Iren crossed the final gallery and glimpsed daylight he wished — as was the norm — for the ability to contemplate. To cast his mind afar to somewhere he was still human. Somewhere he could seek out a path from Shehran alive. But his mind was numb too. His thoughts rolled sluggishly back and forth as though along the tracks of a minecart, rails broken at each end. Why not numb the rest of me?