last semester, I made the decision to change my protagonist’s age. originally, she was going to start the story at nine years old, but certain changes I was making allowed me to make her older—about sixteen. from there began the existential question: am I writing for a young adult audience or an adult audience?
it’s a question i’ve labored over for weeks, but after much thought, much drafting, and much conversation with my writer friends (one of which has read a ton of ya fiction), i’ve determined that yes, my story should be for young adult readers.
this meant making a few changes, mainly in point of view. young adult novels can be in third-person I suppose, but I agree with the school of thought that young adult readers connect more easily with first-person narrators. I also shortened my chapters.
already I noticed two shifts: first, my protagonist’s voice became crystalline almost instantly. this had been something I was struggling with. second, the shorter chapters allowed me to cut out a lot of transitioning.
the difference was I was able to draft over 4,000 words today. normally, I don’t like to write that fast, but i’m trying to draft 24,000 or so in enough time to revise before my next school deadline, which is feb. 19. then I have another 24,000 words or so for April 2. fast drafting is a necessity so I have ample time to put each section through several rounds of revision before passing them along to my mentor.