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Rewrite YA as MG - historical

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After getting agent feedback and having the publisher who almost bought it go under, I've been thinking what to do with my YA historical set in the 1920s with themes of bootlegging and anti-semitism. This is based on the town where I used to live, i.e. true stuff.

Am thinking seriously about making the MC 13 instead of 15, adding some adventure, and removing the "too adult" romance and drinking parts. This way I get to keep my voice not rewrite to be more sophisticated, etc. (agent said voice sounded more like MG).

Wondered if anyone else has done this before. Just making convo I guess.
#1 - September 09, 2013, 12:57 PM
LAST SUMMER IN EDEN
Cozy mystery writer for ANNIE'S FICTION and GUIDEPOSTS
www.elizabethpenneyauthor.com

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I went to a conference last year where I spent time in two different small groups working on my ms. Even though I thought I was writing a YA, everyone told me I had an MG voice. It took a couple of days for this to sink in, but they were right. I write upper MG, but still definitely MG. I aged the MC down and made other adjustments, which was much easier than trying to be someone I'm not.

Laurel
#2 - September 09, 2013, 02:59 PM

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I did it, to some extent, with the first "YA" (I had written adult manuscripts but no children's). After getting an agent, (who had no children's experience) we were told by all editors who saw it that I had a MG voice and there was nothing in it that made it YA. So I did change it from YA to MG, but knowing what I know now, it was much closer to MG than YA to begin with. There was only the slightest bit of romance, which I left in, and nothing edgy.
#3 - September 09, 2013, 03:09 PM

Thanks for your answers!

Not having written MG yet, I've been busy reading and tagging books to be read. Regarding romance, thinking MC "likes" a certain boy but there's no dating. I remember having a crush on the cutest and funniest boy in our class when I was in 7th and 8th grade.
#4 - September 09, 2013, 05:03 PM
LAST SUMMER IN EDEN
Cozy mystery writer for ANNIE'S FICTION and GUIDEPOSTS
www.elizabethpenneyauthor.com

I think 7th and 8th grade may be a little old for MG.  Isn't the usual age for MG protag 11 or 12?  Which would be 5th or 6th grade?  Just a thought.

But girls in 5th and 6th grades have crushes too.  And lots of discussions about "liking" and "like liking."  As in, "I like him but I don't like like him."
#5 - September 10, 2013, 02:09 PM
Stephanie Theban aka Leeth

http://storiesreademwritem.blogspot.com

I was 12 when I entered 8th grade and turned 13 in the fall. This whole MC age thing is confusing. I just read somewhere that 12 is the upper age for MG. And a lot of the books classified as MG have MCs that are 13. And kids read older right?
#6 - September 10, 2013, 05:51 PM
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 05:55 PM by elizabethp »
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www.elizabethpenneyauthor.com

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Elizabeth, when an editor made an offer on my first novel, a historical, she said they wanted to publish it as MG, not YA, which I agreed to. She asked me to tone down some violence and lower the MC's age, but other than that, few changes were needed to make it MG. Like other folks have said, I too was writing in what I thought was a YA voice but was told it was MG.
#7 - September 10, 2013, 06:17 PM

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