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I think the fairy needs to function as a MG-aged kid, despite their actual age, bc the MC needs to be a kid. It's okay if they're a bear or a thimbleberry or a balloon that acts like a kid, but I think you may have trouble if the MC isn't (at heart) a middle grader.

I had a MG ms that became unsaleable bc it had an adult sidekick--even though the kid MC had agency and solved everybody's problems. So maybe I'm extra sensitive to that, but I suspect you need to be careful here.
Oh, I get it now.

Is the 600-year-old fairy child-like? Or does it act like an adult?
Why do you think YA would be better? Is the fairy like Edward in Twilight?

Either way, have you read Skullduggery Pleasant? It's MG and the MC is an adult. His 12-year-old sidekick (Valkyrie Cain) is a secondary protagonist. I don't think the books ever say how old Skullduggery is -- or when he died.
My question is more about the human girl. She's not the POV character, and I'm wondering whether that would mean the book wouldn't be considered MG
I'm not sure I understand. You think the age of your protagonist is an issue?

Twelve is upper MG.
Hi all!
So, I have a fantasy novel I've been working on that I currently think of as MG. Here's my problem: the main protagonist is a 600-year-old fairy, while the supporting protagonist is a 12-year-old human girl. Should I keep it as MG for querying, or should I move it up to YA to be safe?
Picture Books (PB) / Re: PB Whats Best Past, Present or Future Action
« Last post by dkshumaker on January 05, 2023, 06:39 AM »
Also, if you're brand new to writing for children, go to your local library and read 100 PBs published within the last five years. That will give you a sense of topics, tenses, and treatments (structures).
Jody said exactly what I was going to say. Read, read, read recently published picture books. In fact, do a study: Count how many are in first, second, or third person. Count how many are in present tense, in past tense. Type up the ones that you think are done particularly well. It will be the best education you can find on the current picture book market.

I've been writing picture books for over a decade (and have three published) and I still check them out from the library every week. Right now I have about 30 checked out. And I still type up ones I love. I probably have over 300 typed up picture books.
Picture Books (PB) / Re: Category-defying books
« Last post by JodyJS on January 05, 2023, 04:12 AM »
Hi Meena,

Another possibility is that you have a young MG in the making...

Picture Books (PB) / Re: Category-defying books
« Last post by meena-bhasindalby on January 04, 2023, 07:27 PM »
Thanks so much. I just posted 1,000 words from the book for some feedback. I hear you on winnowing down but I think it would just change the book entirely so I'm  trying to figure out who the ideal reader is for this and whether I should move it to a chapter book format. Wondering whether the language is appropriate then.
Picture Books (PB) / Re: Category-defying books
« Last post by Debbie Vilardi on January 04, 2023, 06:36 PM »
Hi Meena. I love your message.

re right that the word count is high unless you're writing nonfiction for middle grade. But don't think of it as taking your book apart. Think of it as chiseling down to the necessary core like a sculptor so the parts shine even more strongly. Cut anything that the pictures show. Also, think of the age of your reader. For your message to work, they have to follow and comprehend. We can get so caught up in the sound of language that we lose the beauty in the simple elegance of fewer words and the sense that we must reach and audience that isn't ourselves.

If you haven't had your work critiqued, you can post up to 1000 words here: I promise to comment. You can also seek critique partners here:

Sometimes it takes another pair of eyes to help us see what our work can be. Good luck.
Contests and Challenges / Re: StoryStorm 2023
« Last post by ckdarfler on January 04, 2023, 05:51 PM »
YAY!  :goldstar
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