I've mentioned my fantasy YA novel, Alexia's Pen before. I had the honor of placing in a recent writing contest on a blog and my awesome prize was a query critique by the amazing Beth Revis, author of Across the Universe.
She read my initial query and asked if the story was actually MG.
Oh... can we say whoops?
It's been years since I read a MG story. Well, other than Harry Potter that is.
The thought that Alexia's Pen might actually be MG startled me. But then to some extent, it made sense. After all, I started to write the story in the 6th grade.
And I'm no stranger to blurring lines. Take my Kingdom of Arnhem series. It's intended for adults but can be enjoyed by young adults as well. I purposely wrote those books that way.
So now I have a decision to make. Do I try to cut down an already tight story? Because at 79k, that's considered too long for MG. Or do I try to make the story more YA by making it edgier?
I'm not opposed to making Alexia's Pen MG. That doesn't bother me. What bothers me is that I thought it was YA. So now I'm doing to make Alexia's Pen more YA. It's gonna get darker. A lot darker. There won't be the possibility of a question of MG versus YA anymore.
Has this ever happened to you? Has a story started one way and ended up a different genre? Do you know the cut-off between MG and YA?