YA or NA?

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I never thought I’d be debating this in my head.

After sending my Paranormal/Urban Fantasy off to a new editor I got an interesting exchange and an introduction to NA (New Adult). I’m now on the fence on how to proceed… the editor gave me the option of moving to NA and introducing more mature themes, including sexual themes or changing the entire setting to High School and keeping with the YA themes/style that it currently sounds like.

Currently my novel is set in a university with a freshmen (aged 18). I created this entire town/university with the idea of exploring themes of starting post-secondary school, creating a blank slate away from parents. It’s a huge moment in anyone’s life and I’m drawing on my own experiences when I moved away from home to start college years ago. But I don’t want to dive into romance or sexual relationships. It’s not the focus of my story which is still a Paranormal Mystery.

I guess I’m confused. Do I write what I like and ignore the market and the editor’s notes on the subject – or do I take her advice and restructure my story?

It also comes down to WHY does NA have to be about sex? Or my character reacting to others and their sexual lives? Couldn’t I focus on the evil spirit instead and deal with my character’s rough background and struggle to share with others her ability to see and interact with ghosts? Sure I have a romance going on the side, but throughout the story this relationship gets sabotaged and it ends on a rough note. It’s something I will deal with in the second book, but for now I want it to end on a more realistic note.

So you see my dilemma – I hope. I’m confused, frustrated and at a standstill until I discover what I want for my book.

Thankfully after talking to a few of my other fellow writers on a Facebook page they assured me that the NA genre isn’t as solidified as I first thought. That there are a few books under the YA genre that do take place in College/University – especially now when students are attending these facilities when they are still 17 & 18. I most likely will grow into some ’sexual’ content with my characters, they are reaching that age, but I don’t want to focus on it – unless I’m specifically writing erotica – which may happen in the future lol.

A question to all those Editors/Writers: How much do you take from your editor? If their advice doesn’t jive with you, do you ignore it and continue with what you want to do or do you give in and make the changes?

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