RG Worsey

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When I created my main protagonists of Dogs of London, Northern Wings (etc.), Jont, CJ and Hazel, I had them in mind as early 20s.

Then, the beta reader of my first draft (an experienced published SF and thrillers writer) advised me to raise their ages to mid to late 30s, as this would be more in keeping with the thriller genre, and remove some of the youthful banter between them, for the same reason. However, I've now been encouraged to appeal to a teenage readership, by re-writing Dogs as a YA thriller. The problems I'm having with that, are that the part of the narrative set in the past makes the adults who encourage the protag to learn his craft technically guilty of child abuse/neglect. (He was originally 19 and a student in this timeline. In the edit, he has just turned 15).

So, I did a bit of research about whether it was possible to have a thriller protagonist who is legally an adult, though a young one, and hit upon the emerging genre of New Adult, in which protagonists are aged 18-30. It's given me a promising way out of my dilemma. By simply changing their ages back to early 20s, while keeping the edits I've done to tighten up chapters 2-8, I can have the story as I want it. It also means that, if this becomes a long series, I have plenty of scope for slowly aging the characters each story, and can include all the character development that people go through in their 20s.

Thoughts?
 

CageSage

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What I've seen discussed: that's it's a failed experiment, that it does well with Tik-Tokkers, that trad-publishers refuse to name it (let alone publish it), and that it's an added category that isn't req'd. Child, Young Adult, Adult. There are a few video discussions on the topic on YouTube.

If you look at who certain genres are aimed at, which age-group buy particular genres more than others, you'd find that a large market exists for the marketing of thrillers to over 40s (well, over 50s is more commonly touted), but that doesn't mean they don't read about younger protags (older people like to think/remember themselves as younger, vigorous adults - so the age of the protag for thrillers doesn't need to be the same as the prospective target market).

In the end, it's your story. Write it the way you want it. If a publisher/agent picks it up and requests changes, that's the time to reconsider.

I know that doesn't help at all, but that's my observations followed by an overly-simplistic opinion.
 
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RG Worsey

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animusgraphicnovel.co.uk
What I've seen discussed: that's it's a failed experiment, that it does well with Tik-Tokkers, that trad-publishers refuse to name it (let alone publish it), and that it's an added category that isn't req'd. Child, Young Adult, Adult. There are a few video discussions on the topic on YouTube.
Some websites are describing it as the next big thing, and that readers are crying out for stories about characters in their 20s. Others say that it didn't take off as a genre, and that there's a romance/erotic stigma attached.
 
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Hannah F

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New Adult still appears as a category on Amazon, but there is no New Adult bookshelf in shops. It did get labelled by some as YA with more explicit sex (though, these days, some listed as YA go quite erotic). Some US agents list it as a category in #MSWL, but you are limiting your options, and the same agents accept adult submissions. NA didn't take off like it was expected to. If your characters are in their 20's and will get older, you're better off calling it Adult.
 

Hannah F

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Last thing I want is to limit my options and/or imply explicit sex.

Netflix is full of action adventures featuring twenty-somethings. If there's such a big market in TV and films, I'm going to trust my gut that it's there for novels.
There are loads of adult books featuring twenty-something MC's. In fact, those featuring 40+ protagonists are in the minority, which is why there's a present push towards novels that feature 40+ or even 50+ protagonists as there are a lot of book buyers in this range. The majority of agents' and publishers' readers, however, are in the 20-40 age range, so the adult MC age-range that appeals most to them is probably the 20+ (unless it is a superlatively brilliant book).