A question for people who like Young Adult Fiction?????

I have two ideas I’ve been thinking about. I’m not sure which one I wanna write: I’m not sure which one people would rather read. I kind of like them both. But I can only write one.

Any suggestions would be great.

These are just short-short summaries:

The first story is called The Circus Maximus. It takes place in ancient Roman times. It’s about an annual chariot race. There’s this teenage farm boy who dreams day and night of winning it, gets chosen to race in it, but everybody knows to let the emperor win. It would include romance, historical information, drama, mythology, and a few other things.

The second story is called The Girl in the Bell. It’s about this teenage girl who lives in New York in a beach house with her mother who’s never there. While out walking on the beach one day, she discovers this old bell, about the size of a milk container. It’s possessed. She’s now connected to it. She has to solve the murder of the voice of the girl trapped in the bell. The story takes the reader back to the times of old Amsterdam. There’s romance, historical information, adventure, the paranormal, suspense, and a few other things included.

Thanks. . . .

Sure you can write them both. Just pick one to do first, then start on the other when you’re done.

Impossible to answer, because each idea has very different audiences.

Your first would be marketed to boys and as an ‘action/coming of age’ story. You would be heavily pressured to revise it and set it in a futuristic/dystopian neoRome, to continue to cash in on the Hunger Games and Divergent female market without alienating the boys.

Your second idea would be a ‘mood’ piece, marketed as a dreamy ghost romance for girls. You would be encouraged to make the ghost a male, or to have an obvious paranormal romance set up (bonus points for a stupid love triangle that will polarize opinions of your readers).

Neither is better or worse - write whichever feels more urgent to you now, or write both of them at the same time.

No offense, the snark is mostly lighthearted. They both sound like interesting concepts to start with!

The first one appeals to me more. It brings to mind The Golden Goblet, not so much as to have to worry about copying it (the only thing they really have in common is a boy in Ye Really Olde Times faced with a moral dilemma and antagonists far more powerful than he), but in a good way that would make me likely to buy it.

The second one isn’t a bad idea, but I’ve always been more drawn to Greek/Roman/Egyptian stuff personally. I’m sure there are some fine books written about historic Amsterdam, but I just haven’t found them yet.

But I agree that there’s no reason you cannot do both, in time.

It’s not that simple. I have 500 other ideas. All calling my name. Like hungry children. Plus, it takes me anywhere from a year or two to write a book the way I like it. So. I have to narrow it down to the ones I like best. Then decide.

I’d rather focus on the one that has a better chance of making it. The one people would prefer to read.

Anyhow. Thanks.

No. I like snark! I like snark very much! Especially when it’s given in a positive manner.

I understand your points of view one hundred percent. I’ve thought the same thing.

As I wrote to somebody else, I don’t have the time to write both. Not to mention, I have 500 other ideas.

I was really just wondering straight out, which one would young adult readers choose.

I thought if a hundred or five hundred people responded with an answer, I’d go with the one the majority of people liked better.

Anyways. Thanks.

I’d rather read the ghost story, preferably with the romance dialed down and the paranormal dialed up, but that’s just me (a forty-three year old woman). Lasciel’s probably right about how it could/should be marketed to actual young’uns.

I appreciate your reply.

(I have 500 other ideas. Each idea takes me up to a year or so. So time is limited.)

I’d rather read the second one, but then I’m a not YA, I’m an adult who likes good YA fiction. Which means I haven’t read much lately because of all the paranormal CRAP.

I hope we get to read whichever you choose to write, jimliny. :slight_smile:

The charioteers in The Circus Maximus were usually slaves, so I doubt that any farm boy would aspire to become one.

The first one doesn’t sound too interesting to me since it seems like a storyline that has been done to death. From Ben Hur to Anakin Skywalker’s pod race.

The second one has more possibilities as long as it doesn’t turn into the typical house/item is haunted by victim of unsolved murder and the lead needs to solve it to set them free.

Picking a nit-Questions should end with just one question mark. Statements(like the title of this thread) do not require any question marks.

And the excellent Sailing to Sarantium duology.

I think I’m going to have to marry you.

Oh, great-another one! :smiley:

Editor in children’s publishing here. I’d go with the 2nd one, making it The Boy in the Bell along with the rest of the suggestions made by that poster above. The triangle should be between modern girl, boy in bell, and boy’s girlfriend in amsterdam.

At end, he should end up back with amsterdam babe and, post-climax, you finish off with modern girl coming to terms with it. Lost love. Her first.

Yes, as a rule, multiple punctuation like ??? is the sign of a non-writer.

Yes, we’re all ephebophile pervs, every last one of us. Any more questions?

FWIW I would rather read the second one. Murder is more interesting than chariot racing.

ISTM that the first would be easier to plot and harder to resolve. The second is harder to plot but easier to resolve. In the first, the country boy makes it to Rome, falls in with interesting companions, makes it into the races, then is faced with the conflict of whether or not to beat the Emperor. Then you have to come up with a plausible explanation as to why he beat the Emperor and got away with it, or lost on purpose, or whatever.

The second, you have to explain the girl, how she was murdered, how did she get trapped in a bell, etc. Then the protagonist solves the murder. The End.

Good YA fiction is as good as any other kind of fiction, and not as subject to the temptation of getting carried away with literary complexities of writing. You have to do more with less, and thus the success is greater when you succeed.

Good luck. If possible, share it with us when you write it!


Personally, I’d rather read the first story, about chariot racing.

But, as others have said, write 'em both!

If it’s really important to introduce a paranormal romance to the second one, as everyone is suggesting (and I agree that it’s the fad now), why not keep the girl in the bell a girl and make it a lesbian romance? Of course, it would be harder to write without either becoming a preachy gay rights novel or a book that relies on negative stereotypes, but I think it would be pretty cool if you think you can pull it off.

The obvious place to go would be that the girl was killed due to her sexuality, but I think it may be too obvious and may lock the book into preachy mode. I personally wouldn’t use it, but I can’t deny it’s a very easy direction to take the plot. Since death is a strong and common metaphor for change, there are a lot of opportunities for metaphors regarding death and coming out of the closet, among other things.

It is risky though, it will likely be harder to get published (understatement). And despite shifting views of society, it may be doomed to a niche audience unless you get lucky. (But let’s be honest, you’re writing fiction novels, that’s probably true anyway)