"A friend of mine submitted his young adult fantasy novel to a publisher. After initial encouragement, the editor had the kind of talk with the author that authors don’t want to have with an editor. This is how my friend reports what the editor said:
“Your book does not meet reader expectation for a YA fantasy. YA readers expect fantasy to be plot-driven, not character-driven. They expect the protagonist to be self-confident, to meet distrust only from other people. They expect the magic in the book to be overt and direct, not subtle or metaphorical. They expect no moral ambiguity: all characters or magic powers should be clearly good or clearly evil. They expect the story to move very quickly with no slowing down at any time. A novel that does not meet reader expectation will not sell.”
The editor’s final reason for rejecting the book: “Your book isn’t fantasy, because it’s open to interpretation. It’s literary." (end of quote)
Well now. My mind is sputtering. And I want to read this author's book very very badly--it sounds like just what I look for in YA fantasy!
(Have any of you who read my reviews noticed that when I don't personally care for a book I call it "plot-driven?" edited to add: well, no, you wouldn't have noticed, because I never actually seem to have used that phrase. But I think I do come across as preferring characters and gradual development to action and plot. I tend to skim sections that have too much Action, because it's not as interesting to me as the small events).