Check out this great post from Shannon A Thompson’s blog on the topic of YA protagonists
The young adult genre is normally defined by coming-of-age stories, where the protagonists are often between the ages of 14 and 18. That being said, if you are publishing a YA story right now, chances are your protagonist is 17 years old.
So why are most YA protagonists 17?
Short Answer: The protagonist is old enough to be on the cusp of adulthood but young enough to still be considered a young adult.
Long Answer: Adding to the short answer above, 17 years old is also highly regarded because the target audience reading YA right now is not necessarily teenagers. In fact, most studies indicate that the main audience buying YA is 18-27. (Many teenagers are more focused on fan fiction online—another topic for another day.) But focusing on the older aspects of teenage years is currently more sellable than the younger teenage years of 14-16.
Basically, 17 years old…
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