She actually said quite a lot of stuff, but here were some things that left me confused and then concerned.
So, I have some questions for all y'all
1. Does the gender of the MC designate the gender of the audience in YA?
Specifically, my novel is from Pier's POV. Pier is a 16 year old boy. Critiquer "Jane" at one point said "since you main character is a boy, your novel is targeted at boys."
Is this true? Because I didn't write it with boys particularly in mind. Not necessarily girls either, but it's probably slanted that way a bit. If I was aiming only at boys, I would have had less kissing, angst and more action.
I know there's a school of thought that young boys won't read books with female MCs, but that's a different issue she brought up here, which is, since my MC is a boy, I should write the book so it's targeted at boys.
2. Do specific words have Gender correlations?
This is related to the last question. Because, as she said, my book is "targeted at boys" I needed to use less feminine language. Examples she listed were:
Sauntered (which she said, in her opinion, reminded her of girls and runway models)
Lacerations (which she stated was feminine language and also too advanced for the 12-15 aged boys who my book is "targeted at")
Two of the characters (Lani and Nemmy) have names that end in "ee" sounds. She said "ee" sounds are kind of girly (and again, this is an issue for her because she feels the books is targeted at young boys)
So these things made me wonder. I used laceration because Pier and his younger sister spend a lot of time at a friend's house, who's dad is a vet. They would use the word laceration and know what it means.
And saunter, well as far as I ever knew, just refers to a leisurely walk.
The "ee" names are nicknames for both the characters. In high school, almost all my friends had nicknames, they often ended in "ee" sounds, and the guys as well as the girls in the clique used them.
Again, I didn't want to just toss out the whole crit because she her crits actually helped me figure out how to increase the pace in the first three chapters which I needed and had other good comments.
I just want to make sure that I'm not making a huge mistake and having a male MC appeal to female YA readers as well. And if I should go through and examine pretty much every word.