Monday, January 10, 2011

What would you read?

What do you want in a novel?  What is too edgy for YA?  Would you read about a suicide? A cutter?  Being Cyber-Bullied? Is profanity realistic in a novel or too realistic? How far is too far? 

I am a current instructor and prior teacher turned writer.  I have written a YA novel about suicide, ODing,cutting and being cyber-bullied...........  I have been told it is too dark; you tell me -

What is too dark mean?


  1. Who's told you your book is too dark for YA? I'd bet it's adult readers and not agents repping YA. Well, maybe some who are looking for "light and frothy" YA. I think the issues you're dealing with are pertinent, and I think the YA age group is far more able to absorb "dark" material than their parents want to believe or allow. We try to protect our children, sometimes when exposure means growth and protection is, or can be, over-protection.

    Case in point--I was a horror/sci-fi movie addict as a kid. My parents tried to keep me from them, saying I'd have nightmares. Never did. They gave up. I saw every scary movie I could, the scarier (darker) the better.

    As far as cursing, have you listened to kids talk? We might not want to encourage it, but a certain amount is merely reflecting reality.

    There are some things I wouldn't write into a YA story, and I'll leave you imagine what they might be. But the topics you're dealing with are on the news nightly, in the schools, on their smartphones. It's a topic to deal with, not to hide from. Write it honestly and let your agent and publisher worry if some word or two goes too far. Everyone will have a different take.

  2. Everyone does have a different take!

    Since my novel is written and rewritten and I am still fine tuning, I will post it on here in short sections - I would LOVE to hear any comments about it... grammar errors/punct. mistakes/too dicy/not enough character/too preachy... not even worth turning the page... Whatever - just let me know something!!

  3. Snoop around the YA section, there are some intrigging things out right now. Your writing is fresh and might help a lot of people. I've got my fingers crossed for you. I write what I like to read. Someone told me, that's good because aren't you a normal average reader? Makes sense to me. If you would read it, buy it, gotta have it by your bed, well... someone else would too.


    Contest open to first pages for writers --

  5. Welcome to the blogosphere! I agree with the other comments. These are issues that are real but you should also do your homework and read what's out there. There has to be a happy medium.

    Good luck and thanks for passing by my blog.