Friday, May 16, 2014

Let's Talk About Sex

No, really, let's not. Not ever.

Years ago, I read a Middle Grade novel that sort of freaked me out. The general story, main character, writing was all solidly MG. But one thing was not, the way the Main Character described the girl he liked.

It was all, well, a little bit...

Dafoe Grin


One of the general unwritten rules of MG is that it's much less focused on romantic relationships than YA. But of course, its not like boys and girls only start liking each other in high school. Although kids are unique, most, if not all, kids like other kids way, way earlier than high school. Often, they just don't tell anybody. They keep it to themselves.

And probably, kids sometimes think things romantically about others that if put down on the page, would seem pretty damn William Dafoe.

So the question is, when it comes to things like Romance, bad language, anything like that...what responsibility does the author have to "tell it like it is" and what responsibility does the author have to act like a filter of un-creepiness?

Since I know that most MG writers drink while they write you don't?


Well, if you do drink while you write MG or if you ever feel like you've crossed the line into Dafoe territory, give your MS to somebody with the instructions, "let me know if anything in here is a little too Ewww". Your job? Purge Dafoe from your work. Instead, up the tension. Purge Dafoe, create more laughs. Purge Dafoe, create more compelling characters. Your MS will be better the less creep you have.

Happy Writing and have a great weekend!

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