1. aimi_aiko
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    aimi_aiko Member

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    Mature Writing

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by aimi_aiko, Apr 4, 2011.

    As a teen (though leaving teen-hood very, very soon) I notice myself writing mature stories. I wouldn't really have to explain what I mean by mature, but as some examples, I'm talking in depth romance stories that include sexual descriptions, some of my stories include very in deep messages not many people my age or younger would understand, etc. Though I find it funny, I write about things I have never experienced in my life, but I feel like I have great amounts of knowledge when it comes to a certain situation in the story.

    What are your thoughts of mature writing done by writers who have yet to enter adult hood? Does age really matter, or is it mentality that matters? Or better yet, is it the strong imagination that matters?

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    I'm very interested in your thoughts.
  2. alter-ego
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    alter-ego Banned

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    I always think its amazing that Stephen Crane in Red Badge of Courage, wrote about the Civil War, an event he never witnessed. Yet people who read it, who had been in the war said it was the most accurate description they had ever read. So if he can write about a war he didn't experience, then I don't see why you can't write about sexual acts you have never experienced. Hell, most guys don't have a clue what to do in bed anyway, so I'm sure you could bluff your way through.
  3. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    I've never been a woman, yet have no qualms about the stories I've written from one's perspective.

    If you don't have a vivid (and accurate) imagination about things you haven't directly experienced, then you're going to be a terrible writer, or the most experienced person in the world.

    Make it up. It's okay. It's healthy (as a writer and person) to exercise imagination and empathy. And if you do get stumped, ask for help, don't necessarily go out there thinking you need to experience everything in the world to understand it (that can be dangerous).

    Oh, also, don't ever underestimate the depth and maturity of young people. If you write a story that captures truths of the human experience, even younger audiences will recognize it and often understand it, no matter the maturity level of subjects or themes. And guess what, some adults are going to be more ignorant than you'll ever believe and not be able to grasp mature themes. Sooo, basically, people are people, and even teens are people! ;)
  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Member Supporter Contributor

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    I'm 49 now, and I can remember my teen years very clearly, and I am very embarrassed by them. I thought I knew everything then, and I knew nothing. I look back on what I was writing then and I cringe.

    But that doesn't mean that what I was writing then was worthless. It just means that it isn't what I'd write now. My younger self and I would probably have big arguments.

    What you're writing now probably isn't mature work. But that doesn't mean it's bad. in fact, it might be gloriously uninhibited and vital, and it might have virtues that thirty years from now you couldn't muster up. Life moves like that. Embrace what you have while you have it.
  5. Dandroid
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    Dandroid New Member

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    this.
  6. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributor

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    Sounds to me like you underestimate your peers. If you're able to understand it then there's a fair chance they can as well. Even the "dumb" people who spend all their time binge-drinking and partying can be pretty damn smart when it comes to film and literature.

    You're seventeen according to your profile. I'm not too much older and I write what would be described as "mature themes" too, it's all I've written since age fourteen (FYI, yes, most of those stories are dreadful). There are a lot of young people, barely into their teen years, who write about sexual situations and mature themes. Search in the right places and you're sure to find millions. Are they done well? Very rarely, but there are a few gems lurking in some dark crevasses of the internet.

    I don't think there's really an argument when it comes to young people writing mature themes. Write about whatever you want - it's your story.
  7. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma New Member Contributor

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    I'm agreeing with Yoshiko - I was not a dimwit as a teen and certainly have nothing to cringe about from that time. Yes I have matured and grown up but I hope that I will

    A) Never lose the childlike wonder and fun in life
    B) Stop maturing and growing up. I am more mature at 35 than I was at 30.


    We are not in a race with anyone else. One of my favourite books is called Racing Alone by Nader Khalili - it is about an architect who left a very promising lucrative career designing skyscrapers to live in the Mojave Desert building ceramic and rammed Earth houses. Amazing man and he is right the only person you should compete against is yourself - improve you and keep doing it. However also be aware that education, and age remove elements from you that make your writing special as a teen. Your sex scenes will probably have a sensual innocence that won't be present later on for example.

    In my favourite philsophy book above there is a story about the author's son racing in the park. He is racing against several bigger boys (he is 4 they are 8) - he kept losing and was becoming more and more disheartned. In the end he gets his dad to start a race with just him in it. The next time round he is last by a long way but also has a pretty leaf in his hands.

    My daughter is like that lol At her nursery sports day she came last in everything but she was the only one with a pile of feathers, stones and leaves lol We took her treasure home and she created a picture. As you mature you will gain aspects to your writing but you will also lose some treasure piles.

    I look at things I wrote last year and cringe lol I am sure that will continue. What i wrote in my teenage years was good - bit bizarre at times (I remember an essay using the words from Beatles songs to discuss the Irish paramilitaries and one using an inverted Snoopy to discuss racism), have to say i still read my school work and find it amusing whilst recognising my writing has improved in the past year of writing beyond anything I was capable of then.
  8. Islander
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    Islander Senior Member Contributor

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    I think a situation feels real to the reader when you manage to capture the feeling of it, even if you don't know all the facts. Vivid descriptions and characterisation help create the illusion of realism.

    Don't be afraid to write about things you've never experienced, if you think you can imagine them. You can always have other people read it and tell you if you're on the right track.

    In this context, I think experience means having experienced things which have had great emotional impact, and there's nothing to say an 18-year-old can't be more experienced than some 50-year-olds in this sense.
  9. spklvr
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    spklvr New Member Contributor

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    I think most people who read and write a lot naturally begin writing more mature stories, since what we read becomes more mature. I started out reading children's books and YA novels, and then I wrote like that. But as I grew as a writer and a person, I started realizing that these books had flaws in their writing and that the emotional reality in the books didn't match with the reality I lived in. So I began searching for more mature books, and my writing became more mature as well. Perhaps, if you don't read, it takes you longer to realize you're not mature as you have nothing to compare with but yourself. And you can't get into TV-characters heads, that's the advantage books have.
  10. Ged
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    Ged New Member

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    Before delving into the question at hand, I'd like to say I never, with one huge exception (Begins with an "H" and ends in "arry Potter"), enjoyed YA books. Narnia struck me as immature and simplistic and overly Xtianised. I'm drawn to books with adult characters, who go through adult problems, and who conclude those problems maturely.

    [inb4 "omg and you're only 18, how dark and kvlt you are"]

    On the topic, I'll have to agree with Islander. Experience comes at every age, contingent upon things like society, family, personal preferences, etc.

    The fact that someone is 50 does not make them more mature or more adept in the art of conveying adult messages in any artform. A person could very well sit in a room all their life (a hyperbolised example, but necessary) and still reach 50, and know no feeling but that of loneliness.

    So go ahead and tackle those adult themes. You might get it, or not. If you don't, at least you have the experience (heh heh) that comes out of the attempt.
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  11. SeverinR
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    SeverinR New Member

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    I think this happens regularly, its the arguement between mother and daughter, father and son. (Young me versus mature me)

    People have different maturity levels.
    So no matter what level you write at, someone can relate.
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    all that matters to agents/publishers is what you write... not how old you were when you wrote it... they're not going to know your age anyway, are they?... and readers won't care, if they like what they read...
  13. thalorin19
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    thalorin19 Member

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    I see what you mean, exactly.

    I'm closing in on the end of my teenage years, and I feel like I could write a more thought inducing story then most of my peers - not trying to sound arrogant or anything.

    I grew up reading stories by Stephen King, classic McCarthy novels, and GRRM between like 11-13. It's just kind of the books my parents bought and gave me, and I accepted them. I have tried reading YA, and I really just can't stand it.

    It doesn't help that I have taken classes where we have taken in-depth novels and have analyzed the hell out of them, uncovering meanings and messages that the normal reader wouldn't see.

    This has ultimately effected my writing. Everytime I put words on paper, I feel like I have to put a special meaning behind things, and really weave the words intellectualy - craft a piece of art.

    It kind of sucks. I have this story I want to get out. But I can't.
  14. CriminallyVu1gar
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    CriminallyVu1gar New Member

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    I wrote a lot of my erotica before I had even had sex. Looking back I was pretty spot on there (yay porn, lol).

    On a more serious note, I also have a novel, Skankarella, which is basically a lesbian adaptation of the Cinderella fairy tale in which I had to describe the main character's struggle with, and gradual acceptance of her own sexuality. I showed a few scenes to a female friend of mine who has only dated women and she said I was spot on.


    Sometimes I think that having been an impartial observer to something you're going to write about can give you a clearer picture than being intimately involved in such a situation.
  15. digitig
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    digitig Senior Member Contributor

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    If only. Eragon? Agents are looking for an entire package they can market.
  16. digitig
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    digitig Senior Member Contributor

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    My opportunities to be an impartial observer to lesbian sex have been strangely limited.
  17. Boriol
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    Boriol New Member

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    Internet, Digitig. Internet.

    While I write Christian, action, and horror primarily, I confess that I've written "mature" books with sex and stuff in them. The problem with me is that if I write sex into a book, I lose my original image of the characters--which probably shows that I shouldn't be writing that stuff.

    But anyway, even though they all say the best writers write from experience, there are plenty of really good fantasy books out there with situations that no one could possibly have experienced. I guarantee you that nobody has ever flown on top of a dragon and fought against evil shades in real life. Yet, Paolini describes it well, eh?*

    It's like drawing, I think. You can draw a picture of an eskimo even if you've never seen one. All you'd need is a picture or description. I think writing certain situations can be learned like that, too.

    *The flaw there is that nobody has ever ridden a dragon, and therefore cannot determine if the depictions are accurate or not.
  18. CriminallyVu1gar
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    CriminallyVu1gar New Member

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    Haha. :p Not sex, sexuality. With a lesbian cousin and gay friends I've known since jr. high I have decent experience watching people address that part of themselves though I'm not prone to dating my own gender.
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