1. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    Parental Pressure and Writing

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Keitsumah, Jan 31, 2013.

    Hey guys, i have a problem that's been nagging at me a lot lately -my parents say they have to approve of the book i am writing befor ei can publish. Now i can understand that, but they can be bias as to what i like to write. They expect me to be all sweet and cuddly when i am -sadly to say- the exact opposite with my characters. I'm worried they won't be able to take the fact that i have a lot of things that they may not like when those kinds of things are normal in other books (violence, desperation, emotions, etc.). What should i do?
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Have they read any of your stuff before? Despite the dark themes, they may end up liking the stuff you've written.

    From a legal standpoint, your parents may have to sign a book contract if you're under 18.
     
  3. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm assuming you're talking about self-publishing, or publishing it to a website?
    If they refuse to let you put your writing up unless they approve of what you've written and they don't approve, then you may be stuck biding your time until you turn 18. I know it may seem like it's a long way off, but it's really not. In the meantime, just keep writing.
     
  4. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    You can't sign any contracts until you're of legal age, whatever that is where you live. So yeah, just keep working on your craft until you're 'legal', and go from there.
     
  5. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    Let me talk to your parents. I'm a product of that sort of thinking.

    My grandfather worked for Harley-Davidson. His daughter, my mother, hated bikes.

    My parents also used to confiscate every switchblade I ever bought--at least the ones they found. And along with all of these infractions, I got a scolding that would peel paint.

    So I come home from college one afternoon...and guess what? I had become the very image of the life they tried to snuff out. I had been "over punished." As a result, their opinions didn't matter anymore.

    I mean really, it's a bike and a jackknife! Some of my classmates hiked around Europe!

    Tell them my story, and ask them to sit in on a writing session. Tell them why you're writing as you do. Encourage them to be partners, not outsiders.

    BTW, I cut my parents out of my life. They continued this nonsense until I was in my thirties--and married. They both died alone.
     
  6. Malkhalifa
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    Malkhalifa Member

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    @ Tourist: Sorry to hear that, Tourist. I'm guessing that explains your name and avatar. Touring Bikes? I always wanted a Nightster, but I lost too many a friend to motorbikes.

    @ OP: At the end of the day think of the gap between now and 18 as a time to work on your craft. You have to be a good negotiator with your folks if you want to get anywhere before that time. They have to understand that what your working on, writing in general is about self expression. It's personal, it's part of who you are. I grew up clearly defining that a decision of any kind that concerns me and isn't made by me, is never going to sit right with me. Something along the lines of: I'll do as you say, for now. but do you want to push me away? then, keep at the course you are going. I won't be a kid forever, and how close we remain as I become an adult is entirely dependent on you, right here, right now. I expect my pursuits to be supported and respected unconditionally, so long as I don't break a law or what my faith commands of me. That's not asking for much. (having a poker face on works a lot better than showing emotion.)
     
  7. Malkhalifa
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    Malkhalifa Member

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    Double post deleted
     
  8. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    I've owned over twenty bikes. I now own two Harleys, a big one and a little one. I'll drop their pics in your PM.

    Edit: Pictures sent--went reluctantly through the pm system. Let me know if you got them.
     
  9. Malkhalifa
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    Malkhalifa Member

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    Sounds good, Man.
     
  10. Macaberz
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    Macaberz Pay it forward Contributor

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    What should you do?

    That depends.

    It's hard for me to give you advice. I don't know your parents, I don't know how they would react to one thing or another. I do however get the impression that they can be somewhat strict. If that is the case I would do the following:

    1) Backup your writing online. Register a dropbox account or some other sort of password protected online storage service and put copies of your work there. Once again I don't know how your parents react to certain things but the worst they could do to your writing is delete/remove it. Now I don't suspect they will but I recommend you back up your files regardless. When I say backup, I mean putting it somewhere outside the computer you have/share, dropbox or google drive would be good options IMHO.
    2) Talk. I don't mean printing out your writing, letting them read it and then talk. I mean asking why it is they want to proofread. To me that seems like a fair question. Also ask them if they would want to proofread it if you weren't going to publish it. Try to figure out where the issue lies for them. From there you can move on.

    I would need a better definition of 'publishing' to really get a good context on what is going on here. Do you mean publishing as in posting excerpts here? Or more like publishing a physical novel that ends up on bookshelfs? Because in the latter case I have slightly less trouble imagining why they would want to proofread.

    Good luck!
     
  11. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Teen years can be tough. The Puritans used to send teen boys to apprentice outside the home, not just to learn a trade, but because they believed that the natural stress of adolescence and the need to prove one's independence combined with the parental need to provide discipline, made for a combination that could be damaging to the natural loving relationship that should ideally exist between parent and child. My own experience was different: my father died when I was 15, leaving only my mother and me. My rebellious tendencies were muted because we only had each other and knew it. Also, the last three years of my father's life were the three worst of mine.

    The most difficult thing in one's teen years is that everything is intense, immediate and permanent. In reality, it isn't, but it seems that way. That's where you are now. Liz and the others are correct. Once you are 18, you will be legally able to enter into contracts yourself. Of course, if you are still living at home and/or relying on them for support, you may have to pay them more heed than you'd like. My advice is to take a deep breath, realize that your whole life is stretching out ahead of you, and that your parents have your best interests at heart. Unfortunately, your parents are human and therefore imperfect. They won't always be right. Maybe they aren't right now. And if that's true, you will have a lifetime to have things your way.

    As Tourist suggests, invite your parents into your writing process. Communication is always a positive, even if it doesn't seem to be at the time.

    And keep writing.
     
  12. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    Thanks guys for the comments so far -and i think my parents (my mom namely) just doesn't like me dealing with "black magic" per se when the book does not deal with that at all along with gory violence. so far, the most gory thing i have is blood and two wolves fighting until one rips the other's fangs out -thus rendering them useless and sets their rank after having challenged the Alpha's son. But if you've read the fight between the two polar bears in The Golden Compass, i consider that a tad bit more gory with the jaw-blow and all. and back to the black magic stuff, there is no magic in my book but there are dark spirits. Think of DarkClan in the Warriorcats -similar to that.
     
  13. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    As both a former teen and parent, I'd caution against ultimatums (and that's what this is, however nicely it's put). Parents can love their kids unconditionally and still not like what they do. They can support their kids but not their choices (ie, we love you and if this turns out badly, we'll be there for you). Not to mention you could be closing doors you really want to leave open, and causing hurt that will always be there, regardless of reconciliations later.

    IMO, it's better to say "I respect your feelings now, but when I'm old enough to make my own decisions, I hope you'll respect my right to do so." Then work on your writing.
     
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  14. Malkhalifa
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    Malkhalifa Member

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    Oh, I was quoting myself on a similar situation once upon a time, where I was growing allergic to the word "no". We're like peas in a pod now. But yeah i like your quote better.
     

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