1. jacklondonsghost
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    jacklondonsghost Contributing Member

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    Possible Scene for a YA novel

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by jacklondonsghost, Feb 2, 2010.

    Hi guys,

    I'm going back and forth over this issue with my WIP. It's a YA novel about a teenage hockey player who, over the course of a school year, falls in love with his male friend. I have a lot of it already written, including a scene which I'm still debating putting into the finished work. It's a scene where the MC is masturbating, though not in graphic terms at all. I'm pretty positive it belongs in the book because it not only adds realism to the piece but it furthers the reader's understanding of his character and the internal turmoil he is dealing with. It doesn't use any graphic wording, and it is not the main focus of the scene, rather, the scene is more about his thoughts than any actions taking place.

    I just thought I'd ask some opinions on keeping this in the book. I'm pretty sure I will, since I really think it adds to the story, but it can't hurt to ask other opinions. Does anyone think this will hurt my chances of selling the book? The only reason I worry at all is that the novel will definitely be YA. Thanks for any opinions.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It might. On the other hand, it might end up being a selling point.

    If you believe in it, and can write it convincingly, go for it. It's your story.

    So far as grammar, viewpoint, sentence structure, and other technical aspects of writing, stick to the standards and conventions. As a new writer, that isn't the way to stand out. But in the story itself, that's where you can take calculated risks.
     
  3. jacklondonsghost
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    jacklondonsghost Contributing Member

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    That's good advice, Cogito, thanks.
     
  4. fandango
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    fandango Member

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    It's all going to be in the delivery and how you present it. But in principle, I'd say yes, keep it in. I'd actually say especially keep it in if it's a YA novel as these are the type of issues that teenagers have to confront.
     
  5. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have very strong feelings about people cencoring themselves in books marketted to teenagers. If your only concern is what publishers are willing to do, then ignore this. If you are underestimating teenagers, telling yourself that it's inappropriate, or something along those lines, forget about those idea feelings. In my opinion, anyone who feels the need to do anything special because publishers will market it to people aged 13-18, they probably shouldn't be doing it. The books that are worth reading that do have a distictly different style from adult novels do so by virtue of the character's personality, nothing more.

    When it comes to sex and violence, anything you want to cencor, if they aren't involved in it, they know people who are, or they can get it in movies and books shelved in the adult section.
     
  6. jacklondonsghost
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    jacklondonsghost Contributing Member

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    I agree with what you say there, Rei. I'm pretty sure I'll be leaving it in, because I think it is a well-written scene and it fits.
     
  7. Nobeler Than Lettuce
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    Nobeler Than Lettuce Contributing Member

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    It's a good thing to write for the gay community, after all they're something like 20 percent of Americans, and the identity conflicts and stigma that develops with those poor fellas doesn't help.

    It all depends on your style, but from the way you've mentioned it I don't see it as a major problem. In fact it could be a huge motivator in pushing the story forward. He's not just mindlessly masturbating at 3am with the history channel on in the background, he's coming to terms with his sexuality. Moreover, the possible frustration he feels with the person he's falling in love with could make a nice tie.

    Normally I'd suggest not to include something like that, as it would, in many markets and minds, put people off, but like I said before, you sound like you're dealing with it fairly well. I had major troubles with my first gay MC. He and his English teacher became friends, but I was so much of a prude with even hinting that these two were homosexual that the story suffered. Told from the point of the English teacher, who's love was more cerebral than his student's, it seemed like I either had found a classy way to write it in, with subtlety, or a terrible way to write it since it lacked so much of the emotion the younger MC was obviously dealing with.
     
  8. jacklondonsghost
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    jacklondonsghost Contributing Member

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    Nobeler than Lettuce: My thoughts exactly. I feel like the world is lacking in GLBT ficiton, and I know for one when I was in high school I was about sick of reading about male/female couples when I knew it had nothing to do with my life.

    This is exactly how I wrote the scene, with him getting extremely frustrated, angry, and then eventually feeling resigned.
     
  9. Nobeler Than Lettuce
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    Nobeler Than Lettuce Contributing Member

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    I'd love to see that posted here. I mean, there are so many ways to go with something like that. A character could end up "'cursing his 'purple thing'", trying with what he can to make it work. (As quoted from a similar novel) To thinking about girls at first, then becoming heartbroken that he could not make love to a woman, and to his absolute rage at being in love with a straight man. Too much, you know? I'd love to see it posted so the writers here could attack it and defend it at their leisure. If you want a broad opinion on that subject there's no place better to go.

    The more psychologically motivated your fiction is, the better it will be. If you're homosexual all the more power to you. You've got insight the straight people here don't. I hope you turn some heads at least.
     
  10. jacklondonsghost
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    jacklondonsghost Contributing Member

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    I'd like to post it up, but I need to make my 2 critique requirement first. I haven't had time, between my own writing and my three writing intensive courses this semester, but maybe this weekend I'll get some done and then post an excerpt. It's at least encouraging to know that someone is interested in reading it.
     

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