1. CMastah
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    CMastah Active Member

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    Publishers and deaths of minors in novels?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by CMastah, Mar 21, 2014.

    Here's the thing, the novel I'm working on will have a few kids getting murdered in the first few chapters, is that going to be a problem for publishers? The descriptions aren't vivid, more along the lines of dispatched, skewered or run through (with bladed weapons). I know people are squeamish about that stuff on TV but was wondering if the same held for novels (also, by minors, I mean kids younger than ten).
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    have you never read the modern classic, 'lord of the flies'?

    if not, i suggest you do so... it will answer your question...
     
  3. Siena
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    Siena Active Member

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    Almost certainly not.
     
  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Also, The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. ;)
     
  5. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    Or Stephen King's It.
     
  6. Bjørnar Munkerud
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    Or The Hunger Games ... it's actually very powerful stuff if you do it right, rather than all that gruesome, and as it's a fictional story you can feel good about having characters die, which can lead to interesting emotions and that great touch of realism many stories need.
     
  7. CMastah
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    CMastah Active Member

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    Thanks guys, I'd actually forgotten about some of the ones like lord of the flies (or even children of the corn for that matter), I guess it actually has been explored pretty well.
     
  8. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    There are only two deaths in that book (if I remember correctly) and they are both made very significant. Very.

    It works in Lord of the Flies because the deaths are powerful. It doesn't mean you can just off your characters willy-nilly for no reason. But if the deaths matter, go for it! :)
     
  9. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    Hunger Games, Twilight, Harry Potter, Coraline...

    No. Never kill any children in your books or publishers will run from it like it was lava ;-)
     
  10. CMastah
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    CMastah Active Member

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    Heheh, I guess the real challenge now is in making kids that see little in word count who are likeable enough for readers to be upset for :p
     
  11. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think it's that much about making them "likeable" before killing them: it's more about death as a subject in writing. It comes with maturity, I think: death itself is the ultimate subject, so taking it lightly may "irritate" your readers in more ways than one.

    As @minstrel said about "Lord of Flies": significance. And it goes for the "grown-up" characters as well: sure, people die like flies all the time ( :) ) but even acknowledging this makes a powerful statement in writing.

    And f*k the publishers, they are the least of your concerns here: it's the readers who'll judge the story, and it's your personal growth as a writer (etc) which is ultimately at stakes with everything you write&publish. :)
     
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  12. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Amen to that. Don't worry about taboos, even if you know you might be crossing one. Dip into any of the Greek tragedies and you're likely to stumble across something to make you gasp. Start with Sophocles' Oedipus Rex.
     
  13. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    Romeo and Juliet.

    If you want to be shunned, have them get pregnant. Oh wait; I think that's a TV show. And a movie.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    and euripedes' Medea!
     
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  15. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    mmm Medea, the mother of all child-killing in literature :D
     

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