1. jodie_nye9663
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    jodie_nye9663 Member

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    Young Adult What is Appropriate romance for young adults?

    Discussion in 'By the Genre' started by jodie_nye9663, May 14, 2015.

    What is Appropriate in a romance novel aimed for young adults?

    I'm currently working on writing aimed for young adults. I have read a number of popular young adult romance novels as research, and the level of romantic intimacy varies.

    I want to include intimate love scenes, such as sex but without taking it out of the young adults market.
    Some of the young adult novels I have read included detailed sex scenes, is this appropriate? And how far is too far?

    I am personally aiming to steer away from curs words. But out of curiosity, what is the opinion on that?

    All thoughts and feedback welcome! Also sorry if I have posted this in the wrong thread, I wasn't overly sure where to put it.
     
  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    There's a pretty wide range of acceptable in this area.

    I would say sex scenes are fine, but they shouldn't be totally graphic (like don't describe specific body parts). I think the main thing is to be sure to avoid anything that's going to get your readers turned on. Which sounds a bit tricky, considering how easy it is to get turned on when you're a teenager! But most publishers are saying that half or more of their YA readers are actually adults, and adults in our society are a bit squeamish about being turned on by teen sex.

    Re. avoiding obscenities, this is a bit weird for me. I mean, you're writing about teens who have sex, apparently, so it doesn't seem like they're strongly religiously bound or whatever else that would keep them from swearing. It might be a bit strange to have characters who will fuck but who won't say fuck.

    And if you are determined to keep the language clean, you may want to consider minimizing the sex as well. That way you could sell to the market for clean YA.
     
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  3. jodie_nye9663
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    jodie_nye9663 Member

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    Thanks! Perhaps I should have given more details about the story sorry.

    The characters are aged 16-17 (to begin with) and my story will run until they are around 18-19.

    I get your point about the swearing lol.
    The reason I won't be featuring obscenities is because it is a fantasy, the race in my world don't have curs words, well not any that we use anyway. So I will be making some up :). I just wanted to see people's opinions on it.

    That's interesting to know that a lot of adults read YA books.
    But given that I'm aiming for teen readers, I'll avoid graphical scenes.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
  4. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    If you're worried about the level of detail, you could try skipping the actual act and segue into What Happened Next.
     
  5. Eliza Rain
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    Eliza Rain Member

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    I'm juggling with the same thing. While its true a lot of adults read YA, teens also read up. So you may have a lot of 13-15 year olds reading these stories as well. Don't let this frighten you! There's just a lot of approaches to this you can take and its up to you on how you feel is appropriate on your character's sexy times.

    In all technicality, there is no proper way to do it except be misinforming. That's honestly the worst thing you can do is give young minds more wrong ideas about sex. So try and be mindful of that. But here are a few tactics ive been using/seeing in practice.

    1) the most indirect way that I believe is useful to get the point across is to perhaps just have the characters talk about their sex life to each other or to someone other close friends. Sex isn't something that happens and you just ignore it. There's tension, flirting, bickering, people walking in on the wrong moment. Just tons of little things you can do to make it obvious but light.

    2) If you're comfortable with throwing in a little sexy time. You can have a lead up, cut off, and then say after math in bed or in the morning. This seems to be the most popularly used.

    3) there's another tactic that's similar to the one above, where instead of the cut off, there's snippets. There can be thoughts, a few words, even some 'action' but usually its really small. A paragraph at most.

    4) this form is... Danced around. Where you're in the moment while having sex but its more of a stream line of consciousness that come from one of the characters. This is my least favorite form, but that's just my opinion.

    5) of course lastly you have the straight up sex scene which is highly controversial for whatever reasons you obviously can imagine. But here's the thing, its entirely up to you. Is your mc a teen going through a sexual journey? Then damn well better have some sexiness going on! But to keep things simple. Think of it this way. A direct sex scene can be distracting in YA. Readers sometimes may only pick up that book for the scene at that age, and you don't want that you want them to love the characters and story you put your blood sweat and tears into! However, its to your discretion! :]

    I think that's enough for now. On your topic of swearing. There's two ways to look at it. You can have characters have different levels and morals on swearing, like how it is in real life. Or you can have it for effect like in a badass scene or during moments of passion.

    Woo, that's a lot. Hope it helped. :]
     
  6. jen_writer
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    jen_writer Member

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    I read a few teen books as I'm a vampire fan. In Twilight are sex scenes in the last book and you may find sex scenes in other books. I'd say read them to get an idea of how the writers are writing it. If you think of teenagers it may be new to them so you could think about that angle. I would'nt completely avoid it as teens are curious and will probably feel like you're treating them like a child if you skip over it.
    Some writers are great with sex scenes they put it in a more emotional context.
    My best advice is read the sex scenes in published works
     

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