1. CMastah
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    CMastah Active Member

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    Would this be too violent for children?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by CMastah, Sep 2, 2015.

    In my story a baby gets kidnapped, right? The thing is, the baby was kidnapped to be offered up to die at the hands of an evil fairy who wants to kill the child and bathe his gloves in its blood. The actual killing won't happen (the characters prevent it) but that's why the fairy wants the baby.

    The other thing is that the baby is found dead (no marks on its body though, absolutely spotless and they can't figure out why it's dead) and then after mourning it, they take the corpse with them. It turns out its soul was removed from its body, it's then later reinserted by another creature and the baby comes back to life again.

    Are these perhaps too violent for a book aimed at 8-12 year olds?
     
  2. Woof
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    Woof Contributing Member

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    All sorts of gruesome things happen in e.g. the Harry Potters and pretty much every fairytale that's ever existed. I mean Snow White? Sleeping beauty? Hansel and Gretel? Lots of plotting to kill children in those, especially if you go back to the earlier less sanitised versions. It's all in how you handle it. I greatly admire Michael Morpurgo for how he writes difficult subjects and themes that are used in his work. If you imagine a guitar string: for young, developing minds that don't necessarily have a thick skin you would pluck it gently and allow it to resonate. For more seasoned, adult minds with skin like armour you may need to hit it hard and often to be heard. In my opinion, it's not only appropriate but necessary for the healthy development of children into adults to bring them up against the gnarlier aspects of life in literature -- whether directly or metaphorically -- so they can learn how to handle them incrementally and whilst they (hopefully!) still have a lot of support and a safe environment in which to develop.
     
  3. CMastah
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    CMastah Active Member

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    True enough, as it stands, kids still do read lord of the rings and that's got its fair share of violence and darkness. As it is, ultimately the kids will be fine so I don't want to worry too much about this but thought that perhaps parents might throw a fit about letting their kids read this kind of stuff.
     
  4. Woof
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    Woof Contributing Member

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    I understand. I have some of the same concerns about my current WIP. It's MG fiction and contains themes about slavery and indentured servitude that I worry parents (and therefore publishers) won't like. So I tell myself the same thing: that there are plenty of gruesome sounding ideas/synopses/themes already out there in MG-land and they got picked up okay. Better to concentrate on making sure you tell the story well, in as age-appropriate a way as you can.

    I walk through town once a week and pass by the bookshop (yes, that's right, THE bookshop :() so, if I need to, I can duck in then and browse what's on offer to reassure myself!
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    How about making the baby asleep, won't wake up until the soul is returned?

    And if you write it well, think about: baked in the oven Hansel and Gretel, Alice 'off with their heads' in Wonderland, poisoned apple Snow White, there are many more examples.

    I will say that for the 5 and under crowd, one of the kids with us cried during the Lion King, and I hated what happened to Dumbo's mother and Bambi's parents when I was a tot.
     
  6. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Mummy and Daddy kissed the little baby. The parents closed the door very, very carefully. Baby lay in her crib, watched the mobile spin, the animals: the tiger, lamb, the teddy bear. They all rode together, merry, merry-go-round before her tiny eyes. The music stopped, and baby scrunched her eyes in disappointment.

    'Hush,' said a voice.

    'Hush, little baby,' said the same voice, the voice of a curtain. 'Hush child, hush, hush and you shall come with me,' said the curtain. And it rose, spread as wings, and from the fabric flap emerged a gargoyle. Vile, a lizard creature, a spotted skull, hair sprouted from the ears only. The gargoyle tip-toed to the crib, seized the child, and it said:

    'Tonight I shall bathe in your baby's blood...'
     
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  7. tanger32au
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    tanger32au Member

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    Provided it is written well and handled with care I can't see any issues with that.
     
  8. Bethany35
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    Bethany35 Active Member

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    I find it very gruesome but kids seem to like gruesome, and some of the greatest books for older kids are the more disturbing... Melvyn Burgess- "Junk", John Greene "The Fault In Our Stars"/ "Searching For Alaska", "The hunger games" , "Maze runner" , "His dark materials" to name but some. Make sure you keep some humour in it too though and baddies never get away with it!
    You might like to read Terry Pratchett's "Wee Free Men" where a girl has to go and rescue her horrible little brother from the fairy queen.
     
  9. CMastah
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    CMastah Active Member

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    Heheh, that's probably scariest to a parent than a kid. Given the more innocent build up though, that line is shockingly creepy.


    I had thought about that, but I worry that the baby sleeping won't be as impactful as assuming it's dead (although once the 'dead' part comes up and the characters get broken up about it, I worry about upsetting the readers).

    I'll write my story as is because as it stands kids today are reading horror novels for teens anyway.
     
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  10. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    *shudders* Really good writing btw. So so so creepy - that gargoyle especially.
     

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