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  1. floating atlas

    floating atlas New Member

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    Tips on writing Dark Fantasy for Middle Grade?

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by floating atlas, Jul 14, 2020.

    I'm writing a middle grade story, specifically an upper middle grade story about a twelve-year-old girl who lives on a planet where half of the population are born with magic powers. She is born powerless but later is granted the highest and rarest kind of power by a trio of goddesses that guide her throughout the story. But when a woman who used to have those same powers but had them cruelly taken away steals the little girl's power in order to get revenge on the world. The girl, once again powerless, has to learn how to save the planet using the power within her instead.

    I want to go for a sort of grim tone when writing the story, and there are certain things in the story that I'm not sure how to go about to a younger audience.

    For example, there is a scene where the antagonist literally rips the girl's wings off of her, and it harms her pretty badly and she goes into a coma. In this coma, she dreams and learns certain things, she learns about the antagonist's past, and she is encouraged by the trio of goddesses to not rely on the powers she used to have, and to use her inner power to defeat the antagonist instead.

    I'm not sure how to go about certain things like blood or violence, especially since the protagonist is a little girl.
     
  2. GraceLikePain

    GraceLikePain Senior Member

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    I highly recommend not doing the ripping off wings thing. Physical violence can be pretty traumatic for a child, even if they think they're tough. I recommend in the taking of the wings to do it in some sort of magical way. Like the wings shrink on the girl and this makes her feel weak, and simultaneously the wings grow on the villain. That way kids that read your book can make a game of it. Or else describe the violence very mechanically, like something happened, but you don't dwell on it. What comes to mind is Prince Caspian, where a guy's legs and head get chopped off, and a werewolf gets stabbed. Actually, in that book there was this scene where the werewolf is describing with really awful terms what he's capable of. Maybe consider having your characters say violent things without getting the chance to actually do them.

    As for grim things...huh. Being out of control of a situation used to spook me a lot as a child. Like going through all these weird environments where unsettling things happen. Imagine maybe a clockwork thing sticking out from a wall, or someone with powers sprinkling glowing dust on radioactive flowers. Just stuff that seems random. Kids are into that kind of thing.
     
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  3. floating atlas

    floating atlas New Member

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    Understood. But that'd be changing the story too much, it wouldn't really work because I wanted the big conflict to be caused by the antagonist, otherwise the antagonist is pointless to the story. Do you think maybe there's a way to have something similar to her wings being ripped off by the antagonist without it being too dark? Plus the "coma" stuff is crucial to the story and I can't approach it in the story without this scene. So I'm not sure how to dial it down in a way that would make sense.
     
  4. GraceLikePain

    GraceLikePain Senior Member

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    Well, she could still go into a coma from other forms of removing the wings. Maybe have the villain wave her hand and this tears the wings off, rather than have her physically doing so.
     

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