Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Too Much or Not Enough in YA-Ville?

How much is too much
for a young adult novel?

In writing there seems to always be a fine line. Too much detail or not enough, what you can
“play with” or add too and what you can’t change within the historical fiction realm. The struggles I have found most in writing is
really deciding what is too much for a young adult read? Television has it’s own ratings and it’s sometimes
really quite shocking what the stations allow to pass through on the young
adult rating. From taboo topics to horribly
foul language, join us as we explore the ultimate question..How much is too
much in young adult “book-ville”.
Let’s first take a glance at the possibilities the door of question opens. With television and movie ratings there is a standard
of what is deemed appropriate and what is not.
Do these same concepts and beliefs reflect what is appropriate in the
literature land? I have to say I think
not. For some reason “brief” nudity and
gore seem to be okay visually via young adult standards when you flick on that
infamous television set, but oh my!- if you dabble in the darker side of
things- (example Harry Potter) for the young adult mind. What an uproar some people created over that
fantasy school and shhh, can we say “wizards”-
Why is that? Wasn’t Jim Hensens
“The Dark Crystal” dark and fantasy driven as well and yet no stink raised
The trouble I really find myself in is for example, my second
book in the Banyan series I’m currently writing. It is a historical fiction novella in which a
young girl wishes upon a Banyan tree stick to be anywhere but where she is in
her life and ends up waking up in the midst of a historic event with each new
day. Current setting, being the
concentration camp, Dachau. The horror
and the extreme torture that took place there is enough to make a strong heart
sob. How do you engage the young mind
and wrap it fully around the events that took place there all while keeping it
age appropriate? Is it possible? I really don’t want to soften the events that
took place there as that truly would be nothing short of an insult to the
people who endured the trials and tribulations, or even perished at
I’m trying to
deepen my own writings as I dive into the darkness at Dachau and create a healthy
awareness to the political and humanity side of this piece of history that
should never be forgotten. History has
so much to do with our future and I truly believe that is we listen to it we
can get through this journey called life.
Another hot
topic on my mind has been the fact that I am a multi genre author. I write everything from children’s books, to
fantasy, to historical fiction, to even adult reads. I do however write anything deemed
inappropriate for younger minds under a pen name- as to not offend anyone,
respectfully. When I tell people this
they seem too often go bug eyed! Is this
really any different than an actor or actress starring in a children’s film,
then doing a love scene in their next year’s big hit? I think opening the mind to be able to
explore all aspects of writing is the key.
It becomes way too easy to become redundant in your works and shifting
genres is a nice key to keep things fresh and your creative juices flowing.
Writing really
brings up more questions than you can imagine and that is what I love about
it. Pushing the envelope, opening doors
in people’s minds, reminding people of the past and envisioning our future. Isn’t that what makes up a fabulous book
after all anyway?
Thanks for reading, and a huge thank you to Rebecca Russell
for having me on Teen Word Factory! You
can catch up on my blog at http://sameenassphere.wordpress.com/
Banyan is available via Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Banyan-ebook/dp/B005JUZO0M
& Museitup Publishing’s online bookstore http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=208&category_id=10&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1&vmcchk=1&Itemid=1

Cheers to a good read,
Sameena Bachmeier


Stina Lindenblatt said...

When I write, I think about my kids. When they are xx years old, will I be okay with them reading my book? My current wip has swearing in it, but it's for older teens. That means my 11 yo isn't allowed to read it (even if he does swear worse than a sailor).

Donna M. McDine said...

I would stay true to the historical events. If you alter it, it will not ring true.

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