Friday, October 26, 2012

Partners in ParaNormYA

The Line We Chose Not to Cross

We want to thank Tyrean for having us here today as we quickly touch on, well, just that. Touching. In YA fiction.

We’re hoping you’ve all had a chance to purchase your e-book of Givin’ Up the Ghost (also available in paperback) or Neverlove. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for?

Okay, sorry J Couldn’t help it lol! Back to the point.

Our teen characters did what many teens did. They enjoyed the physical attributes of others. They held, hugged or kissed. But that’s about it. Instead of details, hints are shared as to what did or didn’t happen.

This wasn’t always the case with Neverlove. I, at first, had a couple of brief scenes that were a bit more risqué, though far from erotica. A critique partner asked me if the details were necessary. Did they move things forward or were they just to have that gritty approach? I considered it, not long, because I knew the answer. The scenes did not fit the flow of the novel, so I removed them. There was enough grit in the subject matter itself. There was no need to overdo it.

Gwen also removed a steamier scene from Givin’ Up The Ghost when a critique partner suggested it was maybe a little heavy for young adults. Not full-on petting, but body parts leaning pretty heavily into other body parts. A scene that didn’t fit into the “cozy mystery” and “light paranormal” theme.

That’s how both Gwen and I feel about young adult novels and the “touching” matter. It happens. Things go beyond your basic hugs and kisses. Teen pregnancies wouldn’t exist if it didn’t. But we both agree that, for our writing styles, the extra grit didn’t fit. Sorry. That rhyme was so not on purpose lol!

Some teens lead gritty lives. There’s no denying that. They experience things that could make any person angry. And teens do things they aren’t supposed to. Well, I’ll admit I did lol! But it is up to each writer how to handle sharing this, especially in young adult fiction.

Gwen and I chose the grit-lite path for our YA novels. What are your thoughts on physical interactions in YA?

Purchase Angela Brown’s Neverlove at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble, Amazon FR, and Amazon DE.

Purchase Gwen Gardner’s Givin’ Up The Ghost at Amazon US and Amazon UK.
And there are two giveaways! Visit Partners in ParanormYA for the Big Swag Giveaway and for Week Three Giveaway.



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Thanks again, Tyrean!

Gwen Gardner
ladygwen@centurylink.net
http://gwengardner.blogspot.com

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Angela Brown:

Born and raised in Little Rock, AR, Angela now calls Central Texas home. She's a lover of Wild Cherry Pepsi and chocolate/chocolate covered delicious-ness. Steampunk, fantasy and paranormal to contemporary - mostly young adult - fill her growing library of books. Mother to a rambunctious darling girl aptly nicknamed Chipmunk, life stays busy. Her favorite quote keeps her moving: "You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
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Gwen Gardner:

Running, writing and reading are my favorite things.

I am also a dreamer.

Have you ever told yourself that "someday" I'm going to travel or write or whatever it is that you are passionate about but can't do right now for whatever reason? You can go for years and years and keep telling yourself that "someday" you'll do it. Too often "someday" never comes. But mine did. I am a former Administrative Manager and Vice President of a successful swimming pool plastering company - until I woke up one day and realized that my "someday" had arrived. I quit my job, moved to the mountains and began to write. Crazy, I know. But even crazier? Is when you get to the end of your life and realize that your "someday" is too late. Life is much too short for that! So the adventure has begun.

34 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I write for adults, but I still didn't want any of that stuff in my book. It doesn't fit either. Good for you ladies for going the 'lite' route!

Angela Brown said...

Thanks, Alex. Staying true to the story was best, and I'm glad for it.

Angela Brown said...

Thanks so much, Tyrean, for hosting Gwen and me here today. So glad to be here with you and everyone :-)

L.G.Smith said...

I think it's important to match the tone and subject matter to the intended audience. Sometimes it's not appropriate to include more of the physical stuff.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Alex - I know what you mean. I prefer to go on the lite side with romance stuff even for adults.

Angela - You are welcome!!! I'm glad to have you here!

LG - I agree, although I think there's room for the lite stuff even for older audiences. It depends on the story and its focus.

Gwen Gardner said...

Hey Tyrean *waves* Thank you so much for having us here today.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Hey Gwen - Thanks for coming! I love this post and your thoughts on keeping things lite.

Julie said...

I admit I'm terrible at writing "hot" scenes, so I tend to go lite as well. I think for your books it definitely sounds like that was the appropriate route to take. Interesting post, ladies!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Julie - I'm the same way. I have a tendency to read the "lite" stuff, and I can't write a hot scene anyway . . .so I just go for lite in my writing as well.

Emily R. King said...

Hi Gwen! I totally agree with you. I'm not one of those "it happens, so I can write it" kind of people. I know "it" happens, just not in any of my books. :D

Thanks, Tyrean!

Gwen Gardner said...

Julie, sometimes scenes will just run away from you, but you have to reel it back in, lol!

Tyrean, I do think YA should be lite on the love scenes, especially since the projected age group starts at 12 or 13!

Emily, so true. Like I said above, you have to take the whole age group into account when writing YA, which starts at around age 12 or 13. They are definitely not ready for some of the loves scenes that 16 - 17 years olds may be ready for.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Emily - I totally get what you mean! :-)

Gwen - I completely agree! My current project has a 15 year old MC . . .and she's not there yet, not really. (even though it may happen out there in the real world, it's not something I'm ready to address in this book)

Rachel Morgan said...

I agree with you on the route you took. My stories have also got romance and kissing and getting close, but there's no mention of "body parts leaning pretty heavily into other body parts", lol ;-)

Gwen Gardner said...

Rachel, lol. Chaste kisses and mixed feelings work a lot better in YA!

Jack said...

I think, the less details one goes into the better. Though maybe that is just my style too. I don't go into those kinds of detail. For one, I think they take away from the plot, and for another, I think they just aren't needed.

Misha Gericke said...

I'm sort of neutral about it, since it's a bit complicated in my YA/NA fantasy series.

However, I managed to get a lot more sexual tension going without the grit than with it. :-)

Gwen Gardner said...

Jack, sometimes less is more ;-)

Misha, there are ways to create sexual tension without getting into the grit, lol!

Jess said...

Um, I didn't really have any physical interactions as a young adult, so I don't mind them being left out :) I think I enjoy the flirtation through conversation/close calls in books more than actual physical love scenes.

Medeia Sharif said...

I think it depends on the book and how the scenes are written. Sometimes those scenes simply don't match a book. Also, if they match, those scenes can be tastefully written. I don't think anything has to be overly graphic considering the intended audience.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Rachel - That makes sense. I think that getting close doesn't have to be super close.

Jack - I agree, although there is definitely a market for all those details.

Jess - the flirtations are often the best part of an romance.

Medeia - I agree. It definitely depends on the book.

M Pax said...

You have to do what fits the book. I write for adults, but I'm not sure if what I established for one series would allow it. In the other, it's already there. It totally depends on the story, I think.

Gwen Gardner said...

Jess, I agree. Sometimes it's what's left undone or unsaid that works the best.

Medeia, it absolutely depends on the book. Sometimes love scenes just don't belong at all.

Mary, I completely agree:)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Mary - it definitely depends on the book.

Gwen - Thanks for hanging out with me all day!

Tammy Theriault said...

wow, touchy subject sometimes...especially now that teenagers are way more exposed. i guess it would depend on how comfortable the individual is, but heck, that might be a "grey" book for teenagers. hmmm... great blog! new follower...hi!

Lily Tequila said...

It's too easy for a young reader to think that if it's written, it's a kind of endorsement. I think fact is a better medium than fiction for the younger audience to learn about sex, because it is such an emotive subject. Fiction can help demystify the emotional aspects though. Engaging post! :-)

michelle said...

YA starts around about what age? 13/14? I think the "lite" route is appropriate... and it's good to leave some things to the imagination...
On the other hand, today's teens are exposed to way more adult stuff at an earlier age...

Tyrean Martinson said...

Tammy - nice to meet you! I'm impressed by Gwen and Angela's ability to handle this touchy subject!

Lily - Gwen and Angela did a great job, didn't they?

michele - I think lite is better even when they are exposed to so much. Sometimes it's a way to retreat from it all.

Nick Wilford said...

I don't have that much knowledge of YA, but I think it would depend on the context and general feel of the book. With any book, it feels jarring if it clearly seems just to have been shoved in there (erm...) to spice things up. Maybe it could be something for the New Adult genre!

Gwen Gardner said...

Nick, *snort* I totally agree. And yeah, it's probably more appropriate in NA:)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Nick - LOL . . .I agree.



Old Kitty said...

I think for me it depends on how honest such things are written and how integral such things are to the story! Take care
x

Monstrous Animals said...

Here from the Halloween Hop. Have a lovely day!

The Golden Eagle said...

My opinion of physical interactions in YA is determined the book; they work in really gritty stories, but can be out of place in lighter fiction. I tend to avoid such scenes in my own stories as I'm fairly rubbish at writing them and romance isn't one of the most important elements, typically.

Heather said...

I couldn't agree more that the scene must fit the flow of the story and have meaning, especially if it involves anything risque. Bravo to you ladies for sticking to that!