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February 2nd, 2005, 08:47 PM
I am writing my current story and I have an idea about what other kids or parents may think of it.
The story has gore and some very small sexual references, but my maturity tells me it has nothing to do with sexual reference but I fear parents or other children may not see the difference and be forced to stop reading.

I dont want this to happen, so how do you think parents or children would you respond to violence, gore, adventure, small sexual reference?

The poll is optional, but I would like to see results of a poll better.

February 2nd, 2005, 09:20 PM
I don't think they will care much, but I guess it all depends on what kind of parents these are. I'm sure the children won't care at all, but if the parents are strict there could be an issue if the violence or gore is too extreme. Most parents are probably more worried about the sexual reference if anything. I'm sure it's nothing big, so like I said it probably depends on how strict the parents are. ;) :D
~carries around an "I Voted" sticker~ :D :cool:

February 2nd, 2005, 09:34 PM
I'm under the opinion that if kids want to read something, they will. And there's nothing their parents can do about it. Children are generally a lot more mature than anyone gives them credit for. well... that's how I felt when I was ten... then again I might have just been messed up from too many gory movies...

<steals jay's I voted sticker and attaches it to forehead, runs off screaming "I voted too!"> :p :D :p

February 2nd, 2005, 09:59 PM
Let's face reality, most parents have no idea what their kids are reading/playing, they just buy it because the kid wants it (fortunately for you, books don't have ratings like the games).

I think the more important question here is - Why?

Is the sex necessary for your story, is it even relevant, or are you just putting it in there because you think it is "cool"?
Why is there gore? Same thing... Because it needs to be there, or because it is "cool"?

Most people are desensitized to violence as is, so you don't have to vividly describe (read: SHOULDN'T bog down the reader with extensive description) when their mind can easily fill in the blanks.

Just to give you an idea, take this sentence that I heard from a friend's story, "She squirmed on the ground, forming a bloody on the white carpet."
The sentence doesn't say a lot, but it paints an awesome picture in the mind.

February 2nd, 2005, 10:48 PM
I agree that children generally can handle a lot more than their parents give them credit for. And they will enjoy your story more if you don't see them as babies and carefully censor out anything "adult" in nature.

Of course it goes without saying that anything overtly gorey or sexual shouldn't be in a YA story. But, neither are such things necessary in an adult story in most cases. Just use common sense as to what is needed for the story and what is not.

Some parents think that just about everything is inapproriate for their children, so I wouldn't worry about them too much. You can never please everyone anyway, and you'll never get anything written if you try to please everyone. If you're writing for kids, then just think about what the kids would like to read. Think about what you would have liked to read at that age.

February 3rd, 2005, 02:26 AM
Miri; When a child hits high school age, (11 here) they are going to learn a lot more about "sex" and a lot of myths and nonsense as well, from their peer group. A good parent prepares their child for the swings and roundabouts of growing up and what their body will start going through in the next year or so, as best they can.

I think the trick is to present any sexual relationship as "normal" unless you are dealing with the harsher realities. Say enough for mature readers to grasp what is going on. If younger readers are mature enough to understand then ok, if not they would most likely skip it.

I suppose as well it depends on your own culture, here in the UK and Europe we are a bit more "open" on the sex content, both on TV, films and books Violence still is clamped down on. I am often surprised that films that are rated 18 here have often been rated for 16-17 year olds in the states.

Children of that age are learning to tell the difference between "pretend" violence like LOTR and The day after tomorrow, type. They know it is make believe. My youngest has no problem watching those sorts of films or any "action film" and hasn't done for a year or so (She is 16) but she is still reluctant to watch Shindler's list, because she knows that happened, it was real. Same as she reacted differently to pictures of the recent terrible tragedy in Asia. That was not a disaster movie, it was real. It is this knowing of what is real and what is not that is an important landmark in a child's development. A parent's part is to help them understand where the line is. Sadly some don't care or haven't got a clue, or take no interest in what their child is doing or thinking. They don't even bother to talk to them half the time...(ok off soap box) It is true you never know what a child is up to all the time but if you know them and actually listen to them when they talk to you, you can see signs, get hints.

Also remember you are a writer, if you are writing a book for adult readers, a mature story and it is marketed as such. Then you are not personally responsible for children getting hold of that book and reading it. You can’t beat yourself up about it. If on the other hand you are writing for the juvenile market, then best do some research, look at what is in the marketplace already Amber Spy Glass, Harry Potter etc. Best thing I have done is ask myself would I be comfortable with my own child reading this at say 11, 12, etc…

February 3rd, 2005, 01:40 PM
I'd have to agree that most children would read the story whether or not the parent says so, but I have seen parents that will watch every detail in their child's life.
Back to the point, kids really aren't given enough credit, and the reason is is because adults know that children think they know everything. It's a hand in hand situation if you ask me. Teens and preteens think they know everything about sex, but I guarantee if they heard something on the topic they probably wouldn't know what it meant- they would only pretend. As for violence. Nowadays kids have Halo and games that present violence and war, a book will not be much different than these games. The games probably give them a better mental image of what you're writing. But if they were to see something as such in real life, outside of the movies and games, they probably wouldn't take it so easy and call it 'cool'.
My opinion is that the book should be written in the way you intend it to be written. If the kid wasn't interested in violence, then he/she wouldn't pick up the book as I'm sure the summary written on the book jacket will give at least a small hint of violence in the book. As for the sexuality, I know you said it was a small sexual reference, which I'm sure a kid/teen will either enjoy or pass it off because they don't understand it. If it's relevent, write it. :) All books can be enjoyable if written properly, keep the story interesting but not confusing. ;)

February 3rd, 2005, 06:05 PM
I think the more important question here is - Why?

Is the sex necessary for your story, is it even relevant, or are you just putting it in there because you think it is "cool".

There isn't sex in my story, but now days if there is any thing related to the body people critize it is sexual. So it is just a minor description, nothing big.

February 3rd, 2005, 07:21 PM
There isn't sex in my story, but now days if there is any thing related to the body people critize it is sexual. So it is just a minor description, nothing big.

If you do a great job, it'll be artistic.
If you do a good job, nobody will notice.
If you do a lousy job, it'll be sexist.

So do a good job.

February 3rd, 2005, 07:43 PM
Good point, Expendable.