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Thread: Taboo on Kids

  1. #1
    SF Pete
    Guest

    Taboo on Kids

    I posted this question yesterday, but I cannot find it. If someone has seen it before, please direct me to that thread. Thanks.

    ============
    ISSUES:

    My novel revolves around a boy currently in Seventh Grade and may stop when he's a Sophmore or a Junior in high school. In each class, he has "romantic interests" (i.e.: girls) that he meets. Who knows, maybe one of his Seventh Grade crushes could be his future wife.

    I'm unsure how I can develop such "elementary and high school boy/girl relationships" without coming across as a "perverted sicko author" because there's such a taboo about kids. I mean I'm not 12...and yet how can my 12-year old boy character describe a 12-year old blonde girl without ME, THE AUTHOR, not taking the hit for it too?

    Or is this a non-issue and I am worrying too much?

    Now I have no issues with my main boy and girl characters because I'm not writing anything perverted such a molesting, rape, and any of that "sick stuff," but I do notice that most books about kids (J.K. Rowling for example) avoid such youngster romances until the main characters are at least teenagers.

    I'm not writing a kid's book. While it won't be "NC-17," it won't be "G-Rated" either due to some cuss words and "guy/girl talk"---just like regular school kids.

    Should I breeze my main characters through elementary school and get them into high school before getting serious about the romance part? Is there any "childhood romance taboos" I should know about? Thanks for the suggestions/advice.



  2. #2
    John Wagner
    Guest

    Re: Taboo on Kids

    If you're going to worry about people disapproving of your book before you even submit it, you're not going to get anywhere. I have a book with a similar setting. It's on the back burner while I work on more immediate projects (it's too short and needs fleshing out), but when I'm ready to turn back to it, I'm not going to let fear of anyone's taboos stop me from submitting.

    The Harry Potter series is classified YA, where different expectations apply. Write your book, do the best job of writing you can, and don't let angst over anyone's taboos stop you. How far d'you think Balzac, D.H. Lawrence or Vladimir Nabokov -- just to name three -- have gotten if they'd spent their time wringing their hands instead of writing "taboo" books?

    Make sure your book is as polished as you can make it. Submit your book for as many times as it takes to get it sold. That's all you should be worrying about.

  3. #3
    SF Pete
    Guest

    Re: Taboo on Kids

    Good points. Thanks for the pep-talk. I figured people write about anything these days anyway... :-).

  4. #4
    Irese Sheridan
    Guest

    Re: Taboo on Kids

    You can write about a lot in YA books these days. If you think your book fits the market (the word count would "count" towards that), then mention that it's for the YA group. If the novel is longer, and you're afraid an agent would turn you down cold for putting it in that genre, I'd say "mainstream novel," and leave it at that.

    Good luck.

    Irese

  5. #5
    Savannah Thorne
    Guest

    Re: Taboo on Kids

    Look at the YA stuff out there. There are books about relationships, kissing, dating, suicide; all kinds of stuff. Van Draanen's Swear to Howdy and Sachar's Holes are just two examples of very sophisticated YA: the former deals with a death, and a suicide attempt, and the latter deals with racism, false accusations, and family healing. There is a lot of stuff out there because people trust young adults these days to be able to sort out issues like this. I think you're OK dealing with the issues you want to deal with.

  6. #6
    SF Pete
    Guest

    Word Count?

    Please explain "page length." I know manuscripts are supposed to be submitted double-spaced. But is the actual page count to the agent calculated as a single-spaced manuscript?

    I see writers are talking about word count in the thousands (e.g.: 70K) instead of page count when using 12pt. font.

    Also, I did a search and found a DG called "Absolutewrite.com." Is this a recommended writers DG or is Writers.net still considered the de facto writing DG?

  7. #7
    Jeanne Gassman
    Guest

    Re: Word Count?

    Pete,

    Publishers and agents always use word counts in their guidelines, not page counts because people sometimes use different margins. This can affect the page count greatly. Standard submission guidelines are as follows:

    12 point font, Courier or Times New Roman
    double-spaced on one side of page
    one-inch margins on all sides
    first page should have contact info in upper left corner and approx. word count (round to nearest thousand for a book) in upper right
    first page also begins about 1/3 of the way down the page
    use a header at the top of each page with last name/TITLE/page #
    new paragraphs are indented 5 spaces

    Hope that helps. If you use these guidelines, you will have about 250 words per page in Courier font and 280-300 words per page in Times New Roman font.

    Jeanne

  8. #8
    Jeanne Gassman
    Guest

    Re: Word Count?

    One more question, Pete-- What is a DG? And yes, Absolutewrite.com is a great site for writers, but it's not the only one outside of WN. What are you looking for in a writer's site? I know of dozens that offer different kinds of help and resources.

    Jeanne

  9. #9
    Savannah Thorne
    Guest

    Re: Word Count?

    Discussion Group. Personally I like WN better than Absolute Write.

    In general, word count means much more than page count. They can estimate page count based on the number of words in the MS.

  10. #10
    Irese Sheridan
    Guest

    Re: Word Count?

    Use the word count given by your Word Processor. And yes, double spaced, 12pt, no fancy font.

    The page count method was used in ye olden days when 250 words were the "norm." In the time of manual or electric typewriters. I estimated that way then subtracted. Why? Because most of my books were for middle-readers and they contained short pieces of dialogue. Never ended up with 250 wds per page. That's why I loved the word count feature on the computer.

    Irese

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