Unacceptable content for Young Adults?

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BruceT
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Unacceptable content for Young Adults?

Post by BruceT » May 1st, 2011, 12:04 pm

Hi Nathan and all,

Taking all my effort not to put a smiley face after that.

Nathan asked me to ask my question here. I did a search but I don't really know search terms that would go with my question.

I am writing my very first novel which is aimed at young adults and in the incredibly unlikely event that I try pitching it to agents or publishers, I wanted to ask perhaps a ridiculous question.

My main character is a thirteen year old boy who goes to court for graffiti. Common sense tells me that no publisher would touch it even though it is something a teenager would do in real life. Is it too risque?

The opening passage of the novel would go something along these lines.

'Your honour, the defence would suggest that 20 hours community service is far too severe for a tiny bit of, rude graffiti on the side of a train,' said Bailey's council.
The judges huge bushy brows shot up. 'A twenty foot willy is hardly tiny!'
The court room sat in stunned silence but a dam was about to burst.
The prosecutor, Mr Kankle, covered his mouth and scrunched his eyes but he snorted anyway. The Bailiff had to turn his back but his shoulders quivered violently. When the stenographer let out a tiny suppressed whimper, well that was it. Soon the entire courtroom was rolling around in hysterics.
Bailey tried to hide his face behind his hands so as not to get in more trouble with the judge but it was hopeless. Tears of laughter streamed down his cheeks.
The judge banged his gavel.
'Silence in the court! Why is everyone laughing? Silence I say!'


Many thanks in advance,

Bruce

Moni12
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Re: Unacceptable content for Young Adults?

Post by Moni12 » May 1st, 2011, 12:52 pm

Considering what kids watch/read/do/say I don't see where this would be a problem. Like you said, it's something a kid would do and it wouldn't stop at that age. Just this winter outside one of the freshman dorms someone made a snow penis, a lot of people thought it was hilarious. Anyways, my point is that it is believable and I have a hard time thinking a publisher wouldn't want it because it's "too risque". There are a lot worse things out there on T.V. and in books. My favorite example is Shreck, five year olds watch it. Is that age appropriate? I wouldn't worry about you wip if I was you.

BruceT
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Re: Unacceptable content for Young Adults?

Post by BruceT » May 1st, 2011, 7:34 pm

Moni12 wrote:Considering what kids watch/read/do/say I don't see where this would be a problem. Like you said, it's something a kid would do and it wouldn't stop at that age. Just this winter outside one of the freshman dorms someone made a snow penis, a lot of people thought it was hilarious. Anyways, my point is that it is believable and I have a hard time thinking a publisher wouldn't want it because it's "too risque". There are a lot worse things out there on T.V. and in books. My favorite example is Shreck, five year olds watch it. Is that age appropriate? I wouldn't worry about you wip if I was you.
One of the worst things about living in Australia is that you can't make a good snow penis!

Many thanks moni. I will keep plugging away :)

Sorry, but I had to do a smiley face.

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Unacceptable content for Young Adults?

Post by Nathan Bransford » May 2nd, 2011, 12:00 am

Hi Bruce,

I actually think you might first do a lot of reading of the existing edgy YA out there, which will give you a better sense of how your novel fits into the market. That's probably more important in the grand scheme than the short-term question of whether publishers will find a particular scene offensive.

BruceT
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Re: Unacceptable content for Young Adults?

Post by BruceT » May 2nd, 2011, 5:59 pm

Nathan Bransford wrote:Hi Bruce,

I actually think you might first do a lot of reading of the existing edgy YA out there, which will give you a better sense of how your novel fits into the market. That's probably more important in the grand scheme than the short-term question of whether publishers will find a particular scene offensive.
Hi Nathan,

Makes a lot more sense than the way I was going about things.

Thanks!

Sommer Leigh
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Re: Unacceptable content for Young Adults?

Post by Sommer Leigh » May 3rd, 2011, 12:55 pm

I don't think this is too out there for YA. YA covers ALL topics, the really hard ones to talk about to the silly ones. I think anything relevant is acceptable.

You might want to try reading some contemporary YA that is similar in tone. Here are a couple that popped to my mind right away:

Graffiti Girl by Kelly Parra
Gentlemen by Michael Northrop
Anything by Coe Booth or Matt de la Pena.
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
Be nice, or I get out the Tesla cannon.

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