NaNoWriMo Day 25: When I Question My Sanity

Word Count Goal: 41,675

Achievement: 46,296

Soundtrack: Nightwish’s orchestral music.

Sometimes I wonder about my head.

I know I said in a previous post that even though I write graphic, gruesome violence I’m really quite mild-mannered. Well, I’ve been watching the Scream movies with my partner, and it has influenced me a lot. There’s more violence, more fighting, and although I’m trying to demonstrate what Tina can do, rather than just expecting people to accept it when I write that she’s a good demon hunter, now I’m starting to feel a little weird about it.

How much violence is too much? This is the third violence-against-Tina scene I’ve written, and it’s worse than the previous two combined. It’s longer, crueller, and more graphic. And how much violence is bad for YA literature? The most popular YA book series, Twilight, always managed to avoid the violent scenes (much to the disagreement of many fans, especially in Breaking Dawn). I wonder if I’ve just wasted two pages more suited to a horror film, if it will even stay in the novel. Don’t get me wrong: I want it to stay in. I love what I’ve written. And teens have been watching horror movies since forever. I watched Halloween when I was twelve years old.

I’m writing what I want to read, and I want to read a mixture of YA and adult fantasy literature. I want all the awesome sweetness and innocence of YA literature mixed with the adult content I see in my head. The Edge of Darkness is an adult book because of its social commentary, violence, and sex. Dadewalker, despite it containing offpage sex and onpage violence, is young adult. I’m getting the feeling that Tina Storm’s first book has a lot of Tina losing her innocence. I’m going in to more detail about her story and what’s happening. Tina’s growing up through the book and the book’s target audience, by association, is growing up as well. This might end up being an upper YA book, or even YA for adults. I don’t know. We’re going to see.

I feel weird because of the unplanned things my characters are doing. They’re taking me by surprise, although what’s happening is so awesome I don’t want to lose any of it. I guess that’s the beauty of writing a half-planned book. The characters are taking me places and dropping hints I’m yet to gather into the puzzle that will explain everything to me.

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7 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Day 25: When I Question My Sanity

    • Lissa says:

      I disagree. For a start, I’m not convinced BR is exclusively for the YA market. It’s not written for the English-speaking market. And the focus is on the survival skills and the killing. My book’s not meant to be about violence, so it’s better to compare it not the BR but to other books in its genre: YA urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and maybe even the dystopains (which sometimes can be violent).

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      • Archer says:

        Then completely ignore my comment it’d up to you. But bear in mind some of the things Melvin Burgess has managed to get into YA books for years.

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    • Lissa says:

      Thanks! I’ll have hit the target tomorrow but I know it’s nowhere near finished yet. I’m just not certain how to market this little book anymore.

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  1. Penelope says:

    “Tina’s growing up through the book and the book’s target audience, by association, is growing up as well.” <—such a powerful statement.

    I love that everything is revealing itself to you as you write, and that even though it looks like it may not turn out to be the book you expected, you are still going with it and telling the story that wants to be told.

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    • Lissa says:

      I’ve had the ending planned since it began, but all these twists and turns in the middle parts are surprising me. I want everything to be as exciting as I can make it, so random awesome stuff keeps happening.

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