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Hi, I'm Jamie. I'm a writer, reader, and huge TV junkie. I just might post about all three here on this blog. Have a look around. And if you want, drop me an email and tell me what you think. Thanks for visiting!

Friday, April 22, 2011

TGIF over at GReads!

The awesomeness that is Ginger (or G, as I like to call her) over at GReads! has created a great meme that is tons of fun. Each Friday, she poses a question for anyone to answer. Go check her out and join in!

This Friday's Question:

Explicit Material: How do you
feel about explicit language
and/or sexual content in
YA books?

Wow, great question, and a really hard one for me to choose a side. So I won't choose a side...I'll choose both.

I want to start by saying that explicit language and/or sexual content in any book doesn't bother me if it's necessary to the plot or character. If you have a by-the-book Priest talking like a sailor for no apparent reason, then that's gonna bother me.

But if you have a teen (since we're discussing YA) who is trying desperately to fit in with the popular crowd and every other teen in that crowd talks like a sailor so your character does too, then to me it fits. Your character needs to seem realistic. If explicit language/dialect rounds out your character, then by all means use it.

As far as sex goes, pretty much the same applies...to a certain extent. For example, if your character is a drugged out prostitute hell-bent on sleeping her (or his) way through New York City, I don't really need an explicit sex scene to know that sex is happening. That can easily be implied and I won't lose anything from the story.

But if your character is a high-school virgin (again, because we're talking YA) who is ready to give up her virginity to her boyfriend/soul mate/man she intends to marry one day, then a tiny, tastefully written sex scene is understandable--but it doesn't need to be graphic by nature. If your story involves a sex crime and the act itself reveals clues to the reader for future use, then it's necessary to the plot/character development and must be included, graphic or not.

Either way--sex or no sex, explicit language or no explicit language--great writing is great writing. And even the most uncomfortable or erotic or explicit of scenes can be accepted if they are written amazingly well.



    New follower from Follow Friday – come over and check out Everyday is an Adventure at http://everydayadventure11.blogspot.com


  2. I totally agree Jamie. It's all about HOW it's written. I believe YA authors have a great opportunity to express the responsibilities & truth about teenage sex in their literature. You'd be surprised by how many teens look to books for guidance. Censoring that would be a shame.

    Thanks for joining TGIF :-) & hope you have a great weekend J!

  3. I'm with you and Ginger--sex and explicit language def. needs to be in place for a reason--not just for the sake of being cool. This is a great post :D

  4. Preach it! My whole deal with YA is to be authentic to the teenage experience. Not many teens curse or have sex, but many of them do. It all depends on your characters. :)

  5. I think this is the majority around the blogosphere...if it's tastefully done and necessary, most readers won't have a problem with it. Thanks for stopping by, ladies!

    And Lindsay - Thanks for following! :-)

  6. I don't have a problem with either as long as it fits into the story! I myself prefer reading books that are a little bit on the naughty side ;)