Writing Wednesday: To Y.A., or Not to Y.A.?

Last week’s goal report: 3 blog posts. Stories cycling back to market as quickly as possible (not a lot happening there – taking a long time at some of the publishers.) My next release date is March 30th, and the story will be “Cellfishness” (I have neither formatted the text for eBook yet, nor created the cover – I shall have to remedy that.)

I continue to find opportunities to look at other blogs and leave comments as appropriate (which reminds me – unless my settings are so bad I won’t even get a notification via email, no one tried to leave a comment on Monday’s blog.

I had an excellent week – 4786 words; all of this was in character interviews (as I try to expand my knowledge of Swordsmaster’s known population. The novel remains at 72,845 words as I finish this exercise, and then I will resume revisions and rewriting with the knowledge I’ve gained from the interviews.


I returned to doing character interviews for Swordsmaster when I realized that I had some characters with gaping holes – Highborne old enough to have already produced heirs, but no spouses or children evident. This didn’t JUST happen with the nobility in Swordsmaster, but it was the Highborne that clued me into how little depth I was nurturing in my “incidental” characters (probably because of how much heirs are discussed in A Song of Ice and Fire.)

At some point in the writing, I decided that Swordsmaster might best be written as YA (Young Adult.) This thinking was most heavily influenced by the main character Sandrik, who is fourteen when he first appears on the page, and seventeen (or eighteen) by the end. There was also a lighter feel to the story that made me think that YA was the better choice.

Well, if there are wives (and children), which I had left out, when I add them in I find myself sliding once again toward secretive whoring, and the possibility of bastards and mistresses (if I really want this to be YA, I should probably stop reading A Song of Ice and Fire for a while.) Alain (one of Darvish’s drovers) had a mother who was already a questionable tavern wench (but only in the interviews – I haven’t put that detail in the story), so what about whores, affairs? I have no intention of putting any eroticism in these books, whether I go YA or not, but how clean and moral do I need to keep it for the genre?

This is mostly an personal discussion for me – I know there is a wide range of “acceptability” in YA – I remember when my son was expected to read Maniac McGee and Wringer in grade school – apparently language, drugs, and all sorts of beyond-bad-behaviors aren’t a problem for some of the gatekeepers in our society.

If I want to this to be YA, I can keep it totally clean and not even mention the misbehaviors, or I can allude to them and give it the feel of adult activities are part of the background, but with little enough detail (by implication) that a more mature reader will understand, but younger readers won’t pick up on.

Something else to consider is that I may very well decide to write a sequel, and Sandrik will be in his twenties, then. Would I wind up with a tale that isn’t YA, and should that influence whether the first one is.

Maybe I’m not writing YA at all, but just a clean story (I never did intend it to be JUST for young adults.) I’d love to hear you other writers (and readers) give your take on this – please comment on this posting – thanx!

Just saying…


CollectionNext3CoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing – including his most recent publication The Next Three ‘Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND’ – can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• His Amazon Author page:  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books):  https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=william+mangieri&sitesearch_type=STORE
• His site on WordPress:  https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s