Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » YA - Goodreads - youtube reviewer

   
Author Topic: YA - Goodreads - youtube reviewer
redux
Member
Member # 9277

 - posted      Profile for redux   Email redux         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Caution - the video blogger sometimes curses. I'd rate it PG-13 for adult language.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NW4ag75hdY&feature=plcp&context=C38d2b0dUDOEgsToPDskIIDiw9Ej0utpE0COkmHdvC

I found her diatribe to be quite thoughtful and very amusing at times.

Summary of the content: She was very irritated that apparently reviewers on Goodreads are asking people to "be nice" otherwise their future writing careers might be in jeopardy.

A quite insightful quote:

quote:
We're talking to people who also read. We're not talking to the author. Even if we're talking to them they should hear what we say. Because we're who they're writing for. I'm a young adult. You're writing for my age group. So don't come and write crap for me and then tell me I should be nice about it. No. Your books are 16, 18, 20 dollars a piece. Do you know what we can be doing with that money? So many other things than buying a book that teaches girls to embrace stalkers and abusive relationships. I mean, are you serious?
Towards the end of the video she mentions a future discussion about rape culture in YA literature.

Here's her take on it - "Why Your Love Interest Sucks" http://m-pendulum.livejournal.com/8201.html

quote:
I wish a vampire would try to control my life, I would stake him so fast he wouldn't even know how to handle it.
So for those who are interested in writing YA do you find that you have a responsibility towards your audience in deciding subject matter? Are you cautious about the message your book might have whether positive or negative?

I look forward to a lively discussion!

Posts: 525 | Registered: Sep 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LeetahWest
Member
Member # 9402

 - posted      Profile for LeetahWest   Email LeetahWest         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have considered this actually. My husband wanted me to write an erotica (surprise surprise) but I have 21 nieces and nephews and 4 children of my own. I would never even consider writing an erotica, even under a pen name. There are too many little people out there that need direction in life, and I certainly don't want to be on the condemned end of things.

Though I understand the idea of staking a vamp, I at least appreciated the fact that there was no sex between the sparkling vampire and his mortal prize until they had been married. . . even if it is a small consolation prize. I absolutely hated many other relationship ideas she put across in the book as "romantic", maybe because they hit close to home, and when I went through them they were anything but romantic.

Anywho, I'm sure my 2 cents has been spent.

Posts: 108 | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Merlion-Emrys
Member
Member # 7912

 - posted      Profile for Merlion-Emrys   Email Merlion-Emrys         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
So for those who are interested in writing YA do you find that you have a responsibility towards your audience in deciding subject matter? Are you cautious about the message your book might have whether positive or negative?
Isn't this something any author should, potentially, be concerned about, "YA" or otherwise?
Posts: 2626 | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
redux
Member
Member # 9277

 - posted      Profile for redux   Email redux         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Merlion-Emrys:
quote:
So for those who are interested in writing YA do you find that you have a responsibility towards your audience in deciding subject matter? Are you cautious about the message your book might have whether positive or negative?
Isn't this something any author should, potentially, be concerned about, "YA" or otherwise?
Some authors might consider themselves writing solely for entertainment purposes - following a trend in the market - fluff so to speak. In that case, the author would not consider their stories/novels as a medium for social commentary or have any redeeming edification value.

I find this topic interesting - and wonder - should we as writers care about our story's message - whether it was intentional or accidental?

Posts: 525 | Registered: Sep 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Merlion-Emrys
Member
Member # 7912

 - posted      Profile for Merlion-Emrys   Email Merlion-Emrys         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, the big thing I meant was, if one is concerned about the potential impact of ones stories, what differences does it make whether your writing for the "YA" market or any other?


And...at least it seemed to me...that the idea was concern for negative impact of story elements which, I somewhat think, could or would be a concern even for those who aren't actively trying to send any sort of message.


quote:
should we as writers care about our story's message - whether it was intentional or accidental?
Well, if accidental in this case means a message or intimation that the writer didn't intend and the reader chooses to read into it, whether we care or not there is little we can do, apart from, should we ever actually become aware of such a reading-in, saying that that was not our intention.

If a story has an intentional message than it seems to me that the writer must care about it, otherwise he wouldn't have intentionally included it.

For my part, many of my stories do have a relatively specific "message" or meaning and even when they don't, since my writing is a way, for me, of both expressing my beliefs about the world and expanding/understanding them I am usually quite mindful of such things and if I were to write something exploring a theme, idea or possibility that I don't believe in or support, it would be in a particular and cautious way, as a means of exploration and understanding.

Posts: 2626 | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
redux
Member
Member # 9277

 - posted      Profile for redux   Email redux         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Merlion-Emrys:
Well, the big thing I meant was, if one is concerned about the potential impact of ones stories, what differences does it make whether your writing for the "YA" market or any other?

Oh ! I misread [Big Grin]

I agree with you - it shouldn't make a difference whether it's YA or another market. I simply couched the question in the context of YA since it was a member of this demographic that got me thinking about this topic.

Posts: 525 | Registered: Sep 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Merlion-Emrys
Member
Member # 7912

 - posted      Profile for Merlion-Emrys   Email Merlion-Emrys         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I probably wasn't as clear as I could have been. I've been reading Mervyn Peake and its causing me to talk like Doctor Prunesquallor.


I'll be ok though.

Posts: 2626 | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robert Nowall
Member
Member # 2764

 - posted      Profile for Robert Nowall   Email Robert Nowall         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thought at first description it might be a botch, but it's relatively insightful. Strictly speaking, Jane Austen's novels are comedies, rather than romances---one shouldn't take romantic clues for real life from them, 'cause what you write to get a laugh is considerably different than anything you'd do.

(I got a big untended laugh out of an old episode of Petticoat Junction, where they said the government would pay a fair an equitable price for land they wanted to buy to build a highway---from family experience, I know that's funny, but it wasn't intended as such. But I digress...)

On another side note...I've seen a number of online discussions where, it seemed to me, the participants often confuse "writing about rape" with rape itself. (The Internet Fan Fiction community I hung out in a few years ago was bitterly divided on this subject.) In some ways, these vampire stories fall into "rape fantasy," especailly if the writer isn't careful. I don't have much use for them in writing myself, my own writing, though some of my stuff gets pretty, well, lurid at times. And I'm not a big fan of reading them, either...

Posts: 8273 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
redux
Member
Member # 9277

 - posted      Profile for redux   Email redux         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Nowall:
...Jane Austen's novels are comedies, rather than romances---one shouldn't take romantic clues for real life from them...

This is precisely what I am curious about - do readers, particularly YA readers, take cues, romantic or otherwise, from the books they read? Do they even pattern their behavior based on what they read? Can books be a "gateway drug?" Or is it just adults overreacting? Should an author even worry about these things?

For example, THE CATCHER IN THE RYE often gets touted as a "dangerous book." If your teenage boy reads this book he will become subversive!

Does reading TWILIGHT or ROMEO AND JULIET normalize toxic relationships?

Posts: 525 | Registered: Sep 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KayTi
Member
Member # 5137

 - posted      Profile for KayTi           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
She makes some EXCELLENT points about the portrayal of women, men, heroes, relationships, and everything in fiction geared for Young Adults.

As a parent and as a writer and as a reader, and as a writer of the kind of fiction I always wanted to read as a kid, I take this very very very seriously.

My books are populated with quirky smart girls who have talents they don't really fully understand or are aware of, and the arc in most stories includes the girls both realizing their value/smarts/gifts and the outside world recognizing/rewarding/respecting them for it.

It's not everyone's cup of tea, but I personally am tired of the books where the main character is horridly broken by the end, or the world continues to crap on her, or her situation is only marginally improved. I prefer upbeat endings so I write upbeat endings. For me it's important because I can't be honest and true and write from my heart if I'm writing any other way.

I would never in a million years be able to write sexual violence of any sort. I won't read it, I won't write it. I choose to only depict healthy relationships. Not to say I won't put conflict and strife in for my main character, but I'm not going to go to sexual violence or barely-simmering-males-with-attitudes for my sources of conflicts. Computer viruses work just as well, as do weird alien spaceships, unexpected illnesses, accidents, mean girls, and other planets.

Posts: 1911 | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
aspirit
Member
Member # 7974

 - posted      Profile for aspirit   Email aspirit         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
do readers, particularly YA readers, take cues, romantic or otherwise, from the books they read?
Yes. I firmly believe that my concept of healthy marriages was formed by fiction I'd read as a teenager. Orson Scott Card and L.M. Montgomery were probably the biggest influences. When smart kids can't find good role models in real life, they'll look for other sources.

It's difficult to guess how anyone will interpret fiction, though. I first read Romeo and Juliet when I was maybe twelve-years-old, and while I loved the language, I thought all the characters were dits. After reading it again (and again) in high school, I could articulate that Romeo cared more for love than whom he loved and Juliet was too naive to understand how everyone in her life used her. The play helped me understand that how toxic relationships, already normalized by their prevalence in real life, could destroy people's lives.

That's what fiction does. Even while entertaining the readers, it helps them develop thoughts about real situations or possibilities. Bandwagon readers might be influenced to want to do whatever the characters do, but those readers were overly susceptible to peer pressure already. (The younger Twilight fans, perhaps?) Others will either fit the messages of fiction into their worldview or combine the undecipherable bits into the compost of the subconscious.

Posts: 1137 | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
aspirit
Member
Member # 7974

 - posted      Profile for aspirit   Email aspirit         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I would never in a million years be able to write sexual violence of any sort.
That's a good sign. You probably haven't been exposed to much sexual violence. Not everyone is that lucky.

I've lost count of how many people I've known who who'd been molested, been raped, or fought supposed friends who wanted to sexually assault a stranger. This happens too often in real life, and ignoring it in fiction won't help people who are trying to put their experiences into perspective. Oddly, fiction can help in ways that psychologists can't.

Simply throwing a sexually violent scene into a story isn't likely to help anyone, though. The characters have to overcome. Or there must be realistic consequences that show the dangers of the act. This doesn't just make the story more dramatic, it shows readers that even in a writer's imagination, these situations matter. Someone cared enough to think about what sexual violence does to individuals.

Posts: 1137 | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Merlion-Emrys
Member
Member # 7912

 - posted      Profile for Merlion-Emrys   Email Merlion-Emrys         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think toxic relationships have been quite common for people of all ages since long before Twilight.


I agree with much of what aspirit says about how fiction can effect and teach people. I do think also that, all other things being equal fiction (in any media) is usually more likely to have a stronger effect on the positive rather than negative side. I'm not one to put much support in blaming creative works of any kind for people's bad behavior...even most such works that contain extensive horrific content often have, in the end, a positive message to impart. Indeed, I have thought for nearly as long as I can remember that there are two basic ways, or perhaps "modes" is a better word, of trying to create social improvement via creative works...you can show people how great things can be, if people get along and have compassion and respect and use judgement and deliberation in making decisions...thereby making people desire that...or you can show them how awful things can be when these things are lacking, pushing them in the other direction via fear and revulsion (a related form of this is practiced by "moral" stream horror stories, showing the terrible consequences/punishments garnered by wrong actions.)


I am a little wary of making judgements about what is or isn't a "healthy" relationship. I mean yes obviously there are those that are simply, clearly bad...but there are many grey areas.


And there can be beauty in darkness, and even in terror. I was reading somewhere or other about the concept of...oh what was the term being used...aestheticised violence, or something. The idea, mostly in cinematic arts, of violence or depictions of violence as artforms themselves. I can relate; I enjoy a great deal of very dark/gritty/violent creative works of various types and I think I've learned many things from such works, both as an artist and about life...and especially about perspective and acceptance. While I am known as a very optimistic and positive person, I don't really understand the idea of trying to turn away from the bad stuff. It's there, it always will be, and acknowledging that is, I think very important and I think art can help us do that and help to see not only how good can come from bad in the generally accepted sense but how even "the bad" can in some circumstances have its own beauty or poignancy.


I suppose I also find attempts to saddle art with the responsibility for various bad things people do a little annoying because it allows for a scapegoat effect, giving many people an excuse not to deal with the real causes of the problems.

Posts: 2626 | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KayTi
Member
Member # 5137

 - posted      Profile for KayTi           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Aspirit, be careful with assumptions. Just, careful.

But to get further into your post I have an extremely strong point of view about something and I want to be sure I've been clear.

As an author, it is *my* choice how I want to portray things. How I want my characters to be, settings to feel, scenes to flow. I have complete control. Because of how I feel about the prevalence of violence in media today and the over-sexualization of basically everyone and everything, I make very specific choices in what I write.

I don't have to write about sexual violence to write true, real, gritty, hard, pure, honest, authentic stuff. It isn't my job to write the book that helps someone overcome something dark in their past. However, I fully respect authors who approach their craft that way, I will just choose not to read their work because that is not something I enjoy or desire to read.

Instead I use my own life themes of girls learning to trust themselves, believe in themselves, accept themselves. We each have to make these choices, nobody can or should feel pressured to write the one book that covers it all. Writing is how we express our own opinions about the world and the truths as we see it.

I don't think you were suggesting that writers should write it all, but the "ignoring it in fiction" line just kinda bugged me. Hope you understand I hold you in highest regard.

Posts: 1911 | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
aspirit
Member
Member # 7974

 - posted      Profile for aspirit   Email aspirit         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
KayTi, I shouldn't have treated you as an example while I generalized. I hope you understand I didn't mean to slight anything you have experienced.

quote:
ignoring it in fiction won't help people who are trying to put their experiences into perspective
When I wrote this, I wasn't suggesting that everyone incorporates specific themes in her fiction. How boring would that be? Fiction needs to be varied because people are varied. My concern is with people who, while attempting to make the world brighter and more pleasant, refuse to acknowledge the value of darker themes.

I'm also concerned about writers who bury some of their stories because they're afraid it will damage readers. This is a personal issue; I've done it. I don't like the idea of the community encouraging others to do it, too. For those of us who struggle with this issue, the sensible approach might be to write what we're compelled to write then look for ways to emphasize any positive messages (as we see them) in the existing story.

As writers, we each write about the themes that are most compelling in our mind. You're right that one chooses what aspects of the real world to portray. A part of me wants to argue about whether or not we have "complete control" of our works, but that's irrelevant in this thread.

Posts: 1137 | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
redux
Member
Member # 9277

 - posted      Profile for redux   Email redux         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I came across this website today so thought I would share:

http://flamingnet.com/index.cfm

It's a website listing reviews of YA books done by teen reviewers. It might prove to be a worthwhile site to visit for those interested in writing for the YA audience.

Posts: 525 | Registered: Sep 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2