YA LGBT Books discussion

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message 1: by Myka (new)

Myka (mykaramos) | 83 comments So in The Ivory Prison I have a scene with a gun and it is fairly violent (and short), but I never thought much about it until a reviewer mentioned that they didn't think the book should be YA because it had that scene. In the sequel there is even more mention of guns so now I'm doubting how much is too much.

I'm just wondering what other YA readers think on the subject. Personally I never thought much about it because I see so many movies and games with them. And for the record I'm not pro-guns.


message 2: by Kaje (last edited Sep 01, 2013 06:36PM) (new)

Kaje Harper | 16761 comments I think that guns don't make a book not-YA; there are excellent YA where guns are present.

What I object to for YA are two things - either a very cavalier attitude to guns on the part of the author. (As distinct from the characters, because if you are writing about gang kids for example, they may behave in just that way. But if the author thinks shooting is the easy answer to plot problems I object to that.)

Or violence that is graphic/prolonged/sensory in a way that seems to excite the characters and seems intended to excite rather than dismay the reader. Like sex in YA, I think it's a matter of tone and language, far more than actual content.

Violence is part of life, and knives or beatings can be just as graphic as guns. It's the approach that matters to me. (Which puts this squarely into the "I know it when I see it" category, I guess.) Would a teen reading your scenes with guns be more likely afterward to pick up a gun to solve their problems?


message 3: by Lissa (new)

Lissa (parisbvamp) | 64 comments I agree with Kaje on this one. We're so worried about hiding things from our kids we forget that things have no intent, only people do. Teach good intent and get good things.


message 4: by Myka (new)

Myka (mykaramos) | 83 comments Kaje wrote: "Would a teen reading your scenes with guns be more likely afterward to pick up a gun to solve their problems?"

No. If they did I would be very upset. It's used as something to scare and symbolism of how easily the main characters life is at the mercy of others.

Lissa wrote: "I agree with Kaje on this one. We're so worried about hiding things from our kids we forget that things have no intent, only people do. Teach good intent and get good things."

Very interesting you said that, I have a line that addresses just that, a gun being a thing versus what it could be in the hands of certain people.


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