Every writer wants to write a novel that flies off the shelves like baked beans before Y2K. But no matter what we write it would be irresponsible not to consider the effect our novel will have on it’s reader.
Do all authors think about the social relevance of their MS? Many do. Many writers want to send a message to their readers, more so in the YA genre than any other. Not because kids are impressionable, and not because they cannot think for themselves, but because as with social interaction a literary work should have something relevant to say. It is why we learn to check our WIP to ensure our theme is consistent, and the goal of our MC is also consistent thorughout the piece.
Read any classic and there is a moral to the story. Isn’t it always a story within a story? Fable and legends, fairy tales and nursery rhymes all tell a story.
Why are paranormals and fantasy’s so popular with YA readers? Mostly because of their strong female characters. Their strength appeals to readers who want to bolster their own strength, who want to feel like they can be strong like their favorite characters. Don’t we all have those favourite characters we wish to become? Why? Because those characters are fulfilling a fantasy or a reality of our very own.
A recent editorial in our local newspaper headlined crime statistics which claim higher numbers of youth crime can be attributed to video games and movies. Because kids think it’s cool to be tough. As a kid I would always think its cool to be couragueous and strong, never that its cool to beat up on others or bully defenseless kids. I was known to mete out a few Hermione-esque smacks on the head though (only when required and deserved 🙂 )
This led me to wonder, as a parent, to what level are parents guiding the reading matter of their kids?
How much influence do you have on your child’s reading matter? How much of an influence do you want to have? Personally I do think younger teens need guidance on what is appropriate to read, especially when specifics on subject. This guidance will lessen as the reader ages.
Older teens already understand their reading preferences, are net-savvy and tend to discuss the books they enjoy with others.
But, it is the parent and the family unit who will decide on how to approach reading matter. With movies and video games now containing rated subject matter do we need to address reading matter as well?
As a writer what messages are you sending to your readership?