Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Age Appropriation

When I was touring the different avenues of humor, I came to realize: Adult Humor. Admitedly, it is inappropriate for all ages. I wasn't planning on including suggestive humor in my book, but I was struck by the difficulty it is to write to a specific age group, particularly when that age group is younger than the author/authoress.

I just finished reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightening Thief. Now, if the picture at the back of the fly-cover is acurate, the author has to be at least fifty years old. And yet, when I read the book, I truly felt like I was reading a story from a younger person's perspective. Now, the book is written from the perspective of Percy Jackson, a twelve-year-old boy. I did feel like Percy was too mature for his age, like he was closer to being fifteen or sixteen than twelve... Then again, I was a very immature twelve-year-old. But Riordan did a fabulous job of lowering his scope of perspective even that much! I felt it was brilliant.

Question after question bombards me when I ponder how Riordan accomplished such a task! Of course, I, personally, am in the process of maturing into a responsible adult, so it's difficult to mature upwards in real life and downwards in fantasy. That was, at first, my goal. I wanted to write for middle-school age. But as I've written, my stories have taken on a more mature setting. Scenes of violence and romance (neither of which are explicit in any way, shape, or form) are not as rare in my book as I had originally planned.

Then again, I don't really want to write for middle-school age anymore. I find it much less.... honest.... if that's the word I'm searching for.... Life is cruel and heartless at times. I'm not saying that such cruel scenarios cannot be present in that audience's spectrom, but that they should be presented at a lower level of explicitness (At least, I do not wish to write in such a way to such an age group). This, however, is not the case. The violence of war cannot be masked when one is trying to describe a battle-field, strewn with rotting bodies. And how can one best describe the intimate love a man has for a woman except by conveying the intrinsic details of a perfect kiss?

Now.... My being me.... I won't be getting into details of either a violent or romantic nature. I don't want to be explicit. However, the content is there. I'm just struggling with how much to actually describe. As I've written, my book has evolved from being written to middle-schoolers to high schoolers. However, there are still several younger people I have in mind I would like to benefit from my writing as well, and I don't want to write in such a way as would deny them the ability to read it. So.... what do I do????

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hilarious Hiccups

My brother, sister, friends and I were playing a game tonight called Apples to Apples. The adjective was "manly," and someone laid down the card, "Helen Keller." Everyone exchanged quizzical looks until I said, "She's like men: deaf and dumb."

I don't know if you find this funny, but, being rather slap-happy, we thought it was. I will occassionally have moments of brilliance in which wit will give me the upper hand and a couple laughs, but quite honestly, when I try to be funny, I get weird looks or, "Woooooooow..... that was.... um..... okay....."

I entirely blame my father for this. =) Ever since we were little, he has had the cheesiest sense of humor I have ever known- and YET! I still laugh every time to his every joke. Just after my freshman year of highschool, I was in a play with a bunch of public schoolers, and I cracked a joke that was in the way of my father: cheesy and/or lame. After the murmured chuckles, one girl said, "You need to work on your sense of humor." I tried not to be hurt by this. In fact, over the past few years, I've tried to curve my sense of humor to be less... well... you know...

The only problem is that I'm not sure I've changed at all. I still get weird looks. All the time. ALL the time. And one fear I have is that this cheesy sense of humor will be conveyed into the book. I don't want my characters to come off as lame- I really don't! And with one character that I've hoped to be the comic, I'm afraid he's come off in that way. So here's what I'd like to know: is my sense of humor weird, abnoxious, funny, hysterical, immature, sillly, etc.? What are your favorite kinds of jokes? Do you like social puns more than your average joke (I do, personally)?

Here's the problem I've run into: I can't pull social puns! This is taking place in another world! So when an unusually enigmatic character comes into play, I can't have someone call her "Lady Gaga" just for kicks. No one in that world knows who that is. Therefore, I must stick to quick wit in dialogue.... So I guess I just answered my own question... But I'd still like to know what you all think anyway!


For those of you who have had the chance to update yourselves on my blog lately, thank you so much! I know I have spurts some times where I'll write for three days straight, fast for three months, then get all gluttonous for blogging again. So thank you for continuing the check-up throughout my irregularities!

Right now I'm just distraught over my lack of progress.... I know that I've done a lot, it's just that I had hoped to have my book published by the end of this month... And I'm not even close! And sometimes it feels like I'll never get there. I'm thankful that West Bow is so forgiving with their deadlines. They said that I can take all the time I need... But I still feel bad....

As far as progress I have made, I have come to almost the middle of the book, as far as editing goes. I can't remember if I've said this already, but, in accordance to one of my editors' suggestions, I completely trashed the whole first three or so chapters and completely rewrote them. Honestly, I love the way they've turned out! I feel like I've upped the standard a good deal, and I know that having editors has significantly helped that. There are times I wish it were at the same level as my composition teacher's standards, but she understands the need for being a bit more laid-back. =)

So yes! This is just an update to let you know the progress of book 2: My World of Conceit!