My current questions: “How far can the writer go with “sex” in the Young Adult novel?
Can one write a novel for say adults that a YA reader could perchance pick up and enjoy because several characters in the novel are…well, YA?
I have not read widely in the YA market (a big fault, I admit), and I’ll be honest, I’m not overly interested in locking myself into the position of “YA writer.” Nevertheless, the novel I’m working on has a strong plot-line that involves girls in the 18-20 age range.
How far can we go when it comes to sexuality in our novels and still attract readers from the ages of say 16 to 24? It’s not that our American culture, goes out of its way to protect its youth from sexual information. Just waiting in line at Publix, our local grocery, anyone can acquire a complete sex education from simply gawking at the magazines–how can anybody not have ideas about sex? Or at least curiosity. Definitely an eighteen year old.
So, with my novel, my protagonist is early 30s. She’s a public school Biology teacher. She is the newly arrived Green Counselor at a Girl’s Christian Camp. The summer camp is interested in involving it’s female participants in environmental issues and awareness. She’s agreed to the appointment, not because she is a Christian, (she’s not, she’s posing.) but because she is lusting after the VERY Christian man whom she met earlier in the year, and who invited her to participate in the camp experience. From the first day on, her relationship with the young man in question, with the girls who form her “group” and most importantly, with herself, will undergo severe change and I’d like to think she will emerge a better person…we’ll see about that one. Her relationship with the young girls informs the greater part of the novel.
In this novel, I find it almost impossible not to have a few scenes of sexual play and at least one scene of risqué sexual fulfillment.
So again I ask, how far can one go with the sex game in a novel that may be read by a seventeen year old girl?