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Man this post is derailing a bit. What I mean to ask is, would I be able to use metaphorical concepts in middle grade, without parents finding some reason it's not for middle grade?

Uploaded Fairy -- A world where dreams and technology merge, implanted chips creating hallucinations. Uniquely 21st century.
Time Mountain -- A crossing point between the idealic 19th century of wooden clogs, cotton hats, and bad guys always getting their just deserts. A critique of false utopian ideologies of the 19th century.

My work seems to blend both concepts routinely.

Crossing Time Mountain, see a world of Uploaded Fairies. Hallucinate targeted ads, lament lost childhood--for they are our new adults. Long for the 19th century life.

A recent reader said Uploaded Fairy was a bit dark, although they didn't say whether it was unacceptable for middle grade or young adult.

I do less "Idealic good guys always win" kind of stories, and more what I call "Crushing Childhood" kind of stories. I hate to say literary, but whenever some read it on Wattpad, they always call it Literary.

Is Literary a bad thing?

I guess I thought Literary meant stories about adults having to file tax reports, and complain about their Bosses ex using a crafting knife on their dry erase board.

Sorry about my long posts, writing fiction helps me relieve anxiety. I haven't been writing enough lately. Mostly programming secure trashbins for computers, and writing videos games.  :paint

Maybe write a kids programming book. Those exist right?:P
#1 - March 16, 2017, 07:37 PM
« Last Edit: March 16, 2017, 08:34 PM by SarahW »

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I think a kids' programming book is a great idea! I don't know what I'm talking about with this, mind you. But if it's an area of expertise, it might be wise to explore it.

Literary isn't bad. It often means beautiful language, but sometimes the plot/pace is slower. We all have weak points we need to work on, but at heart you have to write like you.

And I suspect that most writers write to bust anxiety. You're not alone, Sarah.
#2 - March 16, 2017, 09:35 PM
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Well the good news is this Alissa story turned out ... better than what I was expecting. I think I was freaking out because I was thinking the outline was something to strictly follow.

I have to outline my middle grade, that's the big difference from my adult fiction. I have to have a back up and restore method to my literary madness, even if I write both audiences by the seat of my pants.

I might explore programming then. I'm going for a different kind of Scifi anyway: social science fiction about accurate programming, exploring the underground culture of real hackers.

Plus I'm kind of semi-ticked by Cyberpunk at the moment.

Superficially it's the same thing, but the better I get at Ruby programming, the more embarrassing Cyberpunk becomes.

Back up and restore, sorry a little programming humor there. I know what that means, just not how to do it.
#3 - March 16, 2017, 10:28 PM

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To answer your question about parents, no concept is off limits. It's all in whether you handle it in an age appropriate way.

So the question isn't "Can you use metaphor?" It's "Will the reader get the metaphor you're using?" If not, you've lost them but not because of the gatekeepers.

The Oz books are supposedly all metaphor for current events (events that were current then). They work on that level and as a story for young readers. In fact a lot of sci-fi is truly commentary on the current condition disguised by the futuristic or high tech elements of the story. No problem in doing that.

As to whether your work is working for the age, we'd have to read to know. You'll need crit partners who know the genre. (Not sure if your crit partners do or not.) You can find some on the boards if you need to.
#4 - March 20, 2017, 07:36 AM

To answer your question about parents, no concept is off limits. It's all in whether you handle it in an age appropriate way.

So the question isn't "Can you use metaphor?" It's "Will the reader get the metaphor you're using?" If not, you've lost them but not because of the gatekeepers.

The Oz books are supposedly all metaphor for current events (events that were current then). They work on that level and as a story for young readers. In fact a lot of sci-fi is truly commentary on the current condition disguised by the futuristic or high tech elements of the story. No problem in doing that.

As to whether your work is working for the age, we'd have to read to know. You'll need crit partners who know the genre. (Not sure if your crit partners do or not.) You can find some on the boards if you need to.

Yea I seem to be in a different situation these days: in summary--I might start writing a young adult story about two Lesbians who are computers hackers in a world where life is cheap, and labor is even cheaper. But then like half way through I'm writing about a magical owl who no longer believes in childhood, and spends his time entertaining his pet immortal dog, and fending off persnickety squirrels.

Yea, I'm one of those whose stories often split between YA and Middle Grade.:/

I seem to go through phases between writing primarily morbid adult fiction, and dark comedy middle grade fiction.

But these days it's an even split. I don't mean like a Harry Potter "Grow up with the story." But more whether the story is often a meta-story where there is a New Adult story going on, and then a subplot that is about how technology has come to dominate a world that used to be ruled by innocence and magic.

I may be a computer programmer, but I love me some talking animals.
#5 - May 09, 2017, 01:55 AM
« Last Edit: May 09, 2017, 02:00 AM by SarahW »

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It may be that you'll separate out the elements during revision as you focus on the what the story needs to be and on what the story you want to tell most is. Sometimes the issue is one of self discipline. (This is why I have folders of half done pieces that I had to get out of my head so I could write what I was writing.)
#6 - May 15, 2017, 08:48 AM

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