The letter C – Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you should. Right?

Right? Isn’t that the old saying? Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Examples in young adult literature:A To Z Challenge

– drugs
– swearing
– sex
– violence

One could argue those are the realities of teen life though, right? They cuss, they have sex and they can be violent and drug-filled.

But do we need to write about it?

Can we live without it?

Sure, we can. We can live without a lot of ‘stuff’ but the reality of the world is that these things make for great conflict. Think about it … there is internal conflict but that takes a lot of time to build up. There is external conflict – and that comes in the form of some of the items in the list above.

Young Adult movie with Charlize Theron
Young Adult movie with Charlize Theron (Wikipedia)
The key, in my opinion, is that if these elements of life are used, they shouldn’t be revered, but instead, a lesson of some sort taught. That is, unless your definition of Young Adult is the movie with Charlize Theron in it. Then … well … this isn’t really what we’re talking about! I mean actual young adults — 14-19 years old according to industry standards.

What do you think? Acceptable topics in YA literature = anything? Or should we be leaving fiction to more fantastical unreal stuff?

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