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Genius Species (YA)


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#1 VickieJack

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 04:30 PM

This is 15 year old Polly having one of her recurring fantasies on the L train to Queens.

I watched him from across the rumbling car. Dressed in a Brioni three suit and looking quite severe perhaps he should have been my father. He looked the part. At least he was here instead of opening a factory in bumfuckistan!
He marched me into the foyer of our townhouse and pointed at me. “I warned you about your mouth, Polly Esther! You are a young lady and I expect you to behave like one! Now get into the kitchen. A dose of soap is in order before I take off my belt."
“I am NOT a child anymore, daddy! You can’t…oh do stop it!” I would shriek, kicking at him as, with one arm pinned behind me, he ushered me toward the sink with stinging slaps to my green plaid skirt.
After a thorough tongue scrubbing with Irish Spring, a good rub across my teeth and me tasting soap, he would order me to the living room.
"You know that I do not allow you to use potty language, young lady! Especially not the F word. Shame on you! Now you just undo that skirt and let it fall to the floor. I am going to make sure you remember this for a long while!"
Standing there in my cotton white panties I would watch him pull his belt free. I knew this would hurt. I knew this was what I was missing. No one had given my bottom attention since I was a baby...and I was long overdue.
I saw the doors slide open at a station and the man departed the train. Oh well.

#2 BadgerFox

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 09:54 AM

This is YA?

 

I mean... I've never met (or been) any 15 year old girl who was genuinely into daddy-daughter roleplay and being spanked (that fetish tends to be a prime example of what ignorant men THINK women want, what women who don't know anything about BDSM beyond Fifty Shades of Grey have been conditioned to think is 'hot' or what leering middle-aged guys fantasize that teenage girls want). It's possible, sure, but presenting it so uncritically as if this is (or should be) normal sexual behaviour for actual fifteen-year-olds is sending out a pretty sinister message. It's linked into all kinds of messages about paedophilia, child abuse and the degredation of women. To say nothing of the male participant imagined as apparently not being aware that he's taking part in a sexual thing, which isn't a great message to send out about consent, especially to teenage readers who need to hear more good messages about consent at the moment.

 

I would absolutely stop reading if I read this in a YA book.

 

Agents probably aren't going to like it much either, as a lot have been asking for strong, nuanced female protagonists in YA, not 2D bimbo porn caricatures.

 

It's an underage woman being illegally physical and sexually assaulted by what seems to be a parent or similar(?), which is horrible enough. Plus the entire thing is coming off like some gross 50-year-old guy's porn-addicted fantasy of how teenagers behave. I don't know if actual teenagers would independently come up with this as a sexual fantasy, without that they'd been influenced by unhealthy forms of porn to develop their sexuality down a weird, man-pleasing route.

 

Sexual fantasies in teenagers are totally ok, and they can be as graphic as you're allowed to get away with within YA genre limits. We all had vivid dreams on public transport about random guys we thought were hot. That's totally fine. I'm definitely not objecting to sexual content pe se. Just not this problematic, male-power-based and unrealistic depiction of it.

 

There's also a lot of grammar errors, missing punctuation and unrealistic dialogue. The language does not flow very well. I don't know any teenager who'd really say 'oh do stop it' in a moment of distress, unless they were pretending to be from the 1950's for a joke, didn't speak English as a first language, or had some neurodevelopmental problem (e.g. mild autism) that made their speech prone to inappropiate formal register.

 

Not trying to be excessively harsh here but I don't want to do a line-by line parsing of this because the entire premise feels so offputting and unrealistic that I'm not sure you should stick with it. Especially not as an opening. It's only my opinion, maybe other folks will think this is fantastic. If you want to write in the Adult Erotica genre about young women who want to be spanked, you should probably move to that genre and write a Fifty Shades of Grey spin-off instead.


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My AU historical novel query: here. Thank you!


#3 A.M.Rose

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 05:13 PM

I have to agree with a lot of what BadgerFox said. I felt really uncomfortable reading it. In the end it's your book, and this is just my opinion, but I also agree this doesn't work for YA. 


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#4 VickieJack

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 09:22 PM

I appreciate the comments.
I'm coming to see that this is not gonna fly as YA.
As to 15 year olds...it was a long while ago...and maybe because I was a psychedelic urchin...but I had such fetishes. And worse. I couldn't speak of them at the time.

This was just a random sample from my work too. And yes MC does read a lot of the "porn" novels.

#5 BadgerFox

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 03:53 AM

I mean, if you wanted to write a YA novel with plotline about how the MC got into unhealthy, abuse-based, unequal forms of sex and porn, but then moved away from that and developed a healthier, more authentic sexuality, THAT would be amazing.

 

It's a real hot topic right now, and agents would probably be impressed at a novel that dealt honestly with this big current issue. Many teenagers would like to have a conversation about this, it seems.

 

There's been a recent disturbing increase in sexual crimes (assault, rape, harassment etc) amongst teenagers in many counties ( http://www.abc.net.a...but-why/7810866 if interested) - and much of it seems due to teenage boys and girls uncritically copying stuff they've seen in extreme froms of porn. Nobody's taught them healthy messages about consent so they get the incorrect message that sex is literally just about angry men springing on unwilling women, slapping them and pulling their hair and calling them sluts and bitches, ignoring their protestations, and choking them until they cry. That's all they think sex is.

 

And actually, young adults should hear positive messages about sex, like:

- It's ok to enjoy sex

- A woman can say 'yes' to what she wants (and that's ok), and she can say 'no' too (and that's ok too)

- If you don't like being violent during sex you don't have to do it that way

- There's nothing 'bad' or 'dirty' or 'wrong' about fantasizing about hot boys, and it's not something you need punished for

- It's very important for women to feel pleasure during sex as well as men

etc...

 

IF you wanted to explore the idea further as a YA theme, there's a lot of online resources you can investigate - this Reddit thread was interesting about women who were formerly heavily into BDSM but decided to move onto other types of sexuality: https://www.reddit.c...x62e/peak_bdsm/ and this TED talk covers why some people decide to quit watching violent porn https://www.youtube....h?v=gRJ_QfP2mhU and do different things in their sex lives instead.


Spare a little feedback, if you have a moment? :)

My AU historical novel query: here. Thank you!


#6 EmperorOfTheNorth

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 11:07 AM

This ain't cutting as YA, savvy? I concur with some previous thoughtscapes but gradually. You don't gotta go full on feminist with it, but maybe consider a new rhythm section. Maybe transpose and take it as unhealthy fantasy.
I dig the flip that this could be a desire for caring affection and that her egg got scrambled by reading too much soft porn, but many if not most will associate CP with BDSM.
You write well, but the tune might not be one that gets folks jig on.

Plant you now and dig you later.
Go on and stamp your forms, sonny.

#7 VickieJack

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 01:12 PM

You is dug.




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