Are any of these things in your novels? If you read or write YA, you know what this is about. Or, if you were ever a teenager (not that I did anything...I was a beautiful princess), you know firsthand. Personally, I love authors who aren't afraid to push the envelope. Honesty in writing takes guts, especially when it's about topics like these.
I say this because, in revising my ms, 9:59 Rewind, one of the notes in the first round of edits was whether or not the self-injury (read: cutting) my character inflicts HAS to be there. Because if it does, the book would be classified a "social issue" book. While I went through the edits, I realized YES. It HAS to be there. It's crucial in showing how my MC deals with all the crap in her life. She doesn't usually cry, she doesn't vent, she bottles it up and takes it out on herself. I knew, deep down, this is how she would handle it.
So I kept it.
And I was right to do so. The agent loved the way I expanded on the subject. It made my character more 3D, and one more thing to overcome in a pile of shizz. Now, as I'm revising, again, I re-read the scenes where all of that was written and to this day, I'm confident in my decision to keep it. Without it, I don't think even I could fully know or understand the pain she goes through. And knowing your MC is key.
I recently finished a book that speaks of suicide, and I admire the author's tenacity to say it so bluntly. You know I'm a big advocate for TWLOHA, suicide prevention and anything that sheds light on "difficult" subjects, because even if you aren't talking about it, IT'S STILL HAPPENING.
To all you budding Ellen Hopkins, Patricia McCormicks, Laurie Halse Andersons, Jay Ashers, Julia Hobans, Charles Benoits, or even Judy Blumes (yes, you read that right), I salute you. Thank you for being brave enough to give ME a voice. Today, I'll rip the tape off my mouth and write will the whole truth, and nothing but.
Tell me friends, do you tackle any of these issues in writing or have you read anything recently that does?
P.S. check out my music picks over on Chris's page. And don't worry~it's not the band you think!