I’ve had many ideas come to me for my next book where the protagonist is a young female (cliche I know). Not all of these ideas are “PG” rated. It left me wondering about the writing of taboo subjects. Is there a line? Will my book be shunned if I include these subjects? How much of a risk is it adding these subjects in? Will I be significantly limiting my readership because of this?
I’ve decided that the areas in the book that I add in these subject which I feel strongly about, will be written twice – both with and without those subjects included. Cowardly? Probably but that’s my solution.
So for curiosity’s sake my subjects that are so taboo? Well no it’s nothing to do with homosexuality (although I have considered adding it in briefly to one of my manuscripts eventually); Sex isn’t much of a taboo subject any more in our society which is a little disheartening; What’s left? First subject – Eating disorders. I went to an all girls college my whole life and if you didn’t know of or were a girl with an eating disorder then you must’ve had your eyes closed. There wasn’t much bullying in my grade but without a way to get to know any males you only had the odd social event where your looks were what got you attention or didn’t. It was so important to what seemed like everything in your life at school that you had a boyfriend yet now looking back it shouldn’t have even mattered.
High school is the perfect environment to breed insecurities in adolescents that are so susceptible to any kind of criticism. Young teenagers that are always desperate to be the perfect female that media has depicted for that point in time.
Unless you’e been there then you won’t understand the mind-set that comes with an eating disorder. I guess that is a lot of the motivation for me to add this in. I want young teens to read my book and maybe find that their outlook on food isn’t healthy. I would love to help just one teenager with my books. One teenager that may be heading down a toxic path that has found the strength by reading my words to break free of that terrible cycle.
Subject number two – drink spiking leading to date rape. I don’t want my protagonist to get raped but to be in a dangerous situation although she will of course be lucky enough to get away/be saved. I want to raise awareness to the dangers of under-age drinking, the importance of always watching your drink and the consequences that can follow from trusting ANYONE with your drink.
The things are very real in today’s society and yet we brush it aside. Ignorance ISN’T bliss!
Fingers crossed my work can get published without having to tear the parts that include the subjects I feel passionate about. Granted I should stick by my work but there sometimes comes a time when we need to concede defeat and move on.
Are my subjects too much for our current society or is it time we included the harsh realities into our writing?