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when writing for young adults, should the author watch the violence, and foul lang.? also, if you were wrtting about a person who turned into a bug, but you put real facts about bugs in it. what subject 9example; nonfiction, fantasy) would this be under?

Hello Sara:

Hmmm. This is a little out of my range of expertise, but I will do my best for you, so long as you realize that this is only my opinion.

It depends upon the age market you are aiming for, but certainly youth can handle a certain amount of violence, and would probably object if it wasn't there! Much depends, of course, on how you write it. Lord Of The Rings is full of violence, but no one glories in it, slobbers over it, or pursues it as a vocation - except the villain. As for foul language, I wouldn't want it in any book I bought my child, up until the age of about 16. By that time they generally have learned more foul language at school than you or I will ever know, so if it's part of your story, I'd put it in.

You can probably get better information than I can give you by visiting your local library and asking the children's librarian. I typed "foul language in young adult novels" into google and got 94,000 hits, so some information is available on the Net.

If you are writing about a person who turns into a bug, that would be fantasy, and you can put just about anything you want in it. Real facts about bugs could fit well into such a work.   

I hope this helps. If it does, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high score over 450 questions.

And good luck with your writing!  

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Susan Rand


I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.


I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

BA degree in Written Communication

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