I'm surprised -- notice I didn't say shocked -- at how explicit non-erotic fiction is becoming. I wonder when the pendulum will swing back.
I'm not in favour of censorship. I think artists need to be free to explore. Instead of running from ideas, I believe in informing myself. And so I begin to read...
Sure, there's sex, drugs and rock and roll. But it is a story about a teenager, would you wonder if there wasn't?
The sex, the drugs, the rock and roll, it's all germane to the story. In fact, I'm very impressed by how well the author has developed his teenage character. Jude breathes on on the page.
The internal dialogue is strongly written. We are deep in Jude's mind, but there's no trail of 'I thoughts'. For example, instead of 'I thought', Mr. Reid writes, 'It was like...'
Rather than be paralyzed by the violence he sees in home and at school, Jude fantasizes that he is a movie star.
School is just like a film set: there's The Crew that make things happen. The Extras who fill the empty desks, and The Movie Stars, whom everyone wants tagged in their facebook photos. But Jude doesn't fit in. He's not part of The Crew because he isn't about to do anything unless it's court-appointed; he's not an Extra because nothing about him is anonymous; and he's not a Movie Star because even though everyone knows his name like an A-lister, he isn't invited to the cool parties. As the director calls action, Jude is the flamer that lights the set on fire.
Before everything turns to ashes from the resulting inferno. Jude drags his best friend Angela off the casting couch and into enough melodrama to incite the paparazzi, all while trying to fend off the haters and win the heart of his favourite co-star Luke Morris. It's a total train wreck!
But train wreaks always make the front page.
Jude is determined, independent, heroic and compassionate. He knows who is he and what he wants from the world and he's not afraid to shout it out loud and proud. Even in the face of undeniable heart break, Jude believes in a 'happy-ever-after' ending to the last page.
This short book (170 pages) is power packed by a skilled author.
I looked down the highway. It was a long black stroke of ink that told a never-ending story (p. 135)
-the true story that inspired the book
-the controversy around the book
-a candid interview with the author
Here's the link
Ellen DeGeneres on 15-year-old boy, Larry King, killed for being Gay
Marcy Kennedy wrote a helpful article on how to write strong internal dialogue for the Writers of the Storm blog.
Have you heard the rule show, don't tell? As in, show me what's happening, don't tell me what's happening.
Let your young readers decipher characters' feelings from dialog, actions, and body language.
submissions sent: 13
rejections received: 7
Comments: 'You write well. Your story is interesting'