generally don’t check the Freshly Pressed articles on WordPress because a) I’m bitter that I’ve never been freshly pressed, b) I can’t stand the new set up of WordPress and I don’t have the time or energy to go looking for shit and/or c) I’m not all that interested. Take your pick, it’s all the same to me. However, hoping for a bit of inspiration, after the rather disastrous reception my last two blogposts received (I regret nothing on the phone front). I decided to check out the freshly pressed blogs and came across this gem, about debut novels and playing it safe.
It’s an interesting article on it’s own but if left me wondering… what constitutes ‘playing it safe’? Did Bridge of Memories play it safe?
If I understood this concept correctly (which is a big fucking if), then I’m going to say no, if for no other reason because my main characters in a Y.A. fantasy were a) gay b) sexually active c) Eric gets pregnant and has a miscarriage Three things which you will not often find in most novels, particularly not the Y.A. kind. (Or even N.A. which is generally what I lean towards these days–even for book 1). The fact that they are sixteen and swear like sixteen year olds do may not necessarily be that edgy, but it’s definitely not safe either.
I would definitely agree with Mr. Sanchez’s opinion that playing it safe is not the best advice for a debut novel, but I think one person’s definition of playing it safe might differ from someone else’s.
And as some authors (hopefully) have learned, being edgy doesn’t always work for them. the Casual Vacancy is arguably edgy for J.K.Rowling, even if not a debut novel (and especially when compared to Harry Potter) but either because we are so used to the Potterworld or some other reason, a lot of the ‘edge’ to TCV come’s off more uncomfortable than anything else. While I am loathe to ever compare Ms. Rowling to E.L. James, Fifty Shades is a perfect example of a debut novel that did not play it safe but that came off more uncomfortable than was necessary.