Sunday, May 23, 2010

Monday Misdemeanor and Other Such Rot

First of all, I want to thank everyone who read and commented on the interview with Harry Bingham.  He’s a great guy in addition to being a top notch writer so thanks!

Secondly,  the Query Spoof Contest ends Thursday night- May 27th!  Everyone who wants to win a one hour over-the-phone publishing consultation with an author-editor at The Writer’s Workshop (yes -they do read your work and talk to you about where you should be going with it) should get cracking! Also up for grabs is a critique of your first 30 pages by the members of the 3Critics Club, and third prize is a bottle of champagne or chocolates sent from yours truly.

I don’t know if ya’ll have noticed a change in my side bar but Creepy finally succumbed to the pressure and joined 
I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing and the 140 character limit is a constant slap in the face since I'm an over-writer by nature.

Finally, I want to shout out a huge CONGRATS to Elana Johnson who received news last week of a book deal!  Wherever you are Elana (and seriously I wouldn’t be surprised to hear you’re out running naked in the streets, walking on water, or hand gliding after news like that) – You are an inspiration to us all!

Now without further ado:  Monday’s Misdemeanor

Breaking Curfew

I wasn’t one of those girls who would sneak out of her window at night to go meet up with a group of delinquent kids.  Oh no.  I was the kind of girl that would sneak out of OTHER people’s windows to meet up.  Translation:  The only time I ever ‘snuck out’ was while sleeping over at my friends’ houses.  For some reason it felt safer- at least if we got caught it wouldn’t be MY parents doing the catching.  Not that there won’t be karmic retributions somewhere down the road…

In any case, it got me thinking.  ‘Breaking Curfew’ has been used as a YA plot device ever since Romeo threw stones at Juliette’s window.  I mean, how much trouble would Harry, Ron and Hermione have gotten into if they had just stopped roaming the castle or sneaking out to see Hagrid after hours?

I realized that I use ‘Breaking Curfew’ in both of my novels but the question is why?  And I suppose the answer is the same reason kids do it in real life- it adds excitement and tension to the scene.   In addition to the after-hours adventure, there’s always that chance of discovery looming over their heads.  Whether you’ve ever broke curfew or not, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement.

What do you think about ‘Breaking Curfew’ scenes in books and have you ever used one?


Paying it Forward:  thanks Dawn for including me in this.  My Pay it Forward picks are:


Tessa's Blurb
Suzanne Casamento
Kelly Dexter
T.J. Carson

26 comments:

mi said...

in my last novel i used a sneaking out scene - which was the set up for the entire book.

i think these kinds of scenes work best when there's an actual reason for breaking curfew.
at least for me it's easier to go along for the ride if i think there's more to it than just a whim.

India Drummond said...

One of the things that I think is important in fiction for that age is that they be independant of mind and action... breaking the rules is all a part of that. If teens did what they were told, the book would be about their parents/teachers rather than the kids!

Bethany Elizabeth said...

I just got a desperate desire to read the HP books again. :) I reread them every once and awhile.
I haven't personally used breaking curfew yet, but I'm sure I will someday. It does add a lot of tension, but I don't really enjoy when the tension is too much. Like a billion close calls - seriously, I'd rather the parents just CAUGHT THEM so the long-drawn agony would be over! :D
But done well, breaking curfew can definitely be fun to read and add good tension.

Tina Lynn said...

Nope. Never. Though my daughter did point out to me that people have near drowning experiences in nearly every single WIP I have. I totally know why now that she pointed it out, but I have no idea how to put a stop to it.

Vicki Rocho said...

I never had a curfew until I stayed out all night (on the Air Force Base, and in the guys' dorms). NOTHING happened (let's make that clear) my ride just disappeared with her boyfriend so I was stuck with his roommates for hours.

After that my parents gave me a curfew.

Go figure.

Jen said...

YAY FOR ELANA!!!!

Awesome interview it was awesome!!!

I need to get on that Query contest!!! Goodness me oh my! Tonight I'll take care of it! I hope!!!

I think adding a breaking curfew scene is okay. I have not personally written one but I see nothing wrong with it, kids do it whether it makes it in a book or not! I actually really like them!

Matthew Rush said...

It's sort of a right of passage at that age and I think that's why it's so prominent in YA lit. I had one in my WIP but it was backstory so it ended up going away.

Great post though!

Yay Elana!

salarsenッ said...

Hmm...haven't used one yet, but now you've got me thinking. I never snuck out either. Chicken, plus we had those skinny casement windows. I'd have to be paper thin to fit through.

You are a tweeter!! Sweet. I'll hit Thy button and we can share our wisdom. (Sweating thinking, "Gosh I hope she doesn't think I have anything wise to say on Twitter. I suck at tweeting!!")

Laura Pauling said...

I haven't used breaking curfew yet - but I'm sure I will someday. It definitely ups the tension!

MBW aka Olleymae said...

If I was going to break curfew, I always texted my parents first. SAD. I know.

I do so love Harry Potter, just them mention of them makes me smile.

I'll have to check out your contest. AWESOME PRIZES!!

T.J. Carson said...

AWW I'd break my curfew for you baby! lol I've never snuck out of my house before. But I have snuck out of a few friends' houses. lol. And Im so excited for your query spoof contest! Writing one was so much fun! lol. really got the creative juices bubbling. And thanks for the shout out!

But I'm not quite sure what paying it forward is. From Dawn's blog it sounds like promoting a friend's blog? Ha something like that??? lol. THANKS!

elizabeth mueller said...

Elana! Yes, she's my hero, too!

I've never used any kind of breaking curfew scenes in my books, it never came to mind! lol... I think it's fun, but I'm hoping that it doesn't become cliche like dream sequences in books have and how editors want writers to steer from that.

What do you think? Maybe not, since it's part of what teens do...

Elle Strauss said...

I haven't used sneaking out scenes so far, not sure why. I guess it just didn't fit the story line or character.

btw, thanks for visiting my blog and for the follow!

WhisperingWriter said...

Oo I'm on Twitter too. It's pretty fun.

Lydia Kang said...

Hmm. Without breaking curfew, how else are they going to get out from under the watchful eyes of the parental units and do some (almost) naughty stuff?

Jaydee Morgan said...

I can see why the breaking curfew element is so prevelant but I have not used it (yet) in any of my works.

Shelley Sly said...

I'm not sure if I've used the breaking curfew element yet -- I had a character in my second novel *try* to sneak out, but she got caught. In my next book, I have a character play hooky from school. I know that's not the same thing, but kinda close, right?

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

I've not used the breaking curfew element yet. Maybe it's something I can try for my next WIP.

I have the same problem with tweets too. 140 characters isn't long enough. :)

Talli Roland said...

Oh, yay for Twitter! I'm on there too:@talliroland.

I'd like to write a more comprehensive response but the wine and the heat have gone straight to my head...

T.J. Carson said...

blog award for you beautiful!

Shannon said...

I haven't used it as a plot devise yet, but I have a lot of experience with it from my teen years (including being caught).

Suzanne Casamento said...

I think you've included those scenes because BREAKING CURFEW is an awesome book title. Don't you think?

And yes, I've used a few sneaking out scenes. It's like a teenage must. (At least it was for me and my BFF's.)

So, thank you for linking to me! I went to Dawn's blog to try and figure out what the pay it forward means, but I'm guessing it means link to a blogger you enjoy? Since she linked to you. Bright, aren't I?

Clara said...

Hum, I never used these scenes, but thats a great idea =)
Willd efinetly think about it!

Elana Johnson said...

Thank you for the congrats. You are so kind.

The Empress said...

I love all this info on here, I'm not a writer, but I love all I'm learning.

I really enjoy your blog.

Thank you...I don't often comment, b/c I have nothing to add: But I have to tell you, I enjoy this blog very much.

Creepy Query Girl said...

Awe, thanks Empress! That means a lot to me!

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