Read. Write. Read. Write. Read. Write.
That’s basically the summary of Stephen King’s book On Writing. So that’s what I’ve been doing. In the last two months I’ve consumed several YA book series, even finishing three in a week.
Aside from being utterly entertaining, it’s also good to read what’s out there to know the genre I am writing for. There are several things I’ve noticed about the books that are making it to the big screen, or have already made it to the big screen.
1. None of the books have swearing. The characters have good manners even when they’re baddies. No f**ks, no shits, no madapackers. Clean language only.
2. No one gets anything more than a passionate kiss and a bit of a grope but nowhere near the breasts or the lower bits. It’s just kissing. No monkey business. Personally, I think this is bullshit given that everyone knows what teenagers are doing these days (remember your own teenage years?). But as a parent, I’m grateful for this as well. I don’t want my teenager (when she finally becomes a teenager) to be reading books about dry humping and oral sex.
3. There’s not much violence, or not too extreme violence. Punching, kicking, shooting, yes, but nothing too graphic. It’s toned down for the target audience.
And that’s why I think Charlie Higson’s The Enemy series is never going to get a TV/movie deal. This amazing series is scary as shit. The aim of the author, and he says this in each book, is to give the readers nightmares. He’s certainly given me some interrupted sleeps. But I can’t get enough of it. I want to see this on the big screen, big time. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like he fits the mould. There should be a petition for this. I want to see those grown up zombies on the big screen, chasing the screaming kids, catching them and eating them. Maybe even put K Stew as one of the kids being eaten. Gold.
So to the author of this wonderful series, here is:
An Open Letter To Charlie Higson,
I’m waiting for the final book of this series. I highly suggest you stop eating, showering, playing with your kids, sleeping and so on. Do nothing but write so I don’t have to wait a year for it. You can even take your laptop to the loo if you need to.
Okay, now go back to writing. Now.
P.S. You really don’t need to stop at six books, you know.
P.P.S. Don’t kill Ella, dammit.