This past month I participated in a Twitter writing challenge. There were daily word prompts, but other than that each person could write whatever he or she wanted.
I wrote a short story using the prompts. While I've been posting it daily on Twitter, I thought it would be fun to post the whole story here. The prompt words I used are in red.
Carnival. From the Latin “carne vale,” or farewell to meat. A word that rose from the penitential practice of giving up meat for Lent. Written in human blood on the wall of the dingy apartment, it took on a much more sinister meaning.
I glanced at my partner out of the eye above my ear; one of six total, though the two on the back of my head were covered by my hair. “Well?"
My partner, Sol Brisham, is human. Mostly. He lacks extra eyes or retractable appendages. I’m told human girls find this attractive. “Nothing, Cy,” he replies.
I raised an eyebrow. “Nothing?”
“The place is more butcher shop than cemetery. You can see that for you…
I'm still working on editing my current book series--the good news is I'm finally making progress.
I started wondering the other day: what age range should this series be for?
If you don't already know this, most US publishers consider Middle Grade Fiction (MG for short) to be suitable for kids ages 8 to 12. These books are, generally speaking, a little harder to read than the earliest "chapter books" for younger readers, but not yet as challenging as many books for young adults. But the content of the books is important, too: a book may be written simply enough for a younger reader, but if it contains content that is very edgy, dark, sexual, graphically violent, or disturbing it will be put in the Young Adult (ages 12 and up) category instead.
What's hard about some of this is that the lines often get blurred. There has been a push by many MG publishers to include more and more envelope-pushing content in books aimed at younger readers. At the same time, so…