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Would this be okay in a novel for young teens? (1 Viewer)


WF Veterans
In my next WIP, the 4th installment of my series, my MC will be 15 years old. Something that I plan to have happen is for her to hear her deceased mother's voice and respond to it. It is a side effect of a magical curse, though, since the series is a fantasy one.
At some point, the MC's guardian will be reported to social services since my MC heard the voice in public and worried others. The CPS worker will ask her guardian about the MC hearing voices, how long it has been going on, and what is causing it. She and my MC's guardian would go around the house to check for anything that could have caused her to hear her mom's voice.
I performed some research about this before. According to it, people can hear voices after traumatic experiences (like my MC, who was orphaned at age 7, when her parents died in a car crash. But her then-babysitter wouldn't let her hear or see it.), have conditions, like Bipolar, or from drugs, whether recreational or prescribed.
I'm obviously not going to say the word, "drug" in the story. I would stay as general as possible, and use words like "anything" or "something". But would that still worry parents or even their kids?
Also, the CPS worker isn't a magician. She will be part of the ordinary culture, and my MC will have to hide her magic abilities from the social services woman.
If you think this would help, my MC was born a regular, non-magical person and grew up in the ordinary world. Her guardian is also the same, but he stays a regular man.
What do you think?


Senior Member
In Piers Anthony's book 'Virtual Mode' (or maybe Fractal Mode, it was a Mode book), his early teen MC cuts herself as part of a bet to see who can bleed without flinching, to get something she wants from a group of older boys. She strips naked in the process. I think you're probably OK with mentioning drugs, as long as you're not romanticizing them. My twelve year old niece just read Stephen King's 'It', so kids/early teens have access to far more information than I did growing up and, unfortunately/fortunately, aren't fazed by much of the 'real world' stuff I was somewhat sheltered from.

Have you researched CPS for their protocol on that situation? Having the teen evaluated by a therapist or psychiatrist would probably be the first step in the process.

Also, people with latent psychic abilities can hear voices of dead folk.

Good luck and happy writing!


Senior Member
I agree that mentioning drugs in the context of the story isn't an issue. Remember, you're writing about a child with serious trauma. If you're afraid to mention dark things, it's gonna be pretty difficult when you get to the part about being orphaned at seven.


Senior Member
I agree with the previous advice. Mentioning real-life factors in a book geared towards teens is okay. Especially considering that real-life trauma is a big focus in your story. Mentioning drugs, and other coping mechanisms, isn't a no-no, as long as they are responded to properly by the MC's guardians and other adults. And since it seems you're doing that, I don't think there is an issue at all.