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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to preface this by saying that what I think I need is some validation from maybe some other moms out there whose children write these types of stories. DD1 writes. She loves to write and writes and reads all the time. She likes to read the typical teen books- Divergent series, Fifth Wave, Paper Towns and stuff like the Outsiders (she is currently reading just about everything written by that author). She also watches shows like Glee and Friends and Doctor Who and Heartland. All pretty typical stuff. She has a clique of friends who are all academic (she is, too) and she is a wonderful, kind person who loves animals. I am close with all three of my kids.

And she writes. She would like to be a writer and has attended writing camp and her 5th grade teacher (she's currently in 7th grade) wants her to submit her stories to magazine that publishes kids' stories. I am biased but I think she is a fantastic writer. She frequently shares her stuff with me and invites me to edit it. So here's the rub.. the vast majority of her stories are either really sad or these horror type stories. In one story everyone turned into zombies and the story ends with this girl hiding in a closet and being so relieved to see her brother, only to find her brother has turned into a zombie. The end of the story is him approaching her (you just know she dies). In her latest story, which is good enough that it's been sitting with me for days, the main character snaps after being treated badly for years and he amasses a pack of trained bloodthirsty dogs and goes on a killing rampage, ending in him finding the man who stole a cab from him years ago and the man pleads for his life and you think for a second the story might have a happy ending but then the main character has the dogs attack and kill him and the story ends with the main character feeling triumphant. O.M.G. It's a great story but she's 12.

Are these types of stories typical for this age group? Her stories she writes for class are much more vanilla. These are her stories she writes for herself and shares with me. Do other kids her age write these types of stories?
 

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She sounds great to me. If this is the genre she lives and is passionate about, I wouldn't deter her in any way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's the direction I'm kind of leaning in. Instinct tells me not to worry about her. But I sure wish I knew if other kids wrote the same stories. I definitely tell her to keep writing and, if her story is a little gory, I don't tend to say anything beyond my own feedback for story (character development, etc). I want her to keep writing and sharing it with me so I'm careful not to say anything that would sound like I don't approve of her writing, which wouldn't be true anyway. Thanks for the reply!
 
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If you haven't noticed any other signs that concern you - and it sounds like you haven't: she does well in school, has friends, good family relationships, teacher is encouraging her talent - then I think those stories are well within the boundaries of the genre. BTW, my 12-year-old reads the same books. They even had to write Outsiders fan fiction in school, and my daughter's ending was very sad and ended with one of the characters committing suicide by cop. Sadly, they do know about this stuff at that age. The media exposure is many multiples of what people my age (40s) had growing up.
 

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I was reading James Herbert and Stephen Kind at her age, I still actually prefer horror. I think you have nothing to worry about. Ask her where her inspiration comes from, discuss the writing, but do not put her off expressing her ideas.
 
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I was like your daughter when I was 12, and I promise I have not grown up to be a zombie-loving murderer :grin: She will be fine!
 

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Another parent of a writer here, age 11, who writes similar stories. Sometimes the parents even die in the stories and the kids kind of take over. Other times just when the main character finds friendship, the friend turns out to be dead or something.

My daughter is delightful, not disturbed in any way, and has a very creative mind. We are a healthy intact family (well mostly.....) I think some kids are just fascinated by this type of material!!
 

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I was reading James Herbert and Stephen Kind at her age, I still actually prefer horror. I think you have nothing to worry about. Ask her where her inspiration comes from, discuss the writing, but do not put her off expressing her ideas.
Yes! Stephen King and Anne Rice here when I was only a little older than the OP's child.
 

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I would say extremely normal. Children process scary things in the world in different ways and the world can be scary. I played games with my Barbies about moms with starving babies and I wrote horror stories, other children did other things to increase their understanding.
 

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I wrote and read similar stories when I was that age and turned out perfectly normal :D. Dd14 has been writing horror themes since about 10 or 11 too. She belongs to an online site for teens to share/critique each other's work (your dd might like it too, but the name escapes me right now) and horror stories seem to be the most popular; I'd say they outnumber the romantic themes by far.

I think it's a natural way of processing scary concepts for kids. My youngest and her friends range from 5-11, and I've overheard some pretty dark themes in their pretend play.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Glad to see she is in good company! stormborn, if you remember that website, I'd love to check it out for her! I wrote a lot of existential type stuff when I was in high school. I read Stephen King in HS but I don't like horror much now.. unless DD1 is writing it or her murder stories. ;)
 

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My youngest and her friends range from 5-11, and I've overheard some pretty dark themes in their pretend play.
At a family party last summer the kids ranged in age from 3 to 12 and the title of the play they put on was "The Princess Who Died" - she was poisoned...
 
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