I’ve just this afternoon determined, with the help of a very patient, battered-eared, coffee-fuelled and tired supervisor, that my PhD will look deeply and longingly into the way ‘voice’ works in young adult and adult football fiction narratives.
I mean how the writing changes depending on who’s going to be reading it – it’d have to wouldn’t it?
I will look at the what and the how of these changes. I’ll be looking at stuff like language, metaphors, descriptions, stylistics and the like. Others too. When I discover them. If anyone can help me, I’d love to hear from you.
At the moment, whether its wrong or right, I’m going to work on the assertion that young people reading football stories are far happier to read more game time stuff for example and less happy to work in the space between the reader and the text. They like the emotional stuff on the page – the ref’s obvious bias pissed John off. He was proper angry, for example.
Where as adult fiction readers require a bit more complexity, a little more sophistication. They don’t want to be told stuff they want to work it out for themselves and I don’t mean a mystery novel or some crime number – although I will look at detective football fiction aimed at both markets in a future blog.
In Young Adult football fiction, the football is the vehicle for the issues. Examples include the Megs books (see Here's One For the Kids this blog March 2 2008), Jasper Zammit, the King of Large and the Gracie books for example. I’ll be getting to all of these and more too I’m sure.
Adult readers on the other hand, as patronising as it sounds, are said to require a challenge. The books have to be about a bit more than the football. In the blog so far, I’ve already looked at Karren Brady sexing the board room game up with some lippy and some naked limbs; Dougie Brimson’s mixed it up with some metaphorical blood on his knuckles and the touchier, feelier Nick Hornby has given us male mood swings, sharp patter and some sharper insights. There are other spins in football fiction too. Again I intend to get into them in future blogs.
That’s not to say that youg adult fiction does not deal with complex or sophisticated issues it does and frequently, Roddy Doyle, Elmore Leonard, Hornby and Janette Winterson have all written sophisticated YA fiction, I’m going to have a gander at them too though not on this blog.
I’m looking for more examples of football fiction regardless of where it fits into the scheme of things. If you know of any good books I’d be keen to know about them…