Story building – Part 2

Last time I wrote a bunch of words. Mostly dialogue, little bit of description. Definitely first draft material, though.

Here’s a recap of the instigating idea, and what currently passes for the worldbuilding:

Idea

“Check this shit out, I’m going to be a fucking

eager Human Barbarian from a royal lineage who has a drinking problem”

Worldbuilding

Look at the character generated.

Does not fit flash fiction.

Why do I say that? Too big a problem for a short arc.

Just make him drunk, not drinking problem per se, but it is a problem in the particular circumstance.

VR

MC is drunk inside D&D style VR world.

AI is trying to talk him round and bring him out of the VR

Why is the AI bringing him round to get him out?

Because the guy has to get married.

He’s a warrior-Prince of the blood-royal in a high-tech society who doesn’t want to get married to the merchant-Prince he has to get married to, so he’s getting pissed in a VR. If he got pissed in “reality” it would be frowned upon by his family.

It’s a nigh-feudalistic society with something like a military caste, a merchant caste, and a philosophical caste. These castes rule the proletariat who serve as workers and low-level grunts of each caste. Every now and then a member of the proletariat (called barbarians) will be raised “up” to a caste. The castes do not breed, they have homosexual marriages between castes to maintain balance.

This time, I’m looking to do the biggest stuff that needs doing. I don’t care right now about the best grammar, the odd typo, or anything like that. In a longer piece, I’d be looking at faltering thematic arc, characters development arcs, plot holes, and all that malarkey. Most of that disappears in a flash fiction story. You’ve basically got a scene. That scene still has to have an arc, and it still needs to have some character development, but it’s going to be somewhat theme-light and there’s not a whole lotta plot to break.

So what do I need to check and fix on this pass?

Is there an arc?

Another way of asking this question for a flash fiction piece is to ask whether there is a story at all? It’s meant to be a stand-alone story — in this incarnation — so it should have a conflict, escalation and resolution. At the very least. Is it there?

We find out pretty quickly that Chiam is conflicted internally, and the intention is that there should be an external conflict as well. Reading through the first ten percent or so of the story, the external conflict in implied but it’s not very strong. There are almost always several ways to deal with problems like this at this stage. Here, I could add a bit to the beginning so that the drone character is introduced as the representative of the external conflict straight away. I could also change the admonitory third line so that it is more censorious. Or both.

I’ll try the second option first.

‘What is it you want, Chi?’

‘MORE ALE!’ He waved his tankard at a tavern wench.

‘No, Chiam!’ The wench vanished at the drone’s emphatic negation. ‘Why are you here? Between tick and tock, instead of getting ready for your wedding? You know how everyone is going to react if you stay here.’

”M not goin’ back. Don’t wanna get married.’

OK. That makes the point, and I quite like it (of course I do, I just wrote it), but it does have a slight whiff of the maid-and-butler (AKA “As You Know, Bob…”). If Chi already knows how people are going to react, why is the drone saying it? Except that people really do that. People do say “you know what so-and-so is going to think about this…”

But what about introducing the conflict the other way? Bringing it right up front.

Chi cradled the empty tankard in his hands, glaring blearily at the approaching drone.

‘If my parents sent you to get me, drone, you can just go right back!’

‘What is it you want, Chi?’ the drone said, not bothering to deny the charge.

‘MORE ALE!’ He waved his tankard at a tavern wench.

‘No, Chiam.’ The wench vanished. ‘Why are you here? Between tick and tock, instead of getting ready for your wedding?’

”M not goin’ back. Don’t wanna get married.’

That kinda works, too. It’s probably a better start than the previous opening line was, and it’s a bit more natural than the somewhat as-you-know-bob feel of the first one.

I could combine them. I really could. What would that give us?

Chi cradled the empty tankard in his hands, glaring blearily at the approaching drone.

‘If my parents sent you to get me, drone, you can just go right back!’

‘What is it you want, Chi?’ the drone said, not bothering to deny the charge.

‘MORE ALE!’ He waved his tankard at a tavern wench.

‘No, Chiam.’ The wench vanished at the drone’s emphatic negation. ‘Why are you here? Between tick and tock, instead of getting ready for your wedding? You know how everyone is going to react if you stay here.’

”M not goin’ back. Don’t wanna get married.’

*Twitch* “Everyone.” Hmmm. This happens sometimes. A minor point will trip me up while I’m meant to be looking at the bigger stuff, so, I’m going to line edit for a second—

Everyone is not going to give the slightest damn if someone gets married or not. I don’t care how high profile the wedding is. That’s me being lazy, and it should be fixed. Thing is, because I’ve noticed it, I have to fix it now or it will keep making me twitch as I try to do other things with the story. So. What should it be? A list of the relevant people? “… your parents, his parents, the trade board that ratified the partnership, and your husband-to-be, of course…

Well, no. That’s daft. World-building info, yes. A bit more external conflict, yes. Necessary? No. I’ve already introduced one source of external conflict that Chi, himself, has identified as his top concern: his parents. That’s all we need. So that line becomes:

‘No, Chiam.’ The wench vanished at the drone’s emphatic negation. ‘Why are you here? Between tick and tock, instead of getting ready for your wedding? You know how your parents will to react if you stay here.’

Fine. That’ll do for now. It may change again later as I focus on other aspects of the story, but for now it fulfils its purpose.

What about the rest of it?

Chi is escalating by raising objections to the drone’s points, but can there be more? Yes, there could. If there was greater escalation, however, it would need more resolution and the story would have to be a lot longer. So, the question becomes whether there is enough escalation for the story I’m telling. I think there is. I don’t think it needs much more than it has.

Resolution starts in the last third of the story and happens quite abruptly. There is something of a disconnect between Chi’s admission that he would have “cited jeopardy” and the drone beginning resolution with “I should not tell you this…”.

It’s missing a beat. It does not flow quite right. So, what happens if I do ratchet the tension up just one more notch and give just a small pause for breath after?

‘I know. We did get on. And if I hadn’t had any empathy with him, I would have cited jeopardy, even if it meant being relegated.’

‘So, what is really the problem?’ asked the drone.

Chi slumped back in his chair. ‘I am scared, drone.’

The virtual environment seemed uncommonly quiet to Chiam as he waited for the drone’s reaction.

‘I should not tell you this…’

Chi latched on to the halting words. Drones knew everything that went on and they were not supposed to let any secrets out.

‘Your soon-to-be husband,’ the drone continued, ‘is currently being attended to by a drone of my own class, because he, too, is virtually drunk. He hasn’t chosen a fantasy tavern, though. He’s in a seedy gin-joint out of some noir fiction setting.’

OK. That’s better. Not great, but better. The beats are right-ish, I think, and the rest of the resolution flows well enough to close the arc, at least.

Internal consistency & logical progression

Normally, these would be two different passes, but as this story is so short you can do them in one.

There isn’t that much to check. Drones seem to behave the same way throughout. Nothing seems to contradict itself regarding the society. The virtual reality doesn’t behave inconsistently, as far as I can see. Cool. Nothing to change there, I think.

That means we are left with the story in this state, for now.

The story as it stands

Chi cradled the empty tankard in his hands, glaring blearily at the approaching drone.

‘If my parents sent you to get me, drone, you can just go right back!’

‘What is it you want, Chi?’ the drone said, not bothering to deny the charge.

‘MORE ALE!’ He waved his tankard at a tavern wench.

‘No, Chiam.’ The wench vanished at the drone’s emphatic negation. ‘Why are you here? Between tick and tock, instead of getting ready for your wedding? You know how your parents will to react if you stay here.’

”M not goin’ back. Don’t wanna get married.’

‘Are you sure? Would you be happier back outside the Caste?’

‘I’M NOT A PROLE BREEDER!’

‘I see some semblance of reality is seeping back in, but that’s not really an accepta-‘

‘Go ‘way. He doesn’t want to get married.’

‘Ah, now we’re getting closer to it.’

‘Wazzat?’

‘He’s a good match. You’ll be a strong partnership.’

‘Sure.’

‘Is that not a what you want?’

‘I want love. I want to love and be loved.’

‘You want to have a child? You will eventually be able to foster…’

‘No! F’r cryin’ out loud, can’t you leave that alone? Love doesn’t have to lead to having babies! Plenty o’ proles, don’t have babies after their quota, but they stay together out of love. Plenty among the Castes have love for each other, but not everyone. It’s not guaranteed.’

‘There are no guarantees.’

‘I know that, but I don’t even know what he likes… The Dates don’t cover everything, you know.’

‘You’ve both filled out the questionnaire.’

‘Yeah, so what?’

‘So you know what he likes.’

‘No I don’t.’

An image of a scroll appeared before the old man. ‘It says he likes to do anything, on the right occasion.’

Chi groaned. ‘That’s what everyone says, drone.’

‘Maybe it’s true.’

‘It is and it ain’t. I’m not a Philosopher. It’s like when you’re with your best friend and she’s showing you her outfit choices for her Date that night. You can’t just say “Well, they’re both hideous, and frankly you could stand to lose a couple of kilos before you try to squeeze into either of them, honey!”, that just won’t do. So you pick the least objectionable piece of one outfit and dive into the wardrobe frantically trying to find things to go with it, before finally turning round like you’ve just had an amazing insight to say “You know what? It’s your first Date with the woman you’re going to marry! Let’s go and buy something new for the occasion!”.

‘You avoid the question.’

‘Yes. And that’s what his answer is. Anyone can say they enjoy anything on the right occasion, because you can easily say at a later date that the occasion never arises. Scan your databanks, drone. You’ll find a variant of that answer on most Questionnaires, I’d wager. Even mine.’

‘So, you want to be loved.’

‘Yes.’ Chi was almost sober after his little outburst.

‘You didn’t tell him that during your dates?’

‘No! Because, like you did, he would have assumed that I was talking about breeding. He knows I wasn’t chosen to be raised up to Caste until quite late on. He might think I still had tendencies.’

‘I think he might surprise you, Chiam.’

‘But he’s so cold.’

‘He’s a merchant-Prince, they tend to be analytical. They still have feelings.’

‘I know. We did get on. And if I hadn’t had any empathy with him, I would have cited jeopardy, even if it meant being relegated.’

‘So, what is really the problem?’ asked the drone.

Chi slumped back in his chair. ‘I am scared, drone.’

The virtual environment seemed uncommonly quiet to Chiam as he waited for the drone’s reaction.

‘I should not tell you this…’

Chi latched on to the halting words. Drones knew everything that went on and they were not supposed to let any secrets out.

‘Your soon-to-be husband,’ the drone continued, ‘is currently being attended to by a drone of my own class, because he, too, is virtually drunk. He hasn’t chosen a fantasy tavern, though. He’s in a seedy gin-joint out of some noir fiction setting.’

‘Really?’

‘In truth.’

‘You really shouldn’t have told me.’

‘Also true, but we held a drone conference on a subchannel and it was decided that we could impart this information under one especial condition.’

‘Which was?’

‘That you both found out the information at the same time.’

‘You mean, he knows?!’

‘The pair of you have amusingly similar reactions to that revelation.’

‘Yes, you both know. Now, I suggest that we divert tradition in one more way. We can arrange a brief meeting for both of you inside the VR, so that you can actually tell each other how you feel, before we get to the wedding. I think a neutral setting? Say, a sunny beach?’

‘Yes. Let’s go.’

Chi stood and the setting changed around him, fading from rustic tavern to the golden warmth of a late afternoon on a sunny beach. Uan Ndiaye stood nearby, smiling a little sheepishly. Chi imagined that his own expression was somewhat similar, but did not bother to school it.

‘I had somehow imagined late morning or noon,’ said Chi.

‘I asked for later in the day, but still warm. The drone…’ Uan looked around, briefly startled by something, and Chi only then realised, himself, that the drones were missing.

Chi decided that Uan looked a little lost, even nervous. He wants to be loved, too. That’s… Adorable.

Wrap up

You may have noticed that I did not cover anything that I said I would at the end of the last post. I realised that I was jumping ahead of myself, there. Those aspects of character development and line editing will come nearer the end of the process.

Next post, I’ll go through the questions:

  • Is there sufficient detail to paint the picture of the environment?
  • Is there too much detail anywhere?
  • Can a reader tell what’s happening?
  • How is the pacing?

For now, TTFN.

Story building

I thought it might be interesting to see how a story comes together. From idea to final story, although it’ll just be here, on the blog. Why? Well, let me tell you a story…

I don’t do flash fiction challenges that often, but Chuck Wendig’s Friday challenges caught my eye on the 9th January.

Looked cool. Clicked the link. Laughed.

Good start.

Here’s the idea…

"Check this shit out, I'm going to be a fucking
eager Human Barbarian from a royal lineage who has a drinking problem"

Nice. Still makes me chuckle a bit.

 

So, what was I thinking at that point?

Look at the character generated.

Does not fit flash fiction.

Why do I say that? Too big a problem for a short arc.

Just make him drunk, not drinking problem per se, but it is a problem in the particular circumstance.

OK. So far, so good. But that’s not a story. Let the brain free-wheel for a bit and see what happens…

*spin spin spin* Nothing.

*spin spin…* Ah.

VR

MC is drunk inside D&D style VR world.

AI is trying to talk him round and bring him out of the VR

Why is the AI bringing him round to get him out?

Because the guy has to get married.

He’s a warrior-Prince of the blood-royal in a high-tech society who doesn’t want to get married to the merchant-Prince he has to get married to, so he’s getting pissed in a VR. If he got pissed in “reality” it would be frowned upon by his family.

And that was it. Words started to come out. Not particularly good words, but it doesn’t matter.

 

‘Why are you here, instead of getting ready for your wedding?’

”M not goin’ back. Don’t wanna get married.’

‘Are you sure? Would you be happier back outside the Caste?’

‘I’M NOT A PROLE BREEDER!’

‘I see some semblance of reality is seeping back in.’

‘Go ‘way. He doesn’t want to get married.’

‘Ah, now we’re getting closer to it.’

‘Wazzat?’

‘He’s a good match. You’ll be a strong partnership.’

‘Sure.’

‘Is that not a what you want?’

‘I want love. I want to love and be loved.’

‘There are no guarantees.’

‘I know that, but I don’t even know what he likes… The Dates don’t cover everything, you know.’

‘You’ve both filled out the questionnaire.’

‘Yeah, so what?’

‘So you know what he likes.’

‘No I don’t.’

 

OK. So, I have a scrap of dialogue which hints at conflict and backstory. Good. Now what?

*Architect brain knocks on the window, hands over a note*

Oh, yeah. I need to know what the hell I’m doing with it.

 

At about the same time, I heard about the Abaddon Books call for submissions (http://www.abaddonbooks.com/post/535) which is now coming to a close. (N.B. If you’re reading this after the 15th Feb 2015, you missed it.) It kicked my head into world-building mode with this sentence: “We’re also looking to expand our shared worlds with something new.”

No chance I could get something in for the deadline, but it started the whatIf() daemon process in the background.

Synchronicity, it doesn’t just happen in books.

 

That means while I was working on the little scene stub, my little architect/daemon/hind-brain was working on a world in which to fit it…

Background to the world. Nigh-feudalistic society with something like a military caste, a merchant caste, and a philosophical caste. These castes rule the proletariat who serve as workers and low-level grunts of each caste. Every now and then a member of the proletariat (called barbarians) will be raised “up” to a caste. The castes do not breed, they have homosexual marriages between castes to maintain balance.

That was enough to be getting on with. After all, at the moment this is just a piece of flash fiction, even though I thought it could easily be built up into larger stories. Words were starting to tug at my fore-brain to get out, so I let them; filling in a few gaps in the first bit as I went.

 

‘What is it you want, Chi.’

‘MORE ALE!’ He waved his tankard at a tavern wench.

‘No, Chiam.’ The wench vanished. ‘Why are you here? Between tick and tock, instead of getting ready for your wedding?’

”M not goin’ back. Don’t wanna get married.’

‘Are you sure? Would you be happier back outside the Caste?’

‘I’M NOT A PROLE BREEDER!’

‘I see some semblance of reality is seeping back in, but that is not really an accepta-‘

‘Go ‘way. He doesn’t want to get married.’

‘Ah, now we’re getting closer to it.’

‘Wazzat?’

‘He’s a good match. You’ll be a strong partnership.’

‘Sure.’

‘Is that not a what you want?’

‘I want love. I want to love and be loved.’

‘You want to have a child? You will eventually be able to foster…’

‘No! F’r cryin’ out loud, can’t you leave that alone? Love doesn’t have to lead to having babies! Plenty o’ proles, don’t have babies after their quota, but they stay together out of love. Plenty among the Castes have love for each other, but not everyone. It’s not guaranteed.’

‘There are no guarantees.’

‘I know that, but I don’t even know what he likes… The Dates don’t cover everything, you know.’

‘You’ve both filled out the questionnaire.’

‘Yeah, so what?’

‘So you know what he likes.’

‘No I don’t.’

An image of a scroll appeared before the old man. ‘It says he likes to do anything, on the right occasion.’

Chi groaned. ‘That’s what everyone says, drone.’

‘Maybe it’s true.’

‘It is and it ain’t. I’m not a Philosopher. It’s like when you’re with your best friend and she’s showing you her outfit choices for her Date that night. You can’t just say “Well, they’re both hideous, and frankly you could stand to lose a couple of kilos before you try to squeeze into either of them, honey!”, that just won’t do. So you pick the least objectionable piece of one outfit and dive into the wardrobe frantically trying to find things to go with it, before finally turning round like you’ve just had an amazing insight to say “You know what? It’s your first Date with the woman you’re going to marry! Let’s go and buy something new for the occasion!”.

‘You avoid the question.’

‘Yes. And that’s what his answer is. Anyone can say they enjoy anything on the right occasion, because you can easily say at a later date that the occasion never arises. Scan your data-banks, drone. You’ll find a variant of that answer on most Questionnaires, I’d wager. Even mine.’

‘So, you want to be loved.’

‘Yes.’ Chi was almost sober after his little outburst.

‘You didn’t tell him that during your dates?’

‘No! Because, like you did, he would have assumed that I was talking about breeding. He knows I wasn’t chosen to be raised up to Caste until quite late on. He might think I still had tendencies.’

‘I think he might surprise you, Chiam.’

‘But he’s so cold.’

‘He’s a merchant-Prince, they tend to be analytical. They still have feelings.’

‘I know. We did get on. And if I hadn’t had any empathy with him, I would have cited jeopardy, even if it meant being relegated.’

‘I should not tell you this.’ Chi perked up. Drones knew everything that went on and they were not supposed to let any secrets out. ‘Your soon-to-be husband is currently being attended to by a drone of my own class, because he, too, is virtually drunk. He hasn’t chosen a fantasy tavern, though. He’s in a seedy gin-joint out of some noir fiction setting.’

‘Really?’

‘In truth.’

‘You really shouldn’t have told me.’

‘Also true, but we held a drone conference on a sub-channel and it was decided that we could impart this information under one especial condition.’

‘Which was?’

‘That you both found out the information at the same time.’

‘You mean, he knows?!’

‘The pair of you have amusingly similar reactions to that revelation.’

‘Yes, you both know. Now, I suggest that we divert tradition in one more way. We can arrange a brief meeting for both of you inside the VR, so that you can actually tell each other how you feel, before we get to the wedding. I think a neutral setting? Say, a sunny beach?’

‘Yes. Let’s go.’

Chi stood and the setting changed around him, fading from rustic tavern to the golden warmth of a late afternoon on a sunny beach. Uan Ndiaye stood nearby, smiling a little sheepishly. Chi imagined that his own expression was somewhat similar, but did not bother to school it.

‘I had somehow imagined late morning or noon,’ said Chi.

‘I asked for later in the day, but still warm. The drone…’ Uan looked around, briefly startled by something, and Chi only then realised, himself, that the drones were missing.

Chi decided that Uan looked a little lost, even nervous. He wants to be loved, too. That’s… Adorable.

 

So, there we go. First draft of a flash fiction story. 829 words.

You’ll notice that it’s considerably dialogue-heavy. It’s often that way with first drafts for me, I tend to have a scene and then let the characters talk out the story line.

Next post, I’ll go through and second draft it. It needs considerable tightening for starters and the characters barely have their own voice. And that’s just the dialogue itself. The rest of the story matter needs to go in there somewhere. Where’s the detail about the environment(s)? Are they just woodenly in a single position the entire time that they are talking? I don’t think so.

Next time. I’ll get to that next time.

For now, TTFN.

An interesting perspective on publishing

I just had an email from Writer’s Digest which linked to this article.

The first “mistake” listed gave me a little pause. One of the major points which has always been in favour of following a traditional publishing path has been having a possibly large publisher lend their weight to the marketing effort of your novel. But. There’s this quote:

You need to act like an indie author — a determined one — if you want to make it in the world of publishing.

Truly said. If that’s the case, how is it different from being an indie author?

As a naïve, beginning author I had plenty of romantic notions about the publishing industry. I knew nothing of self-publishing beyond the utter disdain for vanity publishing and the two were pretty much synonymous.

Even when I started to learn more about publishing, I thought that an indie author has to do everything themselves, alone, without help. It explained why everyone seemed to be very down on self-publishing.

REAL publishers could do so many things!

  • They have editors, cover artists, layout designers, copywriters for blurbs, etc.;
  • They printed paperbacks;
  • They create ebooks;
  • They printed hardbacks(!);
  • They can arrange for audio books;
  • They give you a chunk of cash up front (advance on royalties);
  • They give you more cash for as long as your book sells (royalties);
  • They could market your book far and wide;
  • They can arrange for interviews;
  • They could get your book into the high-street book store chains;
  • They can make your book available to libraries;
  • They can get you on the lists for the major prizes;
  • They can get you on the major best-seller lists.

None of those things are false. They just don’t do them very much. Most of the time.

These days, your average new, or mid-list, author has to arrange most of their own marketing and interviews. The advances are notoriously poor and the royalties are around 10% (print, 25% nett for ebook). Most authors don’t get listed for prizes or positioned for best-seller lists, nor is there a guarantee of being well-positioned in book stores. With some of the newer contracts, there isn’t even the guarantee of a novel being printed, nor of an audio book release.

The indie author has a higher initial outlay in finding editors and the rest, but they are available. Ebooks have been the mainstay of the indie author and there is little barrier to many of the markets. Print-on-demand through IngramSpark, for example, allows for printing in paperback and hardback, and distribution to any book store or library. Audiobooks, podiobooks, or podcasts are all available to the indie author, in various outlets. All the marketing is up to the author, but, again, there are professionals available for hire. The major prizes are still mostly a closed, ahem, book, but the best-seller lists are beginning to open up.

What’s left?

Well. With the traditional publishers there’s still the advance, such as it is. If you are lucky, the back-channel marketing might be above average. It’s still easier to get into major book stores, libraries, prizes and lists. Your audiobooks, if you get them, are more likely to be read by Names. And you don’t have to worry about any of the other production issues. By and large. Kinda.

You balance that against control of the product and story-world, control of how you are marketed, and 35% to 80% (depending on format, distribution channel, etc.).

And the fact that the public, visible marketing is likely to be all down to you, no matter which path you choose.

It seems that there is very little to choose between the paths. So it comes down to personal choice. But it also means that if one path doesn’t work for you, there’s nothing to stop you going the other path, without any particular detriment.

There are other factors involved: contract clauses (rights grabs, broad non-compete definitions & reversion being the primary contenders), foreign sales & translation (in both paths), and others.

But… It’s late, I’m tired and I have to get up to write legal blurb in the morning.

Think on it.

K

Flashing back into the past. Perfect.

Kaal was listening to the latest DRS podcast. Excellent and humorous as always.

They were chatting about several topics including tenses and flashbacks. Always an interesting topic, because the technique can be a real bugger.

It’s often the transition that kicks people out,” he said to the cat, who regarded him sceptically. “No, really, Mojo! Think about it, they’re talking mainly about present to past tense shifts, which are seriously irritating for most people.”

The cat remained nonplussed and returned to staring out the window.

Kaal knew he had seen something about this before. Probably Grammar Girl’s Quick & Dirty Tips. He remembered reading about seguing into flashback by using the past perfect (or pluperfect, if you prefer) tense and then continuing to write normally in the past tense for the rest of that scene. It was something that he, personally, didn’t find jarring so long as it was handled fairly gently. Now, transitioning out of a flashback – from something he had been thinking about beforehand to the current time – which is still described in the past tense? That was something else.

One of Mojo’s claws spiking Kaal’s leg certainly helped. The DRS lads still weren’t talking about past perfect, but that was OK. They were, sensibly enough, finishing on a warning that flashbacks should only be used sparingly, and at need.

Did you say F$%! when you were 13?

Of course not. You said fuck like all your mates.

Just like I did.

Just like all the kids at school do now.

So why would it be a problem in a YA (remember, that’s Young Adult – kids learning what the world’s like as you become an adult) novel?

You’ve heard of Tourette’s Syndrome. Of course you have and no doubt have equated it with the random swearing which is only experienced by 10-15% of sufferers with the condition corprolalia (a word, by the way, that almost literally derives from 19th Greek as potty-mouth [lit. dung-speech]).

Why would it be a problem to present this well known condition in an accurate manner in a YA novel?

Personally, I don’t see the problem. Kids swear, and they’re going to run into someone with corprolalia at some point in their lives, so a fictional introduction to it will help them maintain an appropriately compassionate response. To my mind, at least.

Why am I talking about this, you ask? Just read this article, where the author has a book which covers this very thing. Somehow it’s sparked a huge row over how kids should be linguistically represented in YA books. I laugh, but it’s just pitiful that the answer isn’t automatically “accurately”.
Anyway. Give it a read and see what you think.

My position is pretty clear, but YMMV.

K