I've been hard at work on my young adult manuscript, and this this post over at SFWA.org comes at a great time. The author asks several experts what they consider inappropriate for middle grade and YA novels. While I certainly would have said much the same thing the agents said regarding YA- that really nothing is off limits as long as it is necessary to the plot- I was surprised by their responses. I didn't expect their opinions to mesh with my own.
My current book has a main character that is 17, but her best friend (who also has a huge crush on her) is only 15. I get caught up at times because I'm not sure if I should protect the 15 y/o a little more. But then I think, well, 15 year old boys aren't exactly "innocent" (in many respects) :)
When I write adult content, I just do whatever I want. But when I write YA, I often find myself asking "is this okay?" I think I need to give myself more license to just go with it and see what happens.
How about you? If you write YA, do you struggle with your inner parent (or teacher, or what have you), or do you maybe listen to the young you (knowing that you did that and much worse ;) ?