It seems to me that a few authors took this in a different direction than was my original intent.

This is a network of readers. Literally more than 80% of us are readers here....

I think that this discussion has been good and after reading the last posts, I believe we have shifted from our original intent.

Maybe we have said all we can say about this.

I will say that the discussion started out with readers expressing their views about what they would or would not read (or buy) and turned into a reader bashing discussion about a few bad reviewers. Maybe that would best be a discussion for another forum?

Besides I did get a few complaints from readers here about the posts lately so I have shut this one down.

********************************************

This morning I was looking at discussions on Michelle Sutton's Ning page "Edgy Christian Writers" and one discussion was about cussing in a Christian book.

Some were saying it hurt "the reality" of a character like a gang member, if they didn't cus.

Really?

Reality? I must use the F bomb or ...
Personally I resist cussing and did even before coming to Christ. (Although even now I slip and feel badly about it afterwards.)
I feel it is in poor taste and cringe around those in my life who use it. It is the way I was raised.
So I do not need it.

 

The Sopranos is a great example.
Watched part of one episode on HBO and "... fnfnfnf ef" click... changed it and I love gangster movies/ programs.
When it came out on A&E ... sans cussing and nudity, I watched the entire series.

GREAT!
I might have missed some of the reality (My friend tells me I didn't experience the the true reality.) It was enough for me, and I do not feel that I missed anything.
As writers, the pen is in your hand, you set the boundaries and take us where you want to go. You create the reality, and if you are good about making us care about the characters, and keep us on the edge of our seat, we will not even notice that there was no cussing, besides suggesting language was used can leave it to the imagination.
The scariest part of Jaws was the first 90 seconds, for me because I never see the shark.

I never met anyone who discussed a book with me saying "You know there wasn't any (or enough) cussing in that story!"
BUT I have met plenty who have complained otherwise.

Write the way you want and create the reality you want, then find a publisher who will publish what you want... that is the rub we are discussing.
Then I will spend my money and time and energy to read what I want :-)

 

I would be interested in your thoughts as readers, leaders and writers.

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Fred;

You bring up a GREAT point. I recently read a book called THE ARK, and signed up for the Blog Tour because it was promoted as Christian Fiction. I wanted a review copy of this book for two reasons. One, because I thought it was Christian Fiction book, and two, because it sounded like an exciting adventure story about Norah’s Ark—I hadn’t read anything like that before so I was intrigued. This story was most definitely filled with action, adventure and a few more things I never expected.

I’ve been spoiled in reading exclusively Christian fiction where I can count on there being no foul language, graphic sex scenes and I could agree with author’s world view. I found the cussing in this book very distracting and unnecessary to the story. This novel made me appreciate Christian fiction books even more. There are ways to convey the same feelings mentioned in this book and make it very believable without the use of cursing. There’s an art to pulling that off and I didn’t realize how much so until I read The Ark.

There is only one sex scene in the book and it’s not graphic, but I wished it wouldn’t have been in there at all. It really had nothing to do with the characters development or anythings else. It was like Oh, I guess this should happen and then the book moves on.

This book didn’t disappoint on the action, adventure, drama and suspenseful mission the main characters Dilara and Tyler were on. But it would have been a better read for me, personally, if there was no cursing.

I'm glad I got the chance to read The Ark because it made me appreciate this hard working bunch of writers that work really hard at their craft to get these very heart felt and powerfully moving stories out without all the cursing, and graphic sex scenes. THANKS TO ALL OF YOU!! A JOB WELL DONE!!

I read this one, too, and it was less about the cussing and more about the way the book 'lagged' in spots that had me setting it aside...

It isn't needed, plain and simple and the first thing that will make me put the book down is language and inappropriate scenes. There are so many other ways to get your point across than swearing and that is where show versus telling comes in. You are TELLING the reader the person doesn't have a good character when they cuss, how about SHOWING the reader through their actions and the way they live. It doesn't have to include dialogue to get your point across.

Can you tell this is a soapbox topic for me?? Great thoughts, Fred. :)
I AGREE with you Casey! very true! I didn't realize how creative the writers of Christian Fiction were until I read that book The Ark!! I'm on the box with you! :D

I agree with you Casey.  I've quit buying some of my favorite authors (or they were for years) because of the language they are now using & the inappropiate bedroom scenes.  I've worked in an all Christian office & I've worked where cussing was bad.  Not only as a Christian, I choose not to use that language & read those books.   Other than a few friends that are published authors, I have quit buying any but Christian authors so that I don't have to worry about the language or bedroom scenes.  I'm on my soapbox too Casey.

 

I agree too. 

I do not want to read a book that has cussing or graphic sex scenes at all--if I come across them in a book I don't finish it and get rid of it.  It is not needed at all ever-Christian or secular books.

Blessings,Tina

No cussing is a great general rule, and a character who would use such language can always say '*~##**' instead.
I AGREE with you Bill!! That works just fine!! I don't need to know what those words are! Good point!
Fred,

Thank you so much for bringing this topic up. This is one of the very reasons that I started reading Christian fiction!

I don't need cussing to make it more 'realistic' I have reality in my day to day life, I hear cussing in the grocery store, at the gas station... I don't need the kind of 'realistic' that actually takes the quality of my life and lowers it a little.

I just finished reading Covenant Child by Terri Blackstock. I was able to share with my sister (who doesn't read Christian authors) what a great writer Terri is in that she writes edge of your seat thriller/mysteries without bad language and how she can still get the point across that a character in her book is such a rough character without making him or her cuss...amazing! She keeps your attention, has today's hip cultural/society information, and still manages to bring the message of Christ across beautifully - without apology.

When I have a choice between a secular book and a Christian book I choose the Christian one because I know that the morals and values presented are similar to my own. I'm just a sinner who is forgiven but trying to do my best to live out the life God gave me in a way that will set me apart from the world.
I respect your opinion and feelings, however Christian fiction is different from secular in that there is a redemptive ending in the book. So if the main character or characters aren't shown in a real light then the redemptive ending won't work. I believe Christian fiction is giving secular fiction a run for it's money because the story lines are so real - and so believable. Do I think to make it believable there needs to be cuss words on every page, NO, but I do believe that the words need to fit the character and setting. Just my .02
~Andi
Andi,
THANK YOU for participating! I know you are a reader, and that means that you decide what you want to read. I have seen discussions about this point where Authors talk about why they feel they have to write the way they do, and it becomes a defensive reaction more than anything... justifying what it is they are doing and I understand that they firmly believe in what they are doing, and why they are doing it.

Me and you? We are readers. I am not an author and I do not play one on TV :-) Anyone who has seen my typos will testify to this :-)
I know what it is I want to read and I vote with my purchases. I feel the same way that Bruce does below.

I also agree with you. Like with movies or TV shows, I cringe when the cussing begins, and actually talk to the TV. "OK, one more time and you are out of here..." "Blah blah... */&%" "click... goodbye"
There is a limit.

When I started this discussion I was more curious about what readers think.
I really want you to know that I appreciated your participation. Thanks!!
As a reader, I will stop reading a book if it's loaded with cussing. Even the "heathen" people I work with don't talk like that. :)

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