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.


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.

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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This topic has been quite interesting. I think I'll take the question to my Facebook page and see what my friends think about it. 

I agree with Andi Newberry's opinion. First as a Christian and then as a reluctant author, I understand the wholesome guidelines of Christian Literature. Although I appreciate everyone's opinion and feelings, I think it's time to incorporate contemporary edginess within the Christian Literature genre.  After all, the main objective of Christianity is not only to live according to principles outlined in God's Word, but most importantly to spread His Word and plant seeds with 'nonbelievers'.  In my opinion, that is what makes us peculiar.  

Thanks for commenting Catherine. I have read a few books lately that are Christian fiction and there were a few cuss words, but honestly, if they fit the scene, it seems more real life to me. I'm not talking about the biggies, like the F bomb or taking the Lord's name in vain. That stuff makes me cringe. And I'm not overly sensitive when it comes to most things.

I just interviewed Bill Myers for the magazine. We are promoting his books and newer projects soon.

He told me that a major Publisher asked him if he would write a Christian Horror book, without a pause he said "I will get on that right after I finish my Christian porn project"

He is too funny.

He is writing an article for us on how the media is so powerful in hardening our hearts. I wonder how much of the of the desire and drive to make Christian Fiction more edgy, is a result of the hardening of the hearts of so many.

Are we to be "in the world but not of it"? How can we reach the hardhearted, non-believers? 

Do we have to increase the "shock level" of our writing in order to capture their interests?

OMG , I need to read that article, that just made me literally LOL

that's when I quit buying the author.  I can read contempary books with cussing.  I don't want it in what I buy, read, watch in a movie or listen to.  I don't have a choice in public, but I can toss a book, turn off a tv program or walk to another section of the store to get away from the language.    If Christian Lierature goes to contemporary edginess, I will write my own books -without it.  I'm sorry, but I don't agree with you & I truly don't think Christ would either.

I found a so-called Christian book like that.  I threw it in the trash can.  I can read fiction in any other genre with that type of language.  I buy Christian fiction just because I don't have to read it.  I heard enough of it at work, tv, out in public - etc.  I'm not going to pay to read it.  When a favorite author does that, I don't buy any more of their books.  Also, in the bookstores, Christian fiction is increasing in sales because people don't want to read  that type of book.

This is also the way I feel about it Andi

This reply is years away from  your comment, but I want to say it anyway.  No,  the author does not need to use exact words to paint the picture of the character.  I've read many stories that were able to develop the unsavory characters without using the explicit language.

I select Christian fiction to get away from this kind of stuff. Sure, a gangster will curse; readers understand that. Forgive the analogy, but people also get sick--and I don't need to describe the size and color of the chunks to get the point across that they've vomited.

I think it takes more diligence as a writer to portray a gangster (or whoever) realistically without offending sensibilities than it does just to throw trash onto the page or the movie screen.

In my WIP, I include one 'mild' expletive; however, it's for the purpose of the lesson regarding the trivializing of God's name and the character who utters it is admonished for it. I wouldn't include one for any other purpose.
I just say my character cursed if it's a really bad word I imagine them saying but no one needs to hear (or see typed on the page.) You can also use equivalents and be sort of close without doing a woman is furious and says to another woman, "You witch!" Anyway, you get the idea. I like to go for reality when I write but it has to fit the story and the story must have a clearly redemptive Christian theme or I wouldn't even bother writing it (the story.) I do have a WIP where the man's wife is furious at him (and not a Christian) and when you are in his head he notes that she swore at him using some of the foulest words he knew and even some he'd never heard before. That works, too.
One last thing. That's what I love about being able to discuss things like that on my edgy site. I disagree with things and will state that, but people can still talk openly about it. Nothing bugs me more than when someone drops the F bomb in a book. I hate that word.


New Member Orientation

We are posting videos here in the this group to help all of our members figure out how to use this site :-)


We will be posting videos all the time now, basically going through the entire site. 



Created by Phred St Laurent May 27, 2010 at 11:35pm. Last updated by Phred St Laurent May 31, 2010.

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