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.
This is an awesome discussion I think.
It is interesting to see what readers thinkas well as what authors say about why they do what they do. Great point Linda, concerning Louis LaMour! It is possible to describe what someone did without reading the word they used to do it. :-)
Overall I think authors and publishers have the freedom to write and print whatever they like. I would never deny them that right. However as readers (the people who buy the books) we have the right to purchase or not.
I love Grisham but I no longer read his books because he has crossed a line in language that I will just not follow.
Funny thing is that this is not just a "Christian" thing. I have heard similar boundaries being set by people who do not read books with language and it not on religious grounds. I think the issue is that many folks read to escape reality, not experience more reality. Even Non Fiction.
Just how I feel as a reader.
Interesting about Grisham. Author and preacher Keith Madsen, was just saying on Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers in another context, that Grisham is a Baptist as Keith is.
One of my fav gen market thriller authors is Robert Crais of the Elvis Cole/Joe Pike series. Joe Pike, while not Christian has ethics he will not break and rules he follows. I grew to love his character as Elvis Cole's side kick. However, Crais has given Joe his own books now and seems to want to test Joe's resolve. He throws the most unsavory character's in Joe's path, the most salacious women. I'm upset that the character I love so much is at the center of a bunch of trashy characters in his own books.
Now I realize that in a good thriller half of the characters are going to be far from sainthood. But still...this went a tad too far.
Will I order the next one? Maybe. I really love the Joe Pike character, who hasn't changed.
I am almost published now. My first book Burning Hearts comes out in May 2011.
Since my publisher Desert Breeze allows profanity, I have included the word "hell" twice as an explitive coming from a gangster. I've also included a few non cuss words but slang that's pretty ugly though not crossing over into profanity. All this got past my editor and will come out in the book.
Now I have to say the book is 80K and there are only about 5 words like this.
I struggle with the even the abreviations TGIF here to use God's name even in this sort of phrase is something we dont do. I get told by some they are saying they are thankful to God that it is friday but thats not how most would say it and the OMG I have to change to oh my gosh.
I had an american book with an english charactor recently that I just couldn't read cos of one word it kept repeating. I have learnt its not bad in America but here its swearing not as bad as it was but a word I dont say but if I hear to often it sticks. it relates to blood with a y on the end.
Also, we write for our readers, not ourselves (although, arguably, we appeal to readerships with tastes much like our own, I suppose). My readership, the niche I appeal to, would not appreciate profanity. Therefore, I don't deliver it. I think it takes more thought and finesse to deliver a scene realistically/effectively in which it might be expected, but goes without.