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.
Thank you Bonnie from all us "Littluns."
If it's Christian, then the values of being Christian, as the writer walks in Christ's footsteps, becomes a responsibility. Anything that doesn't, is just using the word Christian to sell their book. I consider that false advertising. If a Christian book is NOT Christian, but calls itself Christian, then the person who wrote it is not being a true Christian. When a young impressionable mind reads what is labeled Christian without all the values presented, then how is it different from any other secular book?
There obviously should be more scrutiny before a book can be labeled Christian. Creativity is never diminished when under God. Finding other ways to demonstrate a gutter mentality, without actually giving importance to it, is where a Christian work prevails, proving itself worthy of being called a Christian work.
Very well put! But of course you are a writer. I do appreciate your standards.
I've written many books for three different publishers - romance and romantic suspense and never had the need to use swear words or anything that would offend the Lord. Good writers learn how to create characters and situations by using other dynamics than taking the "easy" way out. Blatant swear words don't move the story but bringing to life the characters immoral standards or rough lifestyle can do far more for the story. Good topic.
I have some wonderful books that did not have creative (foul) language. Some of my favorite authors (over the years) started using the F-bomb & God's name as part of the so called edgy language. I've always cringed and truly can't stand the use of God's name as a cuss word. I was taught that using God's name in that manner was offensive to Him. My grandmother would ask, "Would you want Jesus to see you reading that? Would you want Him to see you doing that (whether about books or doing something you would be ashamed to do in front of Christ). Just the way I was raised.
In fact the favorite authors that keep using it - I no longer buy their books & donated all the books I had of theirs. Some of the authors I had their books dating back over 20 yrs. Some of my favorite Christian authors can leave the suggestion of the language without the actual words and I never cringe.
As a Christian I feel like I'm demeaning God by reading books with this kind of language or detailed sex that should be left to the reader's imagination. Rhett carried Scarlet up the stairs, went into the bedroom & kicked the door closed. Next scene was on the patio the next morning. That said it all without detailed descriptions. I won't put an author down for writing that way I just don't have to buy or review their books anymore.
I have some curse words in my auto-biography ("The Crazy Life of a Kid From Brooklyn"), but only because I am quoting other people's remarks. I kept them in because I wanted to make the book as accurate as possible.
As a reader I read only Christian books. I don't know how many secular books I quit reading and tossed or took back to the library because of foul language. I sent 17 years in newsrooms and when I retired one of the joys was not having to listen to that. I won't listen to television programs with bad words. On Home and Garden Shows, however, people often use the Lord's name in vain as an exclamation about beauty and I try to mute when I see it coming. I do watch a few Westerns because I love that era and INSP takes out curses.
The irony of it all is that our children are assigned X rated books in school and college with plenty of language. I earned my degree after age 40, and I refused to read Hugh Hefner's biography and asked for a substitute and got it. Our oldest refused to read an assigned dirty book and took an F for it instead of telling me. He didn't want me to raise a ruckus.
Ada, I loved reading about your strong stand for The Way, The Truth, and The Life now, and forevermore. It comes through loud and clear with your words, the way God intended for us to be. Anyone can have all sorts of reasons and excuses for pulling others down into their gutter. It's the truly creative and enlightened writer who lifts people out of the gutter into God's light, that in the end, makes all the difference in the world
The few curse words in "The Crazy Life of a Kid From Brooklyn" are not gratuitous but are direct quotes from conversations.
Glad you take a stand and that you raised your son to do right.