Lately I have been reading a lot of Young Adult books and it seems like some of them add profanity just to create more of a "realistic" vibe of High School... but is it really necessary?
Am I just out of touch? What do you think...
Profanity- Necessary to develop a character in High School or a quick trick to bring your book down a level?
I have read many great books that I was hesitant to recommend to friends because of the language and/or sexual content in them. One book I read recently did not contain a single cuss word till almost half way through it. It almost seems like the author suddenly realized that he had forgotten to include any bad language.
I personally would like to see some type of warning label on a book saying that it contains vulgar language or sexual content. I don’t expect to see this happen in my lifetime.
I have set up a “wash rating” system on my book review blog (www.reallyrandomsite.com/thebookreview) that gives the potential reader advance warning of bad language or sexual content in a book.
Great point... I have to shy away from sharing some books from my mom and friends because of the language. Sometimes its a bummer
Allen, I know what you mean. I was reading an OK book and thought "Wow, no sex scenes" but the author made up for it in the last two pages of the book. I thought it was porn and I gave the review a one star because the book was not bad. I e-mailed the author and she never replied. Most books give you an idea of what will happen.
Sherry, I just finished "A Most Unsuitabel Match" by Stephanie Grace Whitson that had no sex, f words or a** words. It was a Christian novel, but not too Christian. You can see my review on my blog:mnleona.blogspot.com and go to the left side and click on the tille : "A Most Unsuitable Match". I will have to check on your books also.
Congrats on your book! I will certainly have to check it out! Its hard to find clean books that aren't over the top Christian Fiction
First of all, it depends on your target audience. If you are marketing to children or YA, avoid profanity.
If you're writing for grownups, avoid gratuitous profanity. That means don't use it if there's no reason to. The corollary of that rule is use it when it is necessary. If your character has just had his arm sliced off, it lacks verisimilitude for him to utter "Oh, gosh darn it!" Profanity can also add to characterization. The soldier under fire or the hardboiled detective may cuss, smoke, and drink to excess based on his environment and the life experiences that have shaped him, whereas the kindly old doctor or the school teacher would not.
Also, the less profanity used within the story, the greater its impact will be when an expletive is uttered. That having been said, since I write for grownups, some of my work includes naughty words ;) however, on my blog (www.KeithBDarrell.com) I use ratings labels to advise potential readers if a work contains "strong language".