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The Big 4 Debate: Violence, Sex, Sexuality, and Cussing in writing

Posted by Brandy Potter on June 9, 2014 at 10:30 PM


Disclaimer:

This is discussion is about technical points of writing. I am using biblical references. I do not profess to be or not to be Christian. I will not confirm my belief or disbelief in any of the religious text that follows. I am not here to offend anyone. I am not telling you what to believe. I will state a position and give biblical quotes and historical facts to defend it.

As you well know from the diversity of Christian faiths; The Bible can mean things to different people and therefore from a theological and scholarly point of view it is a subjective text that is up for interpretation. All quotes used are interpreted to my point of view and taken from a scholarly position.

The King James Version of The Bible is used for all quotes so they may not read exactly the same as how you know them. Keep in mind as you read.

This not a religious debate.


Should Violence, Sex, Sexuality and Cussing be used in Writing

 

Prologue

Should these four concepts be included in writing and if they are how much?

The thing is there are 3 things that I feel a public figure should never discuss: sports, politics and religion. Unless of course they relate to the person’s public persona (i.e. an athlete, a senator or the Pope) So please understand that I am treading in waters that I am not comfortable being in. However, you can’t have this debate without choosing a religious trek. Without revealing too much of my lifestyle, political or religious preferences, I am going to attempt to tackle this debate. I am going to use arguments that I have heard so often between my fellow authors and reviewers alike.

However, against my better judgment,  I am going to approach this from a Christian perspective because that is the viewpoint I have heard from the most. I also happen to know my way around The Bible fairly well.

As a reader, I have nothing against books like 50 Shades of Grey, or the borderline erotica that occurs in many romance novels. I personally don’t like to read them. Further when reading a thriller a violent act that is just way over the top can seriously disturb me and I will stop reading.

Stereotypes make me angry too; like the Asian that is either brilliant or can’t speak English. The mindless militant German that marches everywhere you tell him to go. If there is an exorbitant amount of anything including long drawn out descriptions that have NOTHING to do with the character or story development I hate it; this includes the big 4.

However, as an author I often feel stifled. When I am writing a book like Venomous Lives which is about glam rock in the 80’s, a world populated by notorious and infamous drug addicts, sex fiends and tools it is hard to come to a “clean” version of the story. The type of people my characters represent are rockers. They played hard, fought hard and rocked hard and they had sex, drugs and rock and roll by the metric ton almost every day of their lives. I find that I will write a scene that flows freely and completely and then I censor it to appease others to the point where it loses its power.   

I feel that too many people get overly offended and really want to place too many restrictions on artists in general. Look do I think ratings for films are okay, absolutely. Authors have YA books. But don’t pick up a book about the mafia or Venomous Lives and expect it not to have some of these things. I don’t read typical romance novels. Sure I read Nora Roberts, I love her, and she can have some steamy scenes but nothing that makes me feel like I need a shower afterward.

And these are all creative differences. Not all of us are Christian, nor are all of us monotheistic. Some of us aren’t -istic at all (Brandyism sorry). Our religious and moral make up dictates the style we have. Therefore, not every book is written for everyone to read. Oh sure that is our dream but let’s get real shall we?

I recently read a blog that stated that all books with the big four in them in any form were “evil” and that we have had enough evil. The blog then called on “writers of goodness” to write only about truth, integrity and probity among many other things. All amiable traits that deserve literary representation.

However if there is not a villain or evil in the world how can integrity shine? I mean Captain America is GREAT, but how boring would life be if we were all Captain America. (Not to mention there wouldn’t be a Hulk and let’s face it Batman’s existence would be highly questionable) To quote Darkness from the movie Legend, “… What is light without dark? What are you without me? I am a part of you all... We are brothers eternal!”

Oh the cries of anger and pain I hear from many of you are echoing in my ears … hold steady… don’t panic... just breathe ;)

Theoretically in an ideal world evil and misfortune would not exist. Everyone would be happy and whole and complete. There wouldn’t be war or hunger or suffering. But would we be complete? Would we really be happy? Would we even know what happy meant? Without evil and misfortune to illustrate what makes us happy, how would we. How can the good survive that? Seriously, have you watched The Stepford Wives? How BORING would that existence be? In the Invention of Lying how free was Ricky Gervais’ character when he learned to lie? We are also going against our instincts and make up to “turn the other cheek” to submit and be “good” all of the time.
Does it not say in Ecclesiastes 3:1:

To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

There is a time for EVERYTHING. There is more to life than black and white, there are shades of grey, brilliant reds, cool blues, deep purples etc. If we are all goodness and light all the time how would we see them? And hey just a comical argument all that light would make us all go bananas didn’t you see Insomnia?

Nothing is totally good, nor is anything totally evil. Jeffery Dahmer was a loving son and an activist. Bundy was a charmer, had relationships with many people and was highly intelligent. Ridgeway was a wonderful husband and a hard worker. And to quote Lord Darkness again, “We are all animals, my lady.”

Are violence, cussing, sex and sexuality appropriate in writing? I don’t know if I have the specific answer to that but I can present my point of view.

Violence/War

Some stories need violence or sex or what have you. I do not like gratuitous measures of any of it. I try to read them as I write and decide does this REALLY need to be here? Does the story make sense without it? If it does make sense without it then I take it out. If it doesn't but is too much I edit.

When I saw The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, the scene with her guardian and the rape was too much. I am reading to the book now though and I can tell you it is like a page. And it is needed because the character's internal struggle whilst it is happening is critical to understanding her.

The way I see it you are supposed to wait to "hear god" yes? If that is the case and your muse (I know odd to bring up the pagan concept in this discussion) sends you hurdling into a direction, is it not him speaking to or guiding you? And when you question the righteousness of what you are creating, do you question as the thought comes into your mind or after you write it and then read it with your personal values? As for the question at hand, surely God is against war and violence?

Yet we have wars. So when is it right to go to war... let me give you a few HISTORICAL examples of wars that were fought for religious, theological, social, political  or empirical reasons :

  1. The Reconquista
  2. The 1st - 7th Crusade
  3. The Wendish, Northern, German, Albigensian, & Aragonese Crusades
  4. The 30 years War
  5. French Revolution
  6. American Revolution
  7. Trail of Tears and Rebellions due the Indian Removal Act leading to the EXTINCTION of several tribes
  8. Cromwell's Wars in England and Irleand
  9. United States Civil war
  10. World War I & II
  11. Wounded knee
  12. Battle of little Big horn
  13. War of the Roses

The list goes on and on. Hitler was a mad man. But if Hitler was wrong for the attempted annihilation of several cultures then why wasn’t Andrew Jackson or the leaders of the French revolution?

It depends on the characters (person's) conviction and point of view...

Look at the Albino in The DaVinci code. He felt he was right. He felt he was protecting his god (religion). Any king, pope or monk that executed "heretics" felt they were protecting their religion (Henry VIII and Mary I, and it was over doctrine not religion). Jackson and Cromwell felt they were protecting their countries (and as a Cherokee , a Scott and an Iris woman, that took a LOT of pain to give them that I tell you).

In their eyes they were right. They felt justified. However,  in historical perception some were vilified and some were made heroes. Why?

It is HISTORICAL judgments that shape our view of these events. And HISTORY that decides the righteous not god. Make no mistake we have no idea WHAT judgments, if any exist, were placed upon any of those mentioned by a higher power we believe in if that exists. We can assume based upon our own faiths, but which one of us is right? Me? You? That guy reading this in Muskogee? Or the one in Cairo, or Kathmandu, or Bangladesh? Who knows...

The question you need to ask yourself is what creates or perpetuates violence? Passion, rage, crime, money, psychosis, zealotry (Religious or otherwise). Then you need to ask yourself which one of these would it take for your character to use violence? That is the question you need to look into. Motive.

So what can you as an author do to decide how much if any violence you put in your book? Here are some things to keep in mind.

1
)  What is the purpose of your story?

Is it a story of a child who triumphs over abuse? I am currently reading “Honest Illusions” by Nora Roberts. For the majority of the book you hear that the hero has been abused. You hear descriptions of scars. As a child he describes it to a point but using a child’s perspective. Things are missed, skipped, glossed over or simply alluded to. In a book like “Bastard Out of Carolina” or “The Burning Bed” you HAVE to hear the abuse as it is happening then. It is the driving force of the character and why they make the choices that they make. If the focus of the story is not on the abuse then the abuse doesn’t need to be detailed

Is it a serial killer story? I feel that for serial killer stories you have to have a certain amount of violence at least in the description of the crime. However, this can be tastefully done without the gore. I just finished a book called “The Bride Collector” by Ted Dekker. In this book a serial killer is collecting brides for god, drilling holes in their feet and draining their blood. However, the killer doe sit lovingly, which we see as one killing is told from his perspective. It doesn’t show you the actual act of drilling or the victim’s reaction to it until the end of the book when the hero/detective is there. Yet when the bodies are discovered the killer has cleaned up the gore so it’s not there. Tasteful. Things like Hostel or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre are just gore to be gore and that is not appealing to many.

Is it a rape or a murder story? Again, unless it is happening in the moment you can tell the story in flash backs. If you know anything about psychology then you know that a victim will only remember so much they will likely block out the actual rape. They will see a face or hear a voice. If they witnessed the murder (or are the ghost of the victim) they won’t remember the actual act. They might remember a metallic smell or someone standing over the body. It is selective memory and it is the brain’s way of coping with trauma. A perfect example of this is The General’s Daughter. You never ever see the whole “gang rape” that happened to the murder victim. You never see the murder until the murderer is talking about it. You see glimpses here and there and you piece it together and in that way you aren’t horrifying the audience. Last House on the Left is an example of overwhelming the audience. In fact in the latest incarnation the 1st moments of the movie so graphically and correctly done that I can’t watch it.

2)  Don’t have a gloom and doom character
No one and I do mean no one has such a terrible life that nothing good happens. They may see life that way but it’s not true. If nothing good ever happens to them in the story then when they are killed or kill themselves, the audience doesn’t find it horrific, they see it as the character’s release from suffering. The same is true for torture. You can’t have a victim tortured the whole book and expect the audience to be shocked and appalled when they die.

Look, I knew Kurt Cobain was going to kill himself, I listened to his lyrics anyone who truly listened knew. But he had good things in his life, Francis for one, and he talked about that and hoped for the future so that made his death tragic. Michael Starr or Jeff Conway on the other hand, had nothing but their habits. I hoped they’d come out of it but I was just sort of like meh saw that coming after they died. Think about real life. When someone with a terminal illness dies, we say that at least they aren’t suffering anymore. The same is true in a story. If your characters have nothing to live for then no one is going to care if they die. Now, they could have had nothing to live for to begin with and then find something in the story, but there has to be something positive in their lives, even your bad guys.

3)  You have to have positive to negate the negative.If you have a rape scene, you have to have a consensual loving sex scene. If you have a horrible abusive marriage, you have to have a positive one. Some great examples of this are “Heartbeat” or “Secrets” by Danielle Steel. The hero in the first is borderline suicidal and that teeters on his kids that he hardly sees until he meets the heroine. In Secrets, Jane is abused by her husband but then has a wonderful relationship with Zack. And even in my own book Venomous Lives, Juliet has a great relationship with one husband and a horrible one with the other

4)  Violence against women and children
Be careful with this one. Having strong females doesn’t negate the violence. You have to have justice for the violence. In Venomous Lives Juliet is faced with spousal abuse. She doesn’t take it lying down but she also gets justice. If the woman gets beaten and there is no justice or point to it; it is there for shock value and as a victim of domestic violence I would find that offensive. Children too. In Bastard Out of Carolina Bone gets away from her abuser and finds a good home, but never gets justice. The book has been deemed shocking and horrific and met with a lot of criticism. That isn’t to say everyone gets justice they don’t but you have to give the women and children something.

5)  Killing a character to save the book
I killed a character in my book. I did it not to save the book but because it was a catalyst for something else. I know that some live by the adage if the book is dragging kill a main character. That is stupid. Why would you kill a main character just to save the book? And please just once let me read a detective novel where the love interest doesn’t die in their arms and then the detective type person goes all Lethal Weapon on everyone.

Sexuality

Now let us address sexuality. Many feel that if you have an alternative life style you are depraved and horrible. The person who engages in BDSM in the novel is always the murderer or the murder victim. And some say that he or she had it coming.  Many make the hooker the victim; or the John the pathetic sinner beyond redemption.

Paul says in Romans several things:

  • "Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!"
  • "Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things"
  • "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." 
  • “and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith."

Translation: Judge not lest ye be judged

If we believe that whatever god we believe in creates us all; if he creates someone who loves a member of the same sex than who are we to judge? If someone doesn’t identify with their own body so much that they want to become the opposite sex, what business is it of ours? And if the “sinner” accepts the “truth” at the end they will be forgiven no matter the sin. Yes? The only sin that is unforgivable to a god in a religion that believes in sin is non-belief, yes?

  • Matthew 26:28 states, “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
  • Ephisians 1:7 states: “in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;”
  • Acts 10:43 states: “All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Also you would think the way that some people behave that alternative lifestyles are the worse sin known to man. But even the so called “deadly sins” are forgiven. They are stated in Proverbs 6:16-19 as:

“There are six things the lord hates seven that are detestable to him:  haughty eyes, a lying tongue,  hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies, a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.”

Wait those aren’t the deadly sins. But they are, there is no passage that specifically states anything is a deadly sin. Did you know that? However according to Pope Gregory the Great in the 6th century, the seven deadly sins that at most people know are as follows: pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed, sloth.

I do not see alternative lifestyles in there. I don’t see homosexuality or BDSM or any of that. Lust is all inclusive and that means heterosexual extramarital relations as well. So that’s rather like the pot calling the kettle and thus not a valid argument to this discussion.

 So… No matter whether you are Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Pagan or even just a humanist we are supposed to live and let live. If you are uncomfortable, then put the book down, change the channel and let the appropriate authority judge them.

And absolutely do not stereotype them. This is a disgusting practice reminiscent of racism of old. Why not make the hooker the hero/detective. That would be original? Or the sadomasochist the helpful neighbor? Some people that are highly intelligent and successful engage in alternative sexuality.

I
f you are going to portray an alternative lifestyle in your writing you have to research it. If you can’t stomach that, then don’t write it. Period. Do you know the difference between a transgender and a transvestite? If you say who cares then don’t write about either. Gay men don’t always have a “wife and a husband” in other words one isn’t always more feminine or masculine than the other. I have known beautiful fashionable lesbian couples where both are clearly feminine. I know bi-sexual couples that have committed relationships with 1 outside member. I know people in open marriages that have definitive rules and violations are considered cheating. BDSM folks aren’t all leather and straps and they don’t all have tattoos and piercings. Not everyone with tattoos or other such body modifications has an alternative lifestyle beyond that. Not all drag queens are gay. I have a BDSM character in one of my books and I have a BDSM friend helping me along with questions and such. There isn’t much of that lifestyle in the book, but what there is will be accurate.

Unfortunately the alternative lifestyles have distinct stereotypes that are way over played. That’s not to say they can’t so for comic relief as is The Birdcage or To Wong Foo or that you can’t have eccentric characters because they do exist. But lesbians are often women who dress in flannel and look like men. Homosexual men are often so limp-wristed they may as well be Gumby. Practitioners of BDSM are either too subservient or too over bearing. People who have open relationships and multiple partners are loose and have no morality. Or worse that anything goes and the partners have no boundaries.  People who are transgender being freaks (think Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs).  Drag Queens so over the top that the “Too Wong Foo” crowd would have disowned them and Ru Paul would have voted them off of Drag Race. Bi-Sexuals ostracized for having sex with the opposite sex.

Too often I see people with alternative stereotypes misrepresented by these stereotypes. Or worse, portrayed as sexual deviants and therefore are the killers, or justifiable victims. The truth is that they are regular people. They can be cops, housewives, CEOS. They could be your neighbor, your pastor, your family. You would never know unless they told you. You can’t identify them by sight.

Sexuality is not a trait. It’s not a personality flaw. Write a character; make them whole, then decide on their sexuality or alternative lifestyle. Don’t let the lifestyle dictate the person.

Sex

“Let’s talk about sex baby, Let’s talk about you and me, Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be.” Salt and Peppa had a catchy tune there don’t you think? But so many people treat this subject like it is the plague. Young Adult and children’s books aside…

Sex is good and to not engage in sex is a sin. It is a fact. The bible never ever says the act of sex itself is bad.

In the Old Testament it says that celibacy is a sin because man was not made to be celibate. Admittedly it says that you should be married first and many of us don’t marry first. If that is your position then don’t have extra marital sex in your story. The Bible says that sex is bad if you abuse it. It also says having sex is glorifying god if used for the reason for its creation. It does list lust among the seven deadly sins, but that can be interpreted to mean desire alone. With the exception of adultery it isn’t in the Ten Commandments. And hey, if you aren’t married you can’t commit adultery right? I know I am arguing a technicality.

Know what, the bible has some of the most titillating lines of erotica I have ever read. Song of Solomon ring a bell? Let me just list a few quotes, shall I?

  • Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine; your anointing oils are fragrant; your name is oil poured out; therefore virgins love you. 
  • Draw me after you; let us run. The king has brought me into his chambers.
  • My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh that lies between my breasts.
  • I compare you, my love, to a mare among Pharaoh's chariots (that one makes my blood boil and not in a good way)
  • While the king was on his couch, my nard gave forth its fragrance

We are all sexual beings. We have all had sex or seen sex. We know about it, talk about it, and think about it, do it. The majority of women compare notes and experiences, men do too. The manor that we compare is different. Some of us are blunt and honest, say it like it is. Some of us are subtle and shy. Still there are something’s about sex that makes us all go “ewwwww” like an elementary school kid. There are things we can do as authors that can curb the general ickiness of it.

1)  It’s all in the approach
There are basically three ways to write a sex scene. You can approach it as an action scene. You can make it a scene about how it feels or both. There is no in between. If you want to a more metaphorical, approach it from the feeling side. If you want it to be more technical approach from the physical side. Personally, I find that the hybrid model seems to work the best for allusions and fade to blacks which is my personal preference. Don’t get me wrong I have go all the way scenes when needed but that’s a different topic.

2)  Long flowery words for the primal urge
Ok the next two are going to seem contradictory and perhaps should be in the same category but I separated them for a reason. There are only so many ways to represent the human body parts. Big long SAT words are not the way to go. Once I actually read a novel that used the word eggplant to describe something that absolutely should not ever be remotely described that way.  And then there are the people who say things like
“His turgid tumescence pressed into the dewy folds of her efflorescent humectation.”  Ok he inserted tab a into slot b is hardly romantic but that wording just makes me go hmmmmmm (Now I am trying desperately not to break out in the C&C Music factory song but I think it’s inevitable)

3)  We are not OB/GYN’s (well most of us)
For as much as we don’t like tumescence, We don’t want to hear that the estrogen began to flow from her whatever gland releasing endorphins that made her body have small rhythmic convulsions while the testosterone in his system caused his semen to be simultaneously released into her uterus causing them both to … ok Shut the _____ up.. Just stop. That is horrible. Enough said… find the middle of the road.

4)  Sex is like a story or a song
Songs and stories have a progression. It has a beginning, middle containing conflict, climax and an end; or like a song.. Verse, chorus, bridge, end. You have to have a rhythm to it, a plot. It has to make sense and flow like a catchy tune or a well written story. Ironically, or perhaps not, fight scenes are like that too but I digress.

5)  Porn does not a romance make
Do I really have to illiterate on this? Yes? Ok then here goes. Porn, like Facebook, is not real life. Here is the synopsis of every porn film ever:  People say the dumbest things and then other people trust them to do disgusting things to them. No woman wants to hear or have done to her what is being in those movies. Men supposedly dream of a woman that will do all of those things. But I tell you she had better not do them before they get married or even after because he will just have instant whore vibe on. This is not always true of course, but even many of my alternative lifestyle friends are like ummm yeah no. So don’t look to porn, look to real life. Look to your characters. In Venomous Lives, one couple is insanely passionate. And while I had them make love in several PLACES it never was like a porn film. It was what their relationship was like (Furthermore my scenes are never ever that explicit).

6)  More than Sex
Sex in a book should read like the best night of sex you ever had in your life. The romance, the kissing, the foreplay, the cuddling the sleeping the morning after. You can’t just have them have sex and be done, that goes back to number 5. If you have a main character has a one night stand, allude to it. You never ever describe it. It makes it gratuitous and stupid. It is the motivation. It is the undercurrent. IT is the sub text. It shows the personality of not just the characters but the relationship between them.

 7)  Real sex reads like a sitcom
People laugh during sex. Funny things happen. People fall off of beds. They spill wine. Their kids walk in. Write that. Use that.

8.)  See no, hear no, write no
Treat it like it’s just another scene. Because it is. If you are a moral person, you will handle it with the care it needs. You can absolutely fade to black. You never have to say more than, “He kissed her gently, took her hand and lead her to the bedroom.” The audience will know what happened. But if you want to put the scene in and make it steamy then treat it like it is just another scene. Then there is no evil.

9)  Will they? Won’t they? No it’s SHOULD they?
Know what I hate. Authors who throw antagonists into the sack for sexual tension. That’s not sexual tension, that’s ridiculous. I have spent the larger part of 12 years arguing with someone, and despising their very name. I KNOW I will NEVER end up in bed with him… ever. And I know characters won’t either. That’s like Hermione and Malfoy having an affair at the end of the Harry Potter books. If you just throw the enemies in bed and then especially if you do that and then never have them sleep together again it’s like huh? And authors do that all the time. My generation is screaming Moonlighing. No, they built the characters affection up first. You saw it in their interactions away from each other. You knew the attraction was there. But even if two characters seem to have a desire for each other that doesn’t mean they should be together. Back to Moonlighting, how bad did that show suck after David and Maddy slept together?

10)  Too much like the Tudor Family or Too much like the Cleaver family for your story?
Think about your genre, your setting, your plot. Will the sex scene move the plot forward? Would subtlety better serve? Could you get away with suggestions? Are your characters being true to themselves? For example, you are writing a fast paced spy flick. You need a sex scene because that is what James Bond does damn it. Ok so in this instance you don’t want a long drawn out scene. On the other hand if you have spent the entire book building the sexual tension and the reader gets two sentences of the entire act with no fade to black, that’s it, done. They may hang you by your toes. On the other hand if you suddenly have a sex scene with no purpose you will fall prey to the joke my sister and I have during movies, “Welp there it is the pointless un needed sex scene time to get a drink and come back.”

Questionable Language

Cussing isn’t specifically addressed. Nowhere. It says don’t use perverted and angry words and not to curse people, but that’s the “may god strike you down if you don’t …” types of curses. Still I agree that cussing is rude regardless and iisn’t something that should riddle the story without purpose. Still if you are reading a crime novel and the criminal comes across like Ned Flanders you will lose your readers. Unless of course you are a YA writer I which case you can’t go much past damn and even that is questionable.

You have to write believable characters. Cops sailors and blue collar workers swear. When they don’t they are seen to be different. So having a dockworker who doesn’t swear might make him stand out. Venomous Lives has cuss words. Rockers cuss. I cuss so it’s natural to me. However, I try to use other words or even have them pause and use ellipses to cover their swear words when possible. Or I say she screamed a stream of expletives at him that would have made a sailor blush. There are ways around it. At the same time when every other word is an F-bomb then you sound juvenile. Just be prepared. It seems to me that an F-bomb is more offending to reviewers than every incestuous scene between the Lanister twins in the entire series of Game of Thrones books put together in one long scene.

Conclusion

So we have reached the end, our friend the end to steal from Jim Morrison. And what have we learned class?

So are cussing, sex, sexuality, and violence right. When done properly sure. Should you do it? I can’t answer that. The answer is meh ….. It’s subjective. It is subjective to your point of view, to your beliefs, to your story but most importantly to your characters.

I have 5 books 1 written never published, 3 in the works and Venomous Lives.

There is not only violence but Sex, drugs, alcoholism, cussing and spousal abuse in Venomous Lives. It is a book about rock and roll. One character is redeemed, one is tarnished beyond repair. It is the old can't judge a book by the cover lesson, I suppose, but it the book doesn’t work without them.

The unpublished book is fantasy, there are sword fights and yes a necromancer. It doesn't work without them.

One book in the works is a crime romance. One is a mafia themed romance and one is a semi-autobiographical work. Violence and such will appear in these books.

So in closing I feel that Obi Wan Kenobi bridges this topic well, "You will find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view."

 

DISCLAIMER: Post discussion must remain strictly to the topic: The Big 4 in Writing. Everything else will be deleted.

 


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1 Comment

Reply Virginia Jennings
10:30 AM on June 11, 2014 
Very well thought out- two thumbs up!

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