I thought about blogging of the whole Harlequin self pub arm thing...but I don't really care to. I feel like it's all been said on several other blogs, and I simply don't have anything enlightening to add. Do I care? I think so....Am I pissed off? Uhmm No, but that's not really fair, again, Harlequin isn't a publisher that would be interested in anything I write. I don't think they began their venture with the smartest crayons in the box, but hey..what do I know? The future of publishing....well.....I'm staying positive and hopeful that all of our intelligent readers, writers and teens with a mission will save us. Especially with the holiday book drive going on every blog. :)
So, instead I'm blogging about curse words. Swearing. Cussin' like a sailor. The F-bomb, The S word, The A word, and all those other four letter words. I ran across a blog by Jackson Pearce, YA author, who made a video to approach the subject of the ONE F word in her manuscript. I personally, can't wait to read it, because there is a big fuss over it. I imagine teens are the same way. So, quit making a fuss!!
I read books like a normal person breathes air when I was younger. (These days I have no time to read the way I used to) I ran across adult themes that dealt with sex, abuse, alcohol, drugs, and cussing. Quite honestly, the cussing was the least of my mother's worries. However, lucky child that I am, she allowed me to read whatever I placed my hands on. We discussed the books I read. She used it as a way to keep her values instilled in me, despite what I may be reading. What a valuable opportunity!!
This brings me to the controversy of using swear words in YA books. I feel, like in all things, too much is bad, none is questionable. Has anyone heard a group of teenagers, unaware of adult presence, speak to each other?? Whoa. I've heard more interesting insults using swear words than I came up with when I was 15. Not only that but I hear words I didn't even know when I was 15!! In fact, it wasn't too long ago that I heard a mother and daughter discussing something, uhh, well, only a mother and daughter would discuss. At any rate, some very...non-politically correct adjectives were used by both. One of the words, the P-word was used and almost made me blush!! I still don't cuss in front of my mother. Normally.
Oops-went on a tangent. Anyway, back full circle. My point is this; as writers, I feel it is our job to simply tell a good story, show a growth (preferably positive), and connect with our readers. Make characters that our readers can love, hate and empathize with. I think when we write for YA, teens, tweens, etc.. we should certainly make sure our subject matter is appropriate for what that age group goes through. It isn't our job to mother all of the readers. Do you know what I mean? Don't make your manuscript rife with swearing just for the sake of swearing. That is irresponsible and shows more ignorance than intelligence. Don't make it blank of any and all controversial issues, even swearing, for the sake of "moral responsibility" because my morals might be different than yours. Or I might love the opportunity to discuss a different moral value with my Princesses.
There are many examples of great literature, literature we urge young readers to read from the past that also contain swear words. It's part of the language we speak. Here's where I may lose followers-and that's okay-but I allow my nine year old to read anything she wants. Anything. Okay-I don't have porn magazines or erotic romance, so that's why she reads anything. I don't let her watch anything she wants, however. Reading makes you think over those scenes that may be questionable. Reading often prompts our children to ask us about what they read. Watching a TV show often doesn't give a child time to really mull over what she's seen. Especially if they are on a marathon of Hannah Montana-don't even speak to them. Right now, my nine year old, Princess Rhiannon is reading a book that contains quite a few 'bad words' and she approached me about it last night while I was discussing the subject with the Court Jester.
"I think that some bad words are okay, because when I read this book, it lets me know that the character is really angry, or has a lot of emotion, like." (yes, she said like, it's the California in us.)
To which my husband replied, "Do you know those words are inappropriate for a young lady to use?"
"Yeah, I don't ever cuss at school, or in front of Nana."
And then Princess Kayla says, "Yeah, only in your diary, right Rhiannon?"
...Maybe I should start reading the diary.... :) Kidding
I would love your opinions. However-this may be a touchy subject for some, so I ask that we all refrain from any personal attacks and keep it respectful. So far, I've had no problems on my blog with crappy comments, so I'm proud of ya'll! (that was the TN in me)