Friday, November 20, 2009

Opinions are like...

Um, I'm guessing you can finish that sentence yourselves. Let's just say we all had some pretty distinct opinions about whether or not the F-Bomb has a place in YA literature. Hopefully you had as much fun as we did watching the debate unfold. While we probably won't get rid of all of our F-bombs in the WIP, we will take a very close look at how and why we use the word. Thanks to all of you for keeping the discussion respectful and for taking the time to weigh-in on this topic.

As I was reading through all of the comments, I began to wonder if Jackson included the word in her upcoming release SISTERS RED. I sent her a quick e-mail and she said "you just can't slaughter werewolves and say 'oh, fudge!'" I was impressed that she wasn't letting the one star reviews due to language dictate how she tells her stories.

As for the debate over here, Jackson had some thoughts for us to share.

"I'm not saying parents shouldn't monitor (and, if necessary, censor) what their kids are reading, I'm just saying that censoring them and thinking they're preventing their kid from "growing up too fast" is 100% futile. Your kid will grow up just as fast-- only you'll have ceded control of the wheelhouse to their peers. I should think everything your kid might encounter in everyday life-- including swearing-- would make a worthy teaching experience, even if it might make things a little uncomfortable for the parent. But maybe that's just me."

We also had some other writers weigh in on the topic:
If anyone else happened to blog about this topic, please send me a link. I'd love to have all of your perspectives represented. And I guess for now, let's all agree to disagree, shall we?

In other news our very first vlog has been postponed until next week. Little Ms. J is very busy and important and had better things to do this week than write our script. But don't worry, the great accent debate will rage on sometime next week. Stacey has already read the super secret script and claims it's hilarious (and hopefully free of f-bombs). Get excited.

20 comments:

Corey Schwartz said...

Wow! I cannot believe the conversation you stirred up!

ChristaCarol said...

Love it. I know I've been mute lately, but I have been reading. And I love how you obsess over statcounter, hah! Awesome.

I've yet to drop the F-bomb in my WIP, mainly cause me as a teen used it sparingly, and usually only when I was around other peers who did. "What the hell" and "Friggin" or "What the eff?" are phrases I do use often.

confused homemaker said...

Language is always a hot button issue. I can find value in the more profane (everyday working the line) kinda language if it serves a purpose. For example, depending on the character it may be a TRUE reflection of them to use that language.

As for children reading such language, it depends on the age of the kid & knowing that kid's ability to handle certain materials.

Kristi Faith said...

oh yes...I blogged about it today. LOL I was reading comments and after like, 200 different opinions, some the same, my eyes were bleeding. So, instead of commenting a post long comment, I posted a long post on my blog. :)

http://kristifaith.blogspot.com

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Hey, Lisa and Laura!

I wrote a whole response and the lost the comment--of course. That was an intense debate! I think we'll always have these type of discussions, just the actual subjects will change. A hundred years ago it wouldn't have been about "that word", it would have just been something else. We'll always be trying to figure out what is appropriate for our time.

I stopped reading "Of Mice and Men" in high school because of the language. I hated the book. But ironically, one of my favorite books from college was Sapphira's "Push", which the current movie "Precious" is based on. That book seems to have more curse words than normal words and I loved it. It was so powerful.

I don't curse, and since I write CBA it's not in my writing either, but I'm only offended when the use of the word doesn't match the intensity of the situation it's used for. If you curse in reference to water slide (thinking of a conversation I had on vacation, where a guy asked me if it was any good), what are you going to say if you're in a car accident? It sounds like you made specific, careful choices--ones you can live with. The rest is up to your editor, and ultimately, your readers!

Have a great weekend!

Christina Lee said...

wow lots and lots of good thoughts!!

Little Ms J said...

No F Bombs in the script, ladies. I didn't even use H E double hockey sticks or anything.

To the LiLa followers - I do apologize for the delay. I had to fly to Salt Lake on business for a few days, but the script has been delivered and I assure you it is worth the wait.

Natalie said...

I missed the discussion yesterday, I'll have to go back and see what went down. I don't really mind most swearing in books, but I do hate the f-word (not enough to put down a book I'm enjoying, but enough to be annoyed). I just think its an ugly, awful word and lesser swear words can convey the feeling without the cringe factor. That said I don't mind it as much if it's used for impact and not as a euphemism for sex--that is the worst.

Since I write MG I don't run into this issue much :)

Jill Kemerer said...

Sorry I missed the controversy. I'm not a fan of cursing in YA books. Yes, teens are probably hearing bad language all the time, but the more it pops up on television and in the media, the more acceptable it is.

Have a great weekend!

Carolyn V. said...

Yesterdays discussion was very interesting. =) It's fun to see what others opinions of the subject are.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

It's amazing what a ruckus one word can cause - leave it to you guys to get such an extended commentary going! :)
www.shannonkodonnell.blogspot.com

T. Anne said...

Start a fire did you? LOL. I hate the F bomb in general but I suppose if it's genuine in the text it can't be denied. Are you ladies on twitter? Where's the twitter love?

Shannon Messenger said...

I love the respectful way you guys are handling this debate (and it's good to practice, because I guarantee, if you keep those F bombs you're going to have this debate quite often--it's definitely a big issue).

On the whole, I'm not a HUGE fan of swearing, but it won't necessarily turn me off to a book either (though I'm not a parent so I have NO idea what I would decide for my currently imaginary children). I think the best example I've seen of swearing being used as an organic part of the character/story is Barry Lyga. He has some characters that swear, some that don't, and even uses swearing as a key plot/character development feature. (In Goth Girl Rising, the lead character Kyra will say anything EXCEPT the F bomb, and at the end of the book we find out why--in a poem where she does use the F Bomb--and it's incredibly powerful.) You might want to give his books a glance and see what you think.

Can't wait to see the VLog. Hope YouTube isn't as hiccupy for you as it was for me the first time I used it. :)

CKHB said...

I wrote about this on Wednesday and linked to you today!

Sadly, I haven't had time to read your comments from yesterday yet...

Anissa said...

All I can say is WOW. Started quite a debate there didn't ya? I read everything. Every story has value. Maybe I'm just hard to offend.

Jemi Fraser said...

The topic sure creates some controversy. And as writers, we always have opinions :) It was fun!

Rebecca Knight said...

I had no clue this was such a hot topic, and I love it :)! It's got to make you feel good that you got people thinking. WOOT!

jessjordan said...

f ... bomb. F ... bomb. F ... BOMB!

Just kidding. Seriously, I believe in freedom of expression. I also believe that, no matter how much you attempt to censor a child, he/she is going to be exposed to profanity. My parents didn't let me watch rated R movies, and severely despised the F-bomb. But ... that just made it all the more appealing.

I say you must use whatever language stays true to your characters and your story, but to each his own.

Stephanie Thornton said...

I certainly enjoyed reading the debate yesterday- good food for thought. I write historical fiction so the f-bomb isn't really accurate- I have to get more creative with my cursing. Curse words have their place in literature though.

Sarah said...

I cannot wait for this vlog, especially since Ms. J is the screenwriter!

The discussion was really interesting. I loved reading other people's thoughts on it.