IWSG: Keeping it clean for Mom
The IWSG is a fantastic group of writers and bloggers who share posts the first Wednesday of each month.
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!
The awesome co-hosts for the September 1 posting of the IWSG are:
Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.
Remember, the question is optional!
October 6 question - In your writing, where do you draw the line, with either topics or language?
I'm a lucky writer. As a shorthand answer to this question, I tell people that I write nothing I'd be embarrassed to have my mother read--because my mother reads all my books and stories, even the ones that aren't in her favorite genres! That's why I'm lucky--because my mom is that supportive! That's partly why my writing has no explicit sex, no serious cussing, and no explicit violence.
There's another reason for that as well: I don't like to read explicit sex and violence, and I'm even less comfortable writing them. I prefer sex scenes left to the reader's imagination, and as for violence, there's enough of it in the world without me adding to it. Granted, I write murder mysteries, but I leave the killing, and the gore, off stage. Again, I trust the reader to imagine whatever level of violence they feel is appropriate.
Language is a bit more challenging. In my genres (so far, cozy mysteries and children's books), the industry standard to not to have swearing. Since obviously people cuss--some of them cuss a lot--my choice has been to let the reader know that the person is, without writing out the exact words. If my sleuth is talking to a foul-mouthed jerk in a bar, for example, she might report something like, "Once I sorted substance from cussing, he told me that he'd never been anywhere near the victim since she took out the restraining order." Sometimes coming up with the work-arounds is great fun!
How about you? What's your measure for "forbidden" topics and/or language?
Watch this space for news about the great blog shift--coming soon, my new and improved author web site!
©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2021
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