“Language” in Books


So I’ve always had spicier language in my books…and I don’t mean the smutty kind *g*.  In the various contests I’ve entered over the years, I’ve received comments that this kind of language isn’t what readers are looking for.  I find this highly amusing, both as an author and as a reader.  As previously established last week *g*, I write about cops, military types, and firefighters.  I’ve been around these dudes and chicks all my life, and let me tell you, unless they’re around their superiors (and sometimes not then) or are religions, their language is so off the charts, even *I* am taken aback sometimes!!  So, I guess I’m a bit confused by the “readers don’t want to see this” versus real life.  I’ve certainly NEVER had a reader complain to me about language…and as a reader, if I don’t feel that the world I’m entering is real, then I’m going to put down the book.  I mean, seriously, if you’re writing about a cop who’s been on the streets for ten years, and he (or she) says “darn” or “heck” rather than “dammit” or “fuck”, how much can you be immersed in the story?  Let’s be realistic, folks, in my experience (and y’all KNOW I’m an avid reader) read for two reasons…one, to be titillated, in which case such language is fine because they wanna be shocked or two, because they like reading about what they know…and if you screw up in what they know, you’ll have no creds as an author in the future.

Your thoughts??

2 Responses to “Language” in Books

  • relliott4 says:

    I write the words that fit the character and the situation. And yes, a lot of times it’s “fuck.” It can be a really good word. Rachel is the same. Depends on the character.

    Don’t worry, judges do this. I had one tell me once that no one wanted to read about a northern Irish computer hacker who worked for the government. Oh and she punches someone and you should have read all the comments on that.

  • Dana Pollard says:

    Judges sometimes need a class on judging. So do others. 😉

    I once had a judge put a comment on my score sheet… only comment too… “Is this erotica or what?” Needless to say I was not pleased, nor did I grow from this judge’s comment.

    I seriously believe judges need to judge what they enjoy reading, or they need to keep the snippy comments to themselves. It sure as hell burns ones ego, or eliminates the hopes of ever seeing their book on a shelf one day.

    Enough of my rant. I need sleep. 🙂 Love ya babe!

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