Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A little bit of a rant...

I wanted to get some perspective from my fellow Buzz Girls, as well as comments, feedback, and/or opinions from our readers.

Long ago when a friend of mine got published, she started obsessing over Amazon.com reviews to the point where she would often debate the reviews on her blog. I told her not to let them upset her and not to highlight reviews that upset her by blogging about it. I swore I would never do the same.

And let me state for the record that I will not do the same. LOL!! I am very fortunate in that both GHOST HUNTRESS: THE AWAKENING and GHOST HUNTRESS: THE GUIDANCE both have an average four-star review on Amazon.com and I'm beyond thrilled! I have nothing to take to task with any of the reviews and send out a hearty Thank You Very Much to anyone who has posted a review after reading the book.



My question is this, though...

A lot of reviewers are getting on to me for my "course language." This has both my editor and me shaking our heads. There is an occasional "$hit" or someone being referred to as a "b*tch" (mostly a "beotch") and my heroine likes to say "freakin'" sometimes when she's...well, freaked out. At no point in the books is there ever the F word and never will there be that. Is this seriously considered "course?"

I also find it interesting that teens who leave reviews have no problem with this. It's mostly parents. I certainly don't want to upset parents...but I do have to scratch my head over this one. I have read a lot of YA books that pepper the writing with much courser language and frequent use of the F word in character's dialogue.

What do you think? Do you consider this "course language?" Are you offended by this? How much reality is too much? Is is staying true to teen talk to use words that they use in every day life? For those of you who've read my books, what do you think? I'm fascinated by this and would love to know what people's opinions are on this topic.

Thanks so much!
Marley = )

12 comments:

Laurie T. said...

Hi,
My daughter recently won your first Ghost Huntress book and has just started reading it:) As her mom I like to think of myself as a realist. I think kids hear worse language on the bus, on TV etc. etc. I don't think it's coarse. I'm also an aspiring writer and read tons of YA books. I see other authors use rougher language and I'm okay with that. We have to use the language true to our characters. I believe there are always going to be some people who need to 'comment' on things. If they're so offended all I say is don't read it. You need to think of your market and ultimately, your characters.

BookChic said...

I honestly have no problem with cursing. In fact, I do it a lot in my own life, mainly because I think it's funny. My roommate thinks the same way.

But I mean, like the previous commenter said, kids and teenagers hear so much worse everywhere else and even if they don't, they'll hear it eventually. So I don't think it's a problem for there to be cursing in YA novels. It's just not a big deal.

Heather said...

Back in high school, I heard so many F-bombs being dropped before even first period started that not even the most cursey of YA (or adult!) novels would frazzle me. It's just reality, so I don't think anyone should be bothered by a little course language in YA.

TinaFerraro said...

This really surprises me, Marley, because I don't think of your language as coarse at all.

AT ALL.

But for what it's worth, with my own books, I've been surprised by the occasional element that readers/parents/reviewers have taken issue with, and equally surprised by the ones left alone that I thought were ripe for a gripe!

Iserr said...

Really I have no problem with "course language" in books at all. I mean there are books for certain ages, or at least recommended ages so what do people expect to find in the text. Teens such as myself have been exposed to much worse things and language at school and around friends. So I don't think it should bother parents to find that there is some "course language" in YA books, because it is not new or shocking to teens at all. Believe me when I say we've heard worse, and for some that may be an understatement.

Celise said...

People cuss. Teens Cuss. It's the nature of things. And you can't dumb it down by saying, "Gosh darnit" "shoot" or " Sonuvaseabiscuit" when it's not what they really say. It wouldn't sound right. Although it would be funny if you had a character that actually talked like that.

I agree with everybody else.

Heather Davis said...

I think it's just part of the world now, Marley. I try to limit what I use in my novels, too. But sometimes, there isn't a substitute that won't sound fake, you know? Oh, sugar -- doens't always work. ;)

Heather

Anonymous said...

The Parents that are complaining need to get their butts out there and listen to what their children are hearing in the real world. I don't find your cursing offensive as it's reality. The words you use are pretty much standard for most.

Go sit out at a school and listen to these kids today. Every 2nd word starts with "F". That's what these parents need to be complaining about.

Anonymous said...

Your editor's more likely shaking her head at your use of "course language" than any alleged coarse language.

:)

Michelle McLean said...

Like the other comments said, kids hear worse. An occasional "bad" word isn't going end the world. And like a few others said, toning it down just isn't realistic sometimes. A big, tough guy walking the campus saying "well, gosh dangit to heck" just isn't realistic and could turn a good, intense scene into a giggle-fest :)

Marley Gibson said...

Thanks for all of the feedback everyone! Most freakin' appreciated! LOLOLOL!!! = )

Jessica Kennedy said...

I haven't read your books but from what you explained those works you used aren't anything to get all ruffled about.

I've read some YA books with strong language. It does make me stop and wonder, "YA book w/ curse words?!?" but usually it's true to character so it's cool with me.

I think I would have an issue as a parent for the strong words to be read by my young teen but you know what? They'll hear it eventually. :(