My IWSG post for October, because – yowza – it is October already, isn’t it? Thanks to this month’s awesome cohosts: Jemima Pett, J Lenni Dorner, Cathrina Constantine, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, and Mary Aalgaard!
October 6 question – In your writing, where do you draw the line, with either topics or language?
I tend to shy away from gratuitous sex and violence. I try very hard to scrub away any direct references to actual people and events.
Other than that, I don’t really have firm lines. If I am going to have violence, why not have it be graphic? If I’m going to have sexual encounters, why not describe them in detail? I think we can do either subject matter injustice and make it more salacious by describing graphic violence as if it were a PG video game where the people just die and disappear. (Unless of course we are in fact writing a PG video game or the literary equivalent.)
I guess where I “draw the line” depends on the audience and on the story. What is the story I am trying to tell? What is the most effective way to convey it to the reader? Would an f-bomb or anatomically-specific description of a male on male sexual encounter add to or detract from the narrative?
For me, I think it’s “all for the narrative, all for the story.” I don’t really have any hard and fast rules except for that one. I also write on many different subjects for many different audiences. If I were talking X subject to Y audience then of course I would have specific rules. I will never use contractions in business writing, and I will absolutely use them in most fictional dialogue. To do otherwise would be “really weird” and would detract from the message.
Have a great October!