Friday, April 6, 2012

A-Z Blogging Challenge-F







I write YA, and I don't use that word unless I absolutely have to, unless that character must express him/herself that way. I guess it seems to me that the power of that word is in NOT using it. Kind of like NOT showing explicit nudity or sex in the movies, but implying it and letting the imagination take over.


I guess my issue with a lot of movies AND books is they don't trust us as viewers and readers. They want to leave nothing to our imaginations. Well, PTWEEY! to that! I have a great ability to visualize stuff, and I'd like to be able to do it, thank you.


When you write, do you insinuate the sexy, steamy parts? The violent parts? Do you let your reader fill in the blanks? OR Do you think it's important to "paint" the complete picture with words? How about the in-between? What's too little? What's too much?


Do you agree with my stand or do you disagree? I'd love to know. I could be wrong. That happens sometimes.


Be sure to HOP around and say hi to others who are in on this wildly wonderful A-Z Blogging Challenge.

31 comments:

  1. I try to write sexy parts in YA instead of just stating it. I'm still working on tension building which I'd like to sharpen. And the use of the 'F' word you won't see in my books in raw form. More like 'Friggin' or 'Freakin' or 'Fudge it'

    ReplyDelete
  2. Cussing, and using the F word, is losing it's power to shock because it is so liberally used. I call it, Casual Conversational Cussing (the 3 Cs.)My thought is, does this person not know how to speak, not know the language? Personally I feel soiled when watching a movie with a lot of cussing, it gets on my nerves, it takes away rather than adds. And I don't particularly like being around people who cuss a lot either(I confess at one time I cussed like a sailor, but I grew up) because it's like seeing trash being thrown on the ground, like being dragged into a sewer. I don't want to live in a dump or a sewer. Granted, if I smash a finger in the door a well yelled expletive is likely to escape my lips. But this, I feel, is normal and acceptable for anyone.

    Lucky for me I like writing light hearted MGs where the issue of cussing doesn't come up.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I totally agree with you whether its in movies, on TV, in books, on blogs or in real life! Have a wonderful weekend :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I don't want it all spelled out for me. I prefer to let my imagination take over. And too often gore and language is used just for shock purposes. After a while, you've heard it so much that it no longer shocks.
    And while I don't mind language in movies or books (if it fits) I don't use it in my own writing because it would limit the appeal - and I just don't talk that way.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I write YA, so it's a tricky balance. I wouldn't be explicit anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I completely agree with you. Sometimes creators don't trust the reader/viewer. I'm a huge fan of reading-between-the-lines and leaving certain things to mystery. This gives the reader a chance to think, imagine on their own.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great post. It's a fine line which is crossed too often in books, movies, TV, etc. I have no issue with cursing in any form of media within limits. Sometimes though I really miss the subtlety...when your mental picture was even more vivid because you had to fill in some of the blanks for yourself. Also, I admit that it's a pet peeve of mine when it's overused. Makes it seem as though a) they are making up for a lack of real talent. b) they think that we are idiots without a single brain cell. But, when it's used appropriately it can sometimes add that extra kick of reality or emotion which helps the story. Wow, look at me rambling! Fantastic topic for today.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Some of the best writing leaves room for imagination, but that is different than glossing over so as not to offend. It really depends on the story being told and on being honest as a writer. There are some very powerful works out there that don't hold back on language or description. I'm not writing stories like that so it isn't an issue for me, but if my characters needed to say the F-word to be authentic they would, just not very often.

    ReplyDelete
  9. One of best pieces of writing advice I ever received was, "just write the shit." That's attitude I take on cursing and sex in YA. I write it if it fits the story, and I dance around it if it doesn't.

    ReplyDelete
  10. It took me a long time to give in and add the big, bad "F" word in my YA novel, but clearly it's called for. And I use it only a couple times. So I guess the rest is left up to the imagination. I do agree with your stand on this, and I do my best to get a good balance in my YA WIP. It will be interesting to see how it ends up when I'm finished, if I ever get a chance to get back to it. My characters are screaming for attention!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I suppose it depends on what you're reading. I'd expect a low-down on the nitty-gritty details if I were reading an erotic romance, but when I'm reading crime fiction, explicit sexual details will just throw me from my "I'm reading a mystery" mindset. In the same vein, readers of cozy mysteries will probably not appreciate the blood and gore associated with dark crime noir.

    As for swearing, I use it as befits the character.

    Great post!

    J.C. Martin
    A to Z Blogger

    ReplyDelete
  12. I've used the F word a handful of times, uttered by bad-tempered characters where is makes sense. As for things like violence, I have a mixture of explicit (but usually quick) and implied off-stage. I try to keep to a few limited points of view, so a lot happens out of their view, and I have no problem keeping it that way. It's all a question of what fits.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I agree with you. I write books for adults and I use the word sparingly. There are so many other things you can have your characters say or ways to describe things.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank, for coming by and adding to the discussion, Christine!

      Delete
  14. I actually find it baffling that people seem so squeamish about intimacy between characters. We're so tolerant of violence, of gore and killing and the infliction of pain--but let two characters get to second base, and some people recoil in horror. I think we have a terror of vulnerability and closeness, and we especially don't like to address the fact that puberty is when these feelings start kicking up. I think we find the transition from childhood to adulthood scary.

    I don't think it's a good idea to *always* cut away from intimate scenes. Sometimes that's a major part of a story, a major part of a relationship. It depends on the story and the writer. Not every reader and not every writer want to go there, and that's fine, but there should be some books that do.

    And as for cussing--many people cuss. You hear it walking down the street. It would be unrealistic not to have some characters in some books cuss.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just don't like to "see" every drop of blood being drawn or every erotic move. I like to have just enough to let me fill in the blank spaces. When I read or when I watch a film, I'm often looking to escape the "real world" for a while. Guess that's why I prefer G stuff. :-)

      Delete
  15. I'm always WAY more impressed when the writer conveys strong images or feelings without using graphic language. In my current wip, which is YA, I have one f-bomb. I'm hopeful that the way it's used, and in that particular place, shows how strongly the character feels. When I watch a movie that's littered with them? I'm totally turned off. Ick.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you ever see Deadwood? Everybody raved about that series, but I hated it--mostly because of language.

      Delete
  16. The line changes with the story and audience. I would be appalled to have given books to my nieces with the explicit sex scenes in it. Not that I'm against youngsters reading it. I just don't want to be the one giving it to them.

    Then there are some books that stop too short and I feel cheated. Depends on the story.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Figurative language provides us with ample means for feeding the senses without giving away the whole picture. To imply something effectively through the use of words, it is important to bring the reader in first though. If there is little dialogue, sometimes more direct communication of what is taking place is necessary... but it depends. Giving away the entire scene with no room for the reader to invent or examine their own thoughts takes away one of my favorite parts of reading... imagination.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I forgot to mention that I found you through the A-Z challenge list :-)

      A-Z 2012 (#49) - Bloggit Write A-Z 2012 - Poetry
      A-Z 2012 (#861) - Bloggit Write A-Z 2012 - Haiku

      Delete
  18. You can insinuate the sexy (and violent) parts, but I think how explicit you get depends on genre. and medium, maybe. I mean, the movie hunger games pulled its punches with violence to keep the PG13 rating, but the books didn't. So.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Being descriptive is extremely important to get the message across regardless of genre. As a reader, I do like to have a little left to my own imagination, and there is nothing more disappointing that reading so deeply about a character only to find the person cast in a movie doesn't match my own vision.
    Great to have found you through the A to Z.
    A2ZMommy and What’s In Between

    ReplyDelete
  20. I don't write YA (usually), but regardless of the category I usually find sex scenes cheesy. I'd much rather have it alluded to. Those moments before and after steamy acts are so much more compelling to me than the acts themselves. Rather than having a love scene described to me in detail, I'd rather get the image of two people knowingly meeting each other's eyes amidst an oblivious crowd of people after having just engaged in off-screen steaminess.

    J.W. Alden

    ReplyDelete
  21. I write them full out, although I do try to leave some to the imagination.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm definitely of the opinion that less is more!

    ReplyDelete
  23. To me, it's better to let the reader imagine some things with just enough details so they can visaulize the scene.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I so agree with you! Great post. BTW - you might want to stop by my blog - you are the blog of the week

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oddly enough, I spent quite a bit of time thinking about the f word and other cuss words this week as I cleaned up the bad guy's language in my manuscript. I also think less is better.

    ReplyDelete
  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I think you should write however you feel best suits your story. The problems usually come when people try to dictate how others should express themselves. The choice is not to participate: turn the channel, don't buy the book, don't see the movie. It isn't to insist no one else can either.

    mood
    Moody Writing
    @mooderino
    The Funnily Enough

    ReplyDelete

Please say something to me, anything. Well, not anything, but a kind word will do.