ISWG October 6 Blog Hop: Where do you Draw the Line?

Hi everyone and Happy Wednesday! The Insecure Writers’ Group is a group of writers offering motivation and encouragement to all those taking on the challenges of writing. Every month the ISWG sponsors a blog hop where writers can blog about a topic related to overcoming obstacles and exploring various aspects of the writing journey. If you’d like to participate in a future hop you can join here. It’s always a great experience, and I recommend it to anyone who is interested in writing and sharing with other writers.

Every month there is an (optional) discussion question. This month the question is as follows:

October 6 question – In your writing, where do you draw the line, with either topics or language?

Hmmm. Good question. As a writer, when do you feel like you’ve crossed a line with your writing? For me, truthfully it doesn’t take much haha. There are some subjects that I stay far away from. I’m not a controversial person. I like to get along with everyone, I dislike strife in my daily life, and when I write I prefer to stay away from polemical subjects (politics, controversial ethics disputes etc) I can’t watch any movies with cruelty to animals or children, and I definitely can’t write about it, it makes me too sad. I remember reading once that of all of his works, Stephen King found Pet Sematary to be the most frightening. To me that is not the Stephen King book that I find to be the most disturbing (It left me scarred for life), but Pet Sematary is up there and with the subject matter I can see why it disturbed him so much. Seriously reading or writing anything depressing about children or animals is just not fun for me. Especially ones that come back from the dead like in Pet Sematary. 😦

As far as my choice of language, it depends a lot on the audience. I like to write for a young adult audience so I try not to use language that might be off putting or offensive to anyone. It’s hard, because in my daily life I do curse (I’m working on it what can I say) and so it’s important to be extra vigilant about not letting it get into my book. Also my family reads my writing, so that helps a lot with what I end up including.

What about you? What are some topics you stay away from in your writing? Does the genre you like to write in affect this? Let me know in the comments!

9 thoughts on “ISWG October 6 Blog Hop: Where do you Draw the Line?

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  1. While I’m still working as a teacher, there are many areas I stay away from in my writing – especially that which is specifically for class room use. I find teenagers write best when given options that demonstrate their skill with words, rather than focus on a dark theme such as suicide.

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  2. I totally understand this and I 100% agree! It’s hard for me to write about disturbing themes and I imagine for a lot of teenagers it is as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great answer. Although, I think YA is pretty much wide open these days for content and language. Definitely, know your audience. And, I also can’t write, read, or watch cruelty towards children and pets. I stopped reading a book for book club after a particularly disturbing scene involving a dog. Gives me nightmares!

    Mary at Play off the Page

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    1. Thanks Mary! Oh my gosh that scene sounds terrible, I don’t blame you at all for not wanting to continue reading it! I’m the same, I’ll put down a book quickly if it’s something that will affect me negatively for a long time (the horse in Crime and Punishment, that one was awful for me).

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  4. I write primarily within the domestic-society genre, mostly family and home situations that capture the struggles among parents, children, and friends. I always have a Jane Austen novel on my desk as a guide for style and technique. She is a genius of character development.

    I draw a very hard line with language. I spend most of my time on word choice. I seek to create authentic individuals. Yes, language is an integral part of characterization, but I find coarse language too harsh for the mood and atmopshere I create. I find subtle language more evocative and powerful.

    Much of my writing explores the theme of how the pure of heart struggle with a world foreign to such virtues. Ponyboy in The Outsiders comes to mind. Even S. E. Hinton was able to delve into the world of adolescence and use langauge that creates believable and engaging characters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love Jane Austen too, her characters are fantastic! The theme you explore in your writing sounds very rewarding and engaging, I feel the same that cursing is jarring when you’re reading and can detract from the flow of the dialogue. Allowing characters to express themselves in well-crafted ways without shocking us with language is definitely more powerful. Thank you so much for reading Richard!

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  5. I liked to say my mind as bluntly as I could especially when it comes to political, socal and personal issues and this sometimes reflected in my writing. But I’ve grown to learn that it’s looking for trouble to add to an already complicated life. I have family, children and I don’t like drama. Wisdom is my best friend. So I stay away from controversial issues and from crossing anyone’s path.
    But I believe every writer should have a way to talk about controversial issues without raising dusts or stepping on toes.
    I don’t like disturbing contents. I have a story I’m working on which needed a child rape scene but I couldn’t bring myself to writing the scene. I see writing rape scenes as offensive. I only mentioned it in passing and how it led to the men-hate behaviour of the protagonist.
    I avoid sex. scenes in my romance projects because, my audience are mainly YA and could be aged 14 to 17. For some reasons I skip the same in novels I read.
    I don’t like the use of vulgar or curse words and I forbid it in my family and writings.
    When my characters get really angry or frustrated, I allow them to break things and chid all day without using curse words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Florence! Very wise words, I agree with you completely. I’m the same, I dislike drama as well and I avoid controversy for the sake of my mental health and my family. That scene sounds very painful to write, I don’t blame you at all for not writing it, I would have done the same. Writing is hard, it’s difficult to know our boundaries and what subjects we’re comfortable writing about, I admire you for knowing what you’re willing to write about and what subjects you can allude to without feeling like it crossed a boundary.

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