I come seeking advice!
To curse or not to curse? Where to curse, when to curse, why to curse? What to do?
So here’s the deal. — I write novels. One of my big things is authenticity. Is it relatable? Is it raw? Is it real?
I feel like in certain situations, cursing is all of those things. There are other people who do not, however.
My novel isn’t slap full of them and they aren’t on every page. But, they are there, sprinkled about. — They are there when someone is angry. They are there when someone is passionate about something. They are there when the guys are hanging out, drinking beer, and shooting pool. — While they are not everywhere, they do crop up when it is authentic for them to be there.
So this battle is always raging, like, what do I do?
To be clear, they don’t bother me. My big thing is that I know they bother other people. Readers. Not all readers, just some.
But readers matters. To be a writer, to publish novels… you need readers. I’m also aware that every one is different. Every reader is different. And not every book is for everybody. That’s okay. It’s more than okay. That’s how this works.
I think the big question is… how true do I stay to the story and the characters, and the authenticity of the situations they are in? And how much do I altar for readers? Because some readers aren’t going to bat an eye. Some are going to take one look at the first curse word and never pick up another of my books again.
And if you want some real honesty. I’m not so sure I’d think twice about it except I have family and friends that are going to be sorely disappointed at the first curse word.
I kind of feel torn in two about it. To stay true to the characters and, to me, I will have to disappoint a certain group of readers. Some that I call family. Some that I call friend. — So I think that’s where this stems from the most.
At this point… what is already there is not being taken out. I’ve already battled through this some when I was writing it. — Now I’m editing it and near the beginning and just slipped one in after someone nearly ran their car off the side of a mountain. — Seemed appropriate given the circumstance. — But then I worried one so close to the beginning would put people off at the very beginning. — And then I wondered should I worry about that, given they will come upon them eventually? — Or how many people would see it that early on and assume they are everywhere and quit before they get very far?
So maybe a large part of this is me not knowing how to handle people I know, having problems with my work. And that’s where the majority of it stems from, I think.
I can’t please everyone, and I know that. Not everyone will like it, and I know that.
It just brings up the question, how much do you change to appease one certain group of readers… or do you not, and focus on the readers that will enjoy it as is?
I don’t intend to market this as a “clean romance.” Mostly because I don’t believe it is. While there are no graphic sex scenes, they do talk it about it, and there is some alluding to it. There are also curse words around and about, as well as alcohol consumption. So readers looking for clean romance aren’t exactly my target audience, so maybe that should be my answer? — Maybe I answered my own question. — Focus on my target audience and don’t worry about anything else?
What do y’all think? Lemme know. 🙂