Thursday, October 4, 2007

Booking Through Thursday - Decorum

This week's BTT question is quite interesting. I did start to think about explicit scenes and language while I was reading Middlesex. Here's the question and my answer follows:

Do you have “issues” with too much profanity or overly explicit (ahem) “romantic” scenes in books? Or do you take them in stride? Have issues like these ever caused you to close a book? Or do you go looking for more exactly like them? (grin)

This is a tough one for me. I'm not overly concerned about profanity in a book if the book is well-written. Sometimes profanity is necessary to create a mood or scene or to make a character realistic. I do have a problem with excessive swearing throughout a poorly written book. Sometimes, I think authors use profanity to cover up their lack of imagination. I tend to believe that a good writer does not need to rely on "potty" words to move the story along. So I guess for me, I can take it in stride if it's used appropriately. I can't remember putting a book down for too much swearing .... I'd more likely stop reading it because it was poorly written to start with.

I love how "romantic" is in quotes here. I love a good love story but can get very uncomfortable with excessive sexual details in stories. Again, if the scene is well-written and integral to the story or character development, then I don't have much problem with it. However, if it feels poorly written, or gratuitous, or overly violent, then I would stop reading the book. I probably have less tolerance for overly sexual books, especially if they are violent in nature. I don't need those images in my life or psyche.

Since I brought up the subject of violence, I do not tend to read very violent books either. Again, if the violence, or abuse, is well-written and integral to the story, then I'm fine with it. I don't like to read about violence for the sake of violence.

I do want to add that I'm glad there are books out there with all of these things in them. I feel it is important for everyone to make these reading choices for themselves.


cj said...

We're on the same page on this one, Bookgal. If it's well written, and necessary to the plot then I have no problem with it. If it's every other word and pointless... Well, it's just becomes irritating.


Kristy said...

I don't care for violence either. I will read books with violence, but it's the overall story that draws me to the book.

pussreboots said...

I agree with your last paragraph completely. Happy BTT.

Petunia said...

While love scenes can upset me some, violence rarely does. Wierd huh? But I can take it all in stride for a really well written story.

John Mutford said...

Love scenes are just so rarely done well. There's even an award given to bad love scenes in writing.

Btw, have you noticed by Canadian Book Meme?

BookGal said...

cj - Well-written is the key!

Kristy - Violence wasn't actually part of the question but it tied in so well.

puss - Thanks ... I really do believe that.

Petunia - Well-written is important. How interesting that violence gets to you more than love scenes.

John - never heard of that meme.

Literary Feline said...

Very well said, Bookgal.

Callista said...

Ooh violence is a good topic for discussion too. I don't like too much violence but I have a higher tolerance than some on this.

I do read violent sex scenes sometimes but they do disturb me. It's weird but I almost have to read them.