October 4, 2007

Booking Through Thursday: Decorum

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Booking Through Thursday

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)

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!


Great question and very appropriate for Banned Books Week.

I don't think I have a problem with either of those. I have never said, "Oh the horror!" and closed the book. I have rolled my eyes and said, "Oh come on now! No way you can do that" over some more silly sex scenes. Sometimes an author can give a little too much information in that area though and it gets a little icky. But if done the right way it can add a lot to the reading experience.

Some authors are magicians at not saying anything and it still gets yucky. Take Lolita, for example, no profanity, but the subject matter is very controversial. Nabokov writes so vaguely that you get a hint of something indecent but you really can't say for sure. Great book, by the way.

As for swearing, it doesn't really bother me because people swear in real life. Sometimes a character is upset or angry and it's understandable. I don't like 'a swear' for every second word. They're like adverbs and adjectives: use sparingly. Too many and it's just filler, doesn't add to plot or character development, and is tedious to read.

For me, it's not a matter of decorum, I guess, but good writing.

12 comments :

  1. For me, it's not a matter of decorum, I guess, but good writing.


    YES. Exactly -- well said.

    Happy BTT!

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  2. What a good answer! I hated Lolita, it made my skin crawl, but I agree it's a good book - I just never want to have to read it again.

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  3. I echo, Marianne. I was going to say "Well said". LOL.

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  4. I'm with you on the swearing. Good point on Lolita. The ick factor was certainly there.

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  5. I don't read "Romance" novels and I don't actively seek out erotica. Just not my thing. But I don't mind if it's in the story, as long as it adds to the storyline.

    Nice answer!!

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  6. I agree! I had to laugh at the visual on rolling your eyes because I find myself doing the exact same thing at time while reading.

    Thanks for stopping by and saying hello!

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  7. Exactly!
    And, really, sometimes my imagination is SO MUCH BETTER at filling in the blanks; an author could sometimes do him/herself a favor by letting me do the work there, instead of mucking it all up with heavy-handed descriptions.

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  8. I agree with you, Chris! Good plot, good writing are the main factors of a great book.

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  9. I think I could read porn before I could read Lolita. The idea of an old man and a girl (child) are just too taboo for me to enjoy.

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  10. I did not like Lolita! The story line did nothing for me!

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  11. You summed it up perfectly. Happy BTT.

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  12. Very well said!

    I've had those rolling of the eyes moments myself. One of my favorite sex scenes to joke read like a how-to instruction book. It was so technical and not at all pleasant to read. Not to mention it sounded a little over the top . . .

    I also liked your point about the subtle and unspoken approach that some authors have taken in implying something is happening or going to happen. Not only does that pertain to sex scenes, but also to violent ones. Graphic description isn't always a must. It's become the norm though. I don't mind either as long as it's done well.

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