Thursday, March 05, 2009
CHARACTERS WITH POTTY MOUTHS...WHAT'S AN AUTHOR TO DO?
(Photo courtesy of Peg-the-librarian-on-vacation)
I've had a few letters from readers and an occassional comment from a "book clubber" about why some of my characters "talk dirty." They ask why I did that.
I'm here to tell you it was totally out of my control.
There I've let the secret out: Authors have absolutely NO CONTROL OVER THE WAY THEIR CHARACTERS TALK.
The more I tried to edit those naughty bits the more they'd sneak them in and do you know how hard it is to wash an imaginary person's mouth out with soap? It's not a pretty sight.
In LOTTERY both Keith and Gram made me blush. After a while I came to see that they weren't me and weren't even a reflection of me- It was important for them to be salty for contrast and so they were more authentic- Have you ever met a Vietnam vet who DIDN'T use the F-word?
So I heaved a big sigh and allowed them free rein.
The characters in my new project are very circumspect and control their utterances remarkably well.
But I know some form of embarrassment is lurking...
Tooloose on the other hand has been inspired by this whole thing and has a new WIP ready to go. It's called THE BOOK OF NAUGHTY WORDS.
Of course it's totally from a cat's point of view and contains the words DIET, BATH, and VET.
How about you?
DO naughty words turn you off or turn you on????