Thursday, April 29, 2010

What the...?

How would you fill in that blank? There're several options available. Personally, I'm a 'heck' girl. And 'dang', 'shoot', and 'crap' work for me too.

Natalie Whipple wrote about the two camps of writing- realism and idealism. Please go read this because it totally removes the typical "I am right and you are wrong and evil for writing things I don't approve of" from the equation.

Here's what I would love to happen with ebooks:
Let us pick which level of profanity we're exposed to.

Why not?

I'm all about having options. To recap, my nine-year-old finished reading Harry Potter 7 a few months ago, and I would have liked to change one word. (Mrs. Weasley says a Bad Word when she's fighting Bellatrix.)

I still let him read it and here's how I addressed it: I reread HP 7 before I gave it to him, so I knew what was coming. We talked about it. He knows that I've said a Bad Word before because here was this one time where we were driving to school in the rain, and there was a really close call in a very dangerous intersection and I said My Favorite Bad Word, the one that always comes out in such situations, not listed above. So he knows I'm not perfect, but I want to be. This will not happen anytime soon, but we STRIVE to be the nicest, most pleasant, unoffensive people we can be, right?

We had a great discussion that has led to Isaac coming to me with things that he's unsure of and him putting down books that he doesn't think fit the standards that we have set. So this has been really really good as far as him learning to make good decisions. I don't want to lose that kind of growth.

My position may be confusing to some, because, hey, I'm confused, too. Should 'Diary of Anne Frank' have been edited for content? Not exactly. But Anne has some confusing, typical adolescent feelings, and I would rather be the one talking to my kids about those, not a teacher at school. I would prefer my kids to get a sanitized version at school.

Wouldn't it be cool if the book people would be more understanding about this than the movie people?

I have romance in my book. There is kissing and it is more than just a peck kiss! I expect that the very particular might even skip a scene. That's fine with me. I'd love to sell more books because people could set the digital bar a little higher to let more sensitive/younger readers enjoy it.

Same with language. One of my characters uses 'medium' bad words, ones found in the Bible. (That's my justification, for those of you more sensitive than myself! It's in the Bible!) It's fine with me if you don't want to read that. Set it at G, then.

Is anyone at Amazon or Apple or Sony listening? No? I'll have use my rainbow words to shout it: I would buy an ereader for this app. I really would. I would also suggest books that I don't now if I could say, "Read this book on PG-13. It's awesome." 

Any thoughts?


  1. Interesting idea, Kelly. But since you brought up the movie business, I wonder if some authors would object to having their work edited in the same way that a lot of directors have raised a stink about it...

  2. That definitely brings a whole new power to e-books doesn't it? And more options. Cool idea.

  3. Hi Kelly,

    Interesting idea, and it raises a lot of other possibilities too. How about being able to select levels of violence, or anglicised vs. americanised English, or a literary deep and meaningful ending vs. a Hollywood all nicely wrapped up ending, or even a setting in Barbados vs a setting in Dubai? Ebooks have opened up a whole new world, and we're only just starting to see the countless possibilities.

    I have to say, though, give me a paper and ink book any day. I spend enough time working with gadgets as it is!

  4. Peter- I would LOVE the alternate endings option! I've read two books lately that I felt totally let down on the last page. I've thought about writing my own version of one, just so I can feel better;)

    Krista-I don't know how other authors would feel. I'm sure there's a whole spectrum out there.

    Kristi- I think it will happen, someday. There are DVD players that edit out scenes on the market now.

    Thanks for hanging around, guys!

  5. This seems to be a hot topic right now. You have a good idea on how to handle the situation for ebooks. Me, personally, I don't have swearing in my books. There nothing like ... and letting the reader fill in the blank. Plus, I don't want to offend my readers.

  6. crap is how I fill in the blank.

    Oh and did you know that me and the hubs owned an edited movie store for 6 years? Long story..but loved the link.

    I just read an A-MAZING series by George RR Martin. Game of Thrones series. I can't tell you how epic, creative, thorough, and honest it was. It also dealt with political rivalries and sexual intrigue. I'm married so I could handle it. I don't know if I would tell my mom to read it. By the end of the series, I was inking out the occasional foul language to spare the next reader.

    Have you read this series?

  7. What the snickerdoodle? Blogger ate my comment!

    I think it would be cool if the author could make the changes - give them some control over what their toned down book would look like.

    There are a lot of really well written books I don't recommend because the language is out of control. For one thing, two of my nephews read my blog. For another, If I wouldn't read the book again knowing what's in it, why would I recommend it?

  8. thanks for commenting guys- I think all kinds of interesting things will happen in the next few years, and some authors will be excited about the options, and some will only want to write one version of their book. Which I would understand.

    and Mrs. O- I haven't read that. Thanks for the recommend. And, um, you own those books, right? There was a hub bub a few months back about a library patron doing the same thing to the library's books. People were a bit upset;)