Wednesday, October 6, 2021

IWSG~Line In The Sand

When I began writing and developing stories I leaned on what I knew best, what was most familiar to me, and what I was most knowledgeable about. In my case, that was children. With four of them, I had plenty of material to work with. Thus I began writing picture books - poorly, I might add. But it was a start. I didn't set limits on what themes or topics I chose to write about because I literally was writing from my experiences with my kiddos. Pretty innocent stuff.

But as I improved as a writer and became more read, I moved up the age scale into middle grade and young adult literature. That broadened, not only the age of my characters, but what could affect them in life, what problems they might encounter, and what goals they might develop.
Here's where I'll address today's optional IWSG question:
 In your writing, where do you draw the line, with either topics or language?

Keeping in mind my writing age group, my red line in the sand isn't as close or close-minded as you might think. I would welcome writing about many topics and themes, but I would only continue with a story if I felt well-informed on said topic/theme. My drawn line as far as language is another story. I'm not a fan of using slurs, demonizing or foul language for the sake of spiffing up a scene. However, if (and only IF) the story or character calls for it in reference to development and deepening then I will stretch my consideration some. But even then, I will only use what is essential and not a word more.
Feel free to answer this question in the comments. I'd love to know what your opinion is as both writers and readers.
 And if you'd like to read more answers to this question, feel free to click on this image.

Thank you for stopping by!


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  2. I like that you won't write about subjects you're not well informed about. I think we can write about things we don't know, but you do need to do your research. And I write for kids too, so my line is really, would I have let my own kids read this?

  3. Sounds like you have a solid grasp on your own writing style and choices.

  4. I agree about being more careful about language when writing MG and YA. But there is a broad range of topics that can be addressed in these stories.

  5. That's an excellent point--you wouldn't want to write about a certain topic or theme without doing your research.

  6. Hi Sheri,

    I am along the same lines as you. I WILL delve into topics many authors will not. At a young age, I was exposed to a lot and I learned from my experiences and tucked them away for future use as a writer. With language, both my parents were shall we say, expressive. Dad more, since he was an Army Sergeant. Mom, sadly, picked up a few of his expressions, but didn't use them as often. So, for me, I use them when needed because, sadly, they are a part of everyday life. On occasion, I have dropped a few myself when it came to my contractors NOT showing up. Lol

  7. I've not hit a place where I need intense language. I just hope to avoid that place altogether!

    1. I guess this is kind of true for me, too. I didn't think about it this way. And, like you, I'd rather avoid that arena all together!

  8. Hi Sheri - wise words ... we need to write as we feel: no more no less. That line in the sand is part of us, isn't it. Take care - and all the best - Hilary

  9. I say all the bad words (not necessarily out loud or within anyone's hearing) but most of my characters don't swear a lot unless it's part of their character. I remember hearing once that profanity is for when you can't think of anything more clever. Of course, when you're really pissed off it's hard to think and be clever, lol. I wouldn't say profanity is a red line, but my characters use it much more sparingly than I do!

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