What offends you in writing?


As some of you may know, I’ve been working on a new novel. A spoof on the typical YA romance. You know the story; plain Jane quiet girl suddenly gets noticed by one or two super hot guys in the school and suddenly, they’re dating and all ends well. My version involves a girl who wears clown make-up on a daily basis and is chock full of melodramatic behavior, bad jokes and pratfalls. In short, it’s ridiculous, but hey it makes me laugh.

I was explaining it to a friend of mine recently who said, “Aren’t you worried you’re going to offend people, other writers with this?” My response was “Uhh no?”  It’s meant to be a joke. Are people offended by Pride and Prejudice and Zombies   or Sense and Sesibility and Sea Monsters ? If nothing else, it’s making fun of myself! My first novel, The Other Side has got it’s shy quiet unnoticed heroine who catches the attention of the cute captain of the tennis team and student body president. Tears of a Clown, the spoof in question, is supposed to be funny and make people laugh, like those spoof movies they put out all the time. It’s not meant to offend anyone or their stories or style of writing.  If someone doesn’t like it, I sure as hell won’t be putting a gun to their head to read it. I don’t even know that I’ll put it out there for the masses anyhow.

It got me thinking though. Are there books, writing styles, topics in the novels you read that offend you? Do you boycott an author if they write something that goes against your morals or sensibilities?  I honestly couldn’t think of anything I’ve been offended by, but I’m sure there’s something out there that would turn me off. I guess time will tell.


6 responses »

  1. I haven't come across a book that I found offensive yet either. It's just a book, as far as I know the author wasn't writing anything with the purpose of offending me or the readers.

  2. It's pretty hard to offend me…

    But I can get offended when reading fiction, if the authors political views are blatantly and obnoxiously obvious. And I tend to find radical (crazy) views to be offensive… For instance, I always found the Left Behind books to be extremely offensive (even though I only read the first).

    99% of books don't offend me – Characters in books never offend me… It's just that 1% of authors that do.

  3. Ya know what? I take it back that nothing has offended me…although offended is pretty strong a term. Turned me off and made me stop reading would be better. I'm talking about the Anita Blake books. I loved them and read the first 9 or so until they turned into more porn than plot line…and I don't mind sex in my books, but I don't need a sex scene every 3rd page.

  4. Sometimes it's not just a genre thing, I mean unless you're very religious and say GLBT books turn you off (although, it might help one to understand those types of people to read them, but I digress..). Sometimes I think it can be a particular author or even just one story they write that can effect someone.

    Take for example, Anne Rice. While her books have always been adult in content (Interview with a Vampire and that series had no shortage of sex scenes) if someone who enjoyed the vamp stuff came across her Fairytale related stories, which are in fact quite pornographic, I could see someone being offended by the detail she goes into. I'd probably just stay away from that particular series of books, but I'd still read and enjoy her other stuff.

  5. One of the things I like about Anne Rice's books is that her opinion has changed so much as she writes… and continues to change… in all of her books her characters play such a great “devils advocate” in the debates… I never felt like one side is represented – and one side is silent…

    As for sex scenes… they don't really offend me, but yes, they can be a turn off. I don't mind sex scenes (it's a part of life), but it's not my favourite thing to read about. Some classics have done a great job with sex scenes… others just throw them around to sell books.

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