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No Profanity

By Lynn Hobbs

About a month ago, I tried to read a book where every other word from the main character was a curse word. Annoying? Yes. It distracted me from the story…and I really liked the story. More important, I admired the author. Excerpts from the book had been placed on social media for weeks. Momentum mounted. I looked forward to the release of this new novel, and I would give a review.

After the first chapter, the main character not only cursed but cursed God and did it often. I put the book down.

How can that author justify such dialogue in a book? Sins Secrets and Salvation

How can they be proud of such a book?

True, some have told me it is necessary for an accurate description of that particular character–a violent criminal spitting out foul language.

I disagree.

In my opinion, other descriptions can be used and still have the desired effect without cursing… and especially without cursing God.

For example:

In the first book of my Christian Fiction, Running Forward series; Sin, Secrets, and Salvation…you are introduced to Susan Penleigh: a Christian wife unequally yoked to a non-Christian husband. He belittles her in public, verbally abuses her, and is controlling with her life. He doesn’t need cursing to stay in character. His actions speak louder than cursing.

I want to encourage you as Christian authors to not feel pressured by others who add profanity.

Stay true to your beliefs.

I do.

You will never find profanity in any books I write.

Oh, back to that author I had admired before the latest book was released.
I did give a review.

It remained on Amazon for half a day, and later disappeared.

I described how difficult it was for me to get past all the vulgar language. I’d lay the book down, and later read another page–only to be shocked at the character cursing God again. I had to stop reading it. I gave an account of how I did enjoy the part of the story I could read.

No, I was not being a prude.

I gave an honest review.

The author received over thirty reviews on release day. Other readers gave the book five star reviews and went in depth congratulating the author…even going as far to state they couldn’t wait for more…possibly a series.

Secular readers and authors do not notice what stands out like a sore thumb to Christian readers and authors.

How sad.

We, as Christian authors must continue writing with values, morals and integrity.

Who knows…someday, someone could pick up a Christian novel and learn a new way to live, or believe, or receive hope where they have none?

We are God’s vessels, and I give Him the glory for my writing.

I always pray for direction before I begin writing.

I pray for others as well.

Maybe, by being an example and by having our writing as a tool, a secular author may decide profanity doesn’t sound right in their book after all.

Lynn HobbsLynn Hobbs is the author of the Running Forward Series: Sin, Secrets, and Salvation, River Town, and Hidden Creek, and won 1st place Religious Fiction in 2013, 2014 and 2015 by Texas Association of Authors.
Lillie, A Motherless Child won 1st place Biography 2016, TAA.
Her books are available on Amazon. She is currently writing a new Christian Fiction series. Meanwhile, visit Lynn on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and her website.

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4 Responses to No Profanity

  1. I agree 100% with you. It is never necessary to include profanity. One can simply describe the scene and say, “He swore” and the reader gets the idea the character is bad. If a writer describes violence, abuse, or whatever, it’s not necessary to furnish the accompanying language. I do not appreciate any book with swearing throughout. I will, however tolerate one or two curse words–though I note their presence in any review. I think Christian authors have a duty to their readers to keep their books clean. Your post is excellent!

  2. Lynn Hobbs says:

    Thank you, Lou Ann Keiser! I appreciate you taking time to express your views and agree with me on this important issue. Yes, I too think it is a Christian authors duty to the readers to keep their books clean. Thanks again, and I’m glad you enjoyed my post.

  3. To me, cursing is lazy writing. It takes a lot more effort to show grit than to curse.

  4. Lynn Hobbs says:

    Thank you, Patricia Bradley for your comment. I agree…cursing is lazy writing. It does take a lot more effort to show grit than to curse…and creates a story we want to continue reading.