Who’s your audience?
I read a great blog post by Janet Sketchley, entitled “What’s in the Heart.” I strongly recommend you follow the link (click on her name) and read it too.
It made me think about the books I read, but even more so about those I write.
Personally, and I don’t mean to offend anyone, but regardless how great a story is, I simply can’t enjoy a book when it contains coarse language. I enjoy it even less when the writer misuses the name of God throughout. His Name is Holy and should only be used that way. I’ve deleted several books from my Kindle for that very reason.
Our local Christian radio station says: “What’s in your radio goes into your ears, into your heart, and into your mind.” Shouldn’t it be the same for what we read? Does it matter, since we didn’t ‘write’ these words? To me, it does.
But what if we turn this around? What about the words we write? Does it matter what we tell our audience? After all, who is our audience that we should be mindful of what we tell them? In Proverbs 21:23, God’s word tells us: “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.”
When I wrote Stella’s Plea, someone told me, regarding the cops and ‘bad guys’ in my novel: “Tough guys are supposed to swear.”
Huh? Really? Perhaps they do, but with all due respect, I must disagree with the fact that these words must be included in the pages of our novels. I’ve read fine Christian novels where the person swears but it’s not spelled out.
In his novels, when wanting to show his readers the character swore, Christian author Jerry B. Jenkins simply says: He swore. Some authors might add under his breath or something along that line. But it’s sufficient to show readers the character is angry, upset, etc. and it describes the action.
In the third chapter of the book of James, we read about the taming the tongue, though it says in verse 8: no human being can tame the tongue.
The dictionary is filled with four-letter words. Why use the offensive ones?
My audience begins with God. Who’s yours?