So far, my blogging through the alphabet has been a challenge--as it's supposed to be. I've dealt with home renovation, deadlines and illness. Still dealing with some of it. But, others who are doing the same.. Please support the bloggers of the #AtoZchallenge by visiting, sharing or commenting. It's fun!
Today we're using the letter G. And my word is a little touchy for writers. Everyone has opinions about authentic bad guys and how dialogue makes them real. I think real might be in the eyes (and ears) of the reader. And the author who uses an abundance of profanity is kidding himself into thinking he's adding authenticity.
I interviewed and wrote an article on Steven James, a best selling award-winning, Christian thriller writer who is quite the storyteller. Talk about authentic characters! They're chilling, and he doesn't toss any profanity into their mouths. Sometimes reviews say he's a little too graphic, but his dedicated fans argue that his graphic murder scenes are true to his stories. Violent reads with no profanity. Can you imagine?
I'm sure some of you can't imagine. Many of my writer friends argue this point with me, but when there's no profanity, yet readers are chilled to the bone, can't sleep at night or have nightmares, I believe the skill of the author is obviously noticeable.
You 're probably wondering when I'll get to my G-word. Well, I won't write it, but I hate it when authors sprinkle God's name in vain throughout their books. As if that really adds anything to the mix. Nora Roberts curses liberally though for the life of me, I can't understand why. It adds nothing. In fact, it yanks me out of the story because it seems so unnatural for these wonderful characters I'm reading about. The three heroes use profanity continuously, for no good reason, as does their mother. I think it makes them all sound alike.
But the main point is that when we take God's name in vain, we're breaking one of His commandments.
Exodus 20:7 states:
"Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain." - King James Version (KJV)
If that isn't clear enough, then see what The Message says:
No using the name of God, your God, in curses or silly banter; God won’t put up with the irreverent use of his name.
Authors who take God's name liberally are treading on dangerous ground, every time their books are read. Their words of profanity, God's name taken in vain, are being repeated over and over again, slamming into the minds and hearts of readers everywhere. Is that causing someone to stumble?
I don't know about you, but I don't want any sins trailing behind me.