6/2/17

Dear Writers, (Warning: This is a rant).

      
     Before we start, I want to say that this started out as a light-hearted rant, and it turned into a full-blown rant, and then it turned very serious. This is something that has been on my heart all week...


       Have you ever read a book that was good?

       No, I mean really, really, REALLY good! And while you're reading it, you're think something along the lines of this: This book is SO good, I'm going to recommended it to EVERYONE!
     And then you turn the page and the writer starts dropping f-bombs. And you're just sitting there like,
     Well, thank you, dear writer, now I won't recommended this book to half of the people I was thinking of!
        We all have that one book. *Cough, cough* The Fault in Our Stars...

         And look, I'm not going to tell any of you what's too much and too far in, err, swear words usage. Because we all have different views and lines to cross, but here's a clue, if it would embarrass you if your dad read it aloud to your whole family, maybe you should re-think...

         Okay, I know several of y'all right now are thinking, Gray! I write YA, it's not meant for my five year old sister!!!  Okay, fine. If you don't want your parents or grandma to read it, because of a some *cough* scenes, and some *cough, cough* words..

          Dear writers, (because this rant is directed towards you lovely folks!)

It does not make your book look cool if you drop the f-bomb or any other bombs for that matter! If your character flips off another character in your book, I'm not going to track you down to tell you how cool you are!

          And look, I'm glad you know how re-production works, I really am. But PLEASE, could you not, oh, I don't know, PUT A THOUSAND OVERLY GRAPHIC SEX SCENES IN YOUR BOOKS. Darlings, come here, come closer, let me tell you something very important... NO ONE WANTS TO READ YOUR PORN-TURNED-INTO-WORDS GARBAGE! *Gasps* I know, it's surprising!

          Seriously. Stop it. Get some help.



            And am I the only one who pictures John Green sitting at his computer like,



            "Finally I moved out! Now, I am no longer under their rules. I shall fill my books with profanities and swearing, and Momma can go bleep, bleep, bleep, herself!"?

           And then there's the glorifying things like alcohol and drugs, which, if you do this, I'm sorry, you're just stupid. THIS STUFF KILLS PEOPLE, IT SHATTERS PEOPLE'S LIVES, AND HERE YOU ARE GLORIFYING IT LIKE A COMPLETE IDIOT. Like, do you not realize how harmful this stuff is? Why are you calling it good or fun? Yeah, drugs look fun sometimes, but then when you open your eyes, you see it all. People passed out on sidewalks. People selling their bodies for crack. People with tracks on their arms-slaves to drugs. Children being taken away by CPS, because their parents loved a substance more than them. Don't you understand? This is reality. This is the harshest reality, and here you are, calling it good, like the blind child you are.

           So asides from the rant, let's address the true issue, us. I've noticed something, more and more teen writers are joining the dark side and writing sex scenes, swearing, and glorifying things like alcohol and drug abuse. And I just don't understand it at first, but then when I think about it, it hits me...

         They are trying to be relevant, to be cool, to be the hot stuff on the block. But close your eyes, and imagine a world where books are good and wholesome again. Where if books have to have swearing it is used correctly and the sex scenes are only subtle hints that honor the holiness of marriage, not the stupidness of adolescence. Where drugs and alcohol are called out for what they are, a demon in the form of glory. But most importantly, where the innocence and love of friendships flourish in the books.

         Doesn't that sound awesome? Guess what, we can make that dream a reality. We are the next generation. We are the next storytellers. We are the next bestselling authors. We don't have to follow their rules. Let's break them, and make new ones-better ones. Let's break the mold and the stereotype of teens being irresponsible people who can't do anything to change the world, because we can. And we will, whether it's for bad or good. I am tired of being silent. I am tired of letting stuff like this go. I am tired of being passive. It's time to make a change, but I can't do this alone, this is a call to arms.

      What if we started saying "no"?

      No, I will not push your agenda.
      No, I will not be cool by writing cuss words.
      No, I will not write your sex scenes.
      No, I will not write in a way that makes it normal and socially acceptable for teens to hate their family. 

No, I. Will. Not. 

       Dear world, dear writers, dear everyone,

I am a teenager. And I am doing what teens do best, I am rebelling.

Who's with me?



EDIT: 10/4/17

Due to the fact that this post is still getting over ten pageviews a day, I thought it would be important to announce to the newcomers that this rant up here ^ started a whole website. Check it out here, or go to www.rebelliouswriting.com

66 comments:

  1. I'm with you 100000000000%. I'm tired of having to be wary of books because they have smut. (That's what I call all of what you just described.) It's annoying to have characters cussing, doing inappropriate things, and other terrible stuff all to be relevant.

    I love rants and I think you're completely right about what you've said. As a reader, I'm tired of people writing this stuff and as a writer, I've chosen not to write this way. I chose to write something I would want to read. What's wrong with wholesomeness anyway?

    Never be afraid to speak your opinion and never hold back. I have a rant coming Monday that makes me a little nervous about the response I'll get.

    And I agree with you on how they like to glorify sinful lifestyles. It's come to a point where I try to research books that I would want to read and discover they aren't even at my library. We shouldn't have to do that. We should see a book cover and not by fooled by its innocent look. It should just be innocent.

    Wow, that was long. Sorry about that, lol. My point is you're right. Stick to your values no matter what. Great job. :)

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    1. Also, the gifs were a nice touch. Gotta love gifs and memes. :)

      Delete
    2. It's okay, I like long comments, it means people actually read my ramblings! I also love rants, because they are so real and freeing, so I'll be looking forward to yours. As you said, never be afraid to be yourself and state your opinions!

      And thank you, I figured it would be a little too ranty without at least two gifs!

      Delete
    3. Gifs make everything better, lol. I think I'm going to try and use memes and gifs sometimes, too. They just make things funny. :) I love rants, too. :)

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  2. I loved this. It was excellent and SO TRUE. That has happened way too many times for me and it makes me so mad. All these books that I get so excited about reading. And then they're like, "Oh, just FYI, it has language... but it's not excessive and it's quite necessary!"
    Me: I hate you.

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    1. Thanks! And I hate it when people say swearing is necessary, maybe it makes sense if it's a villain, but it doesn't make sense when it's every sentence.

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  3. Gray, girl, I SO agree! Made me smile, nod, and gasp :) at times. Thanks for this post, I hope others will rise to the challenge with us.

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    1. BTW, do you have a twitter or Instagram profile? I don't, but would love to "stalk" you if you don't mind!

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    2. Sadly, no. I hope to get one soon though!

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  4. Absolutely!!!! I can't stand sex scenes (even making out bothers me). Swear words are not much better. Totally agree with you, Gray!

    Catherine
    catherinesrebellingmuse.blogspot.com

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  5. I'm with you too, Gray! We should start a club. :) Fantastic post. I love that last line: "I am a teenager. And I am doing what teens do best, I am rebelling. Who's with me?" Thanks for this encouraging post. It certainly stirred my fire! *opens story and starts pounding away on the keys*

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    1. You're welcome, thanks for reading!

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  6. OH MY FLIPPING GOODNESS THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS. I have low-key ranted about this in two blog posts but man. Thank you. People need to realize this. I have wanted to read soooooooo many books but looked at content review like 'what even why'.
    It's really frustrating.

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    1. I know! It is very frustrating.

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  7. Thank you Gray girl! Thank you Gray Girl! *Fist pump* LET'S DO THIS!!!!!!!

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  8. Amen to that! Lol
    I hate it when perfectly good books\movies are ruined with dirty language, scenes, and garbage. I mean, i want a good book, not a bad seed planted in my mind. I mean, for goodness sakes. I agree totally with you. If you wouldn't feel comfortable reading it aloud to your closest friend\parent\grandparent (etc, etc.) then DON'T WRITE IT! Now, you may have a close person to you who....isn't exactly....doesn't care about dirty scenes and enjoys them....you need to ask yourself: "Will this glorify God? Will God like what I'm writing, and smile if he read it?" If not, you need to do some serious editing. Plus, you don't want to get the world's mind on dirty scenes\ideas.
    Please, Writer Friends, consider this.
    *Good post, Gray*

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  9. *raises hand* I'm with you, Gray.
    I have so many thoughts of this topic but none of them are coming out right now and you've basically said it all already so yeah. XD

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  10. *claps* I'm with you!
    If I ever write about drugs, alcohol, sex, etc. I make sure their consequences are shown, because there ARE consequences. And I never write super graphic descriptions; it's just really not necessary. I for one never want to read those scenes, so why should I write them?
    Thanks so much for this post! <3

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  11. Yes, I agree with you. It is very important to show the consequences according to your character's life choices.

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  12. I think the reason that swearing is included in some YA books is because writers are trying to portray "the realistic teen life." And it is true, that while not all teenagers curse, most of them do.

    However, I do agree that this is a problem when cursing, drugs, explicit sex scenes, etc. are glorified, and made to look like they are necessary things that you have to do.

    Anyway, you raised some really good points in this post, and I do agree that we definitely need some more wholesome books in YA. And I loved what you said at the end of your post, that it's our job to change things!

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    1. But that's one of the biggest issues, middle age authors hear a teen use a swear word, they think that's how all teens speak 24/7, they put swear words in every sentence, a teen reads it, and starts swearing as well because they suppose it's cool. The whole thing is de-sensitizing, a few years ago it was very frowned upon to put swearing in books, movies, music, etc. But now it is beyond normal, and it's also becoming beyond normal in real life because of the fact that books and media has made this the norm when it shouldn't be normal.
      It is our job to change things!

      Delete
  13. I agree! This is a really important reminder to writers of YA. It's kind of weird how all of these things are glorified, which does pressure teens into acting that way.

    - andrea at a surge of thunder

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    1. Yes, it is weird and very sad that this is how bad things become normal.

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  14. Preach it, Girl!!!!! I've been thinking about this A LOT lately, and it's terrible. We read this amazing book for school that we all loved, so we were like, "Hey! Let's check out some other books by this author." SO, we did, and what do ya know, the first page has the s-word in it. The f-bomb comes in later. There are several inappropriate scenes, also. I was horrified and also sad. How can someone write like that without feeling guilty?
    I've never wanted to put a swear word of inappropriate scene in my book, and I'v never even thought about it. By putting in things like that, you're just narrowing down the amount of people that your book can appeal to. :|

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    1. I can't stand it when stuff like that happens! It's always so sad and heartbreaking.

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  15. Yes yes yes. Loooove this.

    Hailey
    www.haileyhudson.wordpress.com

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  16. Thanks so much for writing this, Gray. If you don't mind, I think I'll try to start a sort of chain of bloggers plainly stating their beliefs about all the junk in books these days. Sort of like a tag. I think we can make this whole thing big. Who would be willing to write a blog post, social media post, or YouTube video about it? Gray, I'm going to write a post right now. Thanks for inspiring me.

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    1. No, I don't mind at all! That's awesome actually!! I know I would be willing to go all out for this.

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    2. I'd be willing. I'm not very big yet as I don't have many people following, but I wouldn't mind doing something about books these days.
      Gray, I think you started a movement. :D

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    3. I'm glad I started a movement, we need one.

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    4. Okay! I posted! Gray, can you ask your followers to write a post or something about this? I've wanted to make something go viral for a long time. WE GOT THIS!
      I suddenly feel the urge to develop a slogan.
      R-Rated Writing- Let's Rebel.
      Anti-Muck Society.

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    5. That's a great idea! I'll write a post about it and come up with some #.

      Delete
  17. YES! PREACH! I totally agree with here, Gray. I hate it when good books go bad it's like, "No! What are you doing? You were doing SO. WELL!" We don't need- actually, we SHOULDN'T be filling our heads with stuff like that!

    Thank you for doing this post. It's something that needs to be addressed.

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    1. Oh and by the way, I tagged you for the Sunshine Blogger Tag. :)

      http://gottahavecoffee.blogspot.com/2017/05/the-sunshine-blogger-tag.html

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  18. Would you mind if I make a reference to your post on my blog?

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  19. Preach, girl! I couldn't have said it better myself. And your little peek into John Green's mind -- hilarious! :D

    (I found your blog through MovieCritic's, btw, and I think this rebellion thing is a fantastic idea. Bravo! I am glad someone is bold enough to say what we are all thinking.)

    ~Elanor

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    1. Thanks! Sometimes I really do think that's what goes through those author's heads sometimes... :)

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  20. Great post, Gray! Like you mention, I think we all have different standards when it comes to content in books, but you have a really good point. I especially relate with the whole sex scenes point, but also when there's just a profusion of intense swearing and you're just reading like, " . . . What?" Yeah. :)

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    1. Thank you! And those things are so common in books for me, I'm not even surprised anymore, and that makes me a bit frustrated.

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  21. So I thought I posted a comment in your blog to tell you but for some reason it didn't show... I am not good with technology XD Anyway, wanted to let you know that I am following you and I agree with you in many things. I wanted to let you know that I am officially signing up *signs paper that's completely blank*
    Your newest recruit,
    Ry @ http://greenacresfarmgirlliving4god.blogspot.com/?m=1

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    1. Fantastic! Thank you for joining!!!

      Delete
  22. This is exactly what I have been feeling! More and more, it is harder to find YA authors that don't take the easy way out and just swear all the time instead of actually being creative with their vocabulary. And they make romance so instantly physical. There's just no depth to it. It's cheap entertainment, honestly. Teens need books that challenge them, that show them the power of being bold and courageous and kind. They need to be shown that sex does not equal love. Yes, YA books should be relatable, but more and more, teens' entertainment isn't reflecting them, they're reflecting it.

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    1. It is, and it's incredibly sad. I read so many books that have so much potential as a story, but the author ruins it with unneeded smut!

      I agree, as a teen I want to be challenged-to have plots that blow my mind. I want intelligence, and I think a lot more teens want that too than bestselling authors think.

      Anyways, I agree 10000% with this comment, thank you for reflecting my thoughts so well!

      And in case you don't know, this post actually started a website, which is www.rebelliouswriting.com, and I'm actually going to be doing a post talking about why I don't like swear words in YA in better detail, and we already have some really good posts up there, if you want to check it out!
      I don't know if you came from there or not, but just in case, I wanted to let you know. :)

      Delete
  23. I am with you and thrilled to find out there are young writers who want to change the course. Keep on, keeping on! I'm going to get some adults behind you!

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  24. Sign me up! I know; I'm late, but not late enough to start a-writing! Yeah! :D

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    1. WHOOP! It's never too late, we're glad to have you!!! In case you don't know, we actually have a website now, where you can learn more: www.rebelliouswriting.com

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  25. Dear Gray Marie

    You are absolutely right about this! There is way too much graphic content in books, TV and movies right now. They do it because they want to be the next big thing, and that stuff works. Unfortunately, people push the lines to the point where they basically don't exist anymore, all for a bit of publicity.

    In my opinion, a good example of this is Game of Thrones. The Night's Watch, The Wall, The White Walkers, The Seven Kingdoms, the world George R.R. Martin built is really really cool. But then he has to go and add all the gore, violence, sex and other concepts. I would love to read those books, except for all of the swearing and other bad things.

    You are right! We don't have to do this! We don't have to bend to someone's political agenda. We don't have to add curse words to be the next big thing! Harry Potter is one of the most successful book series of all time, and while the language can occasionally be a little crude (and Mrs. Weasly calls someone the B word) it's still extremely popular because of the story and characters. This book proves you don't need to be adult in all of your concepts. If your book is good, you won't need all of that.

    I am inspired by this post, and I will consider me part of the Rebellious Writing movement. My Dad and I have actually been thinking stuff like this for a while now. The world likes to push evil agenda, but we will not be part of it.

    Good luck with all of your writing!

    #RebelliousWriting

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    1. Thank you! And thanks for reading!! I agree adamantly about people pushing lines in books and media.

      I've never read The Game of Thrones, because of all those things, but I have read that the world building in it was exceptional, it's sad that they put those other elements.

      Thank you so much for joining! *hugs*

      In case you don't know, we actually have a website now, where you can learn more: www.rebelliouswriting.com :)

      Delete
  26. This is sooooo true and I'm with you 100% (don't know why I'm thinking of Horton Hears A Who now xD)

    I totally relate to the part where you're reading an amazing book and then something unpleasant....happens... It's very frustrating. And my thumb-rule of writing is not to write anything that I wouldn't want my parents to see, or anything that I would be ashamed if my future descendants read.

    Keep up the good work!
    Cecilia
    http://alooongtimeagoinagalaxyfarfaraway.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks! XD

      Yes, it is so frustrating. That's a good rule, I use that one too. :)

      Delete
  27. I found a link for your post on someone's blog, so I decided to give this a read. And my friend, I couldn't agree more.

    It's so hard for wholesomeness to be appealing anymore, and honestly I just don't see the appeal of... *throws arms up in exasperation* these supposed popular things.

    I saw a comment on this post (they go by Jolly, I believe), and yeah I guess swearing is a thing authors do to portray an authentic teenage persona. Which is something a lot of teens DO practice, but I think the problem is that these writing devices are overused to the point that swear words lose its potency... which leads to heavier use of use of these words lol.

    Intercourse, drug use, and all these things are really happening and ruining teens' lives. We can't ignore that fact, and I really think that if these situations are portrayed correctly, it would make for a very poignant and socially relevant piece of work. But just like what you said, writers tend to glorify such lifestyles, and it gives the wrong idea to vulnerable readers...

    With all that said, I just want more well-thought out stories focusing on the characters' growth as individuals rather than the grandeur of vices, please :( I'm definitely supporting you and this cause ❤

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    1. Cossette, you just explained why this movement was started, thank you!

      More well-thought out stories are certainly needed, and that's what Rebellious Writing is trying to inspire. <3

      Delete
  28. I like this post. I've seen a lot about Rebellious Writing on some other blogs, so I wanted to find the source lol.

    I do have one potentially unpopular opinion though. I think that there are times when certain cuss words are a little more excusable. Not that I'm pro-cussing (cause I'm not), but I do think that, you know, when the earth explodes "Dangit" doesn't really cut it lol. Also, the way I draw the line on how far is too much with language is that I don't write any words that I wouldn't say myself. So that means f-bombs, s-words, b-words, and the big ones are out of the picture. I try to use the lesser offensive cuss words if I need them.

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    1. Thanks! :)

      I sort of agree with your opinion, although I usually substitute swear words with phrases like, "he cursed," or "he swore".

      I do actually use a bit rougher words in real life, I don't think they're swear words, but some consider them mild swear words. So I honestly only am against the way harsher ones for the most part, although I'm not for taking God's name in vain. Also, I don't say "damn" because it relates to damning people to hell, and I think that's wrong. But I do get what you're saying and I semi agree, even though I do my best to keep my writing PG. :)

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    2. Yeah, if I want to imply harsher language I'll just use "she cursed" or something like that. Personally, I don't have a problem using the word damn as long as it's not in almost every other sentence. If it's just occasional, then I'm okay with it because if you have a character use it in a situation where something bad happened, but they aren't saying it about a person, then I think it's fine. But if it makes you uncomfortable than i applaud you for using other word choices. I like this movement and I'm happy that I've seen it so often cause we need better YA novels.

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    3. We do need better YA novels!

      And I think it's completely fine for you to use those words if you don't think there's anything wrong with them, swear words are often a matter of personal conviction, after all.

      Delete

Hi, wonderful human bean.
I am so happy that you took time out of your day to share your thoughts with me! :)
But please,
• Be kind • Be respectful • No swearing •
I will do my best to reply!

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