Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Question for you

Author friend Jill Shalvis and I had a discussion last week and as a result, I decided to ask here for readers' opinions. It's a subject that romance readers will likely be familiar with but I'm not so certain you would openly discuss it w/fellow readers. It has become commonplace for romance authors to use terminology that used to be seen mostly in more erotic writings - clit, cock, pussy, dick ... You get the picture. (I hope this doesn't knock me into an 18/older blog status! lol)
We're hopeful that you'll share your honest opinions. Are you shocked to see them? More surprised to NOT see them these days? Do you associate these words with particular authors? Jill does not use these particular words and I still find her books very heated and sensual and I think those of you who read her work will agree. Of the other authors you can think of who DO NOT use these words, do you think of them as being old fashioned or not quite keeping with the program? Or, do you think some veteran authors are using them just because everyone else is?
You can be as Chatty, as blunt, or as vague as you wish, but we are very interested in your opinions. Feel free to answer anonymously if you're shy. And please send your friends - the more opinions, the better!
Thanks, ladies!
Laurie (and Jill)

19 comments:

Jill Sorenson said...

I've never noticed a lack of heat in Jill Shalvis's books! I like graphic language, but it really depends on the author, story, characters etc. Sometimes dirty talk can be really hot. Other times it can suck the sensuality right out of the scene.

A skilled author can use any number of words to get the same point across...

scarlettspace said...

I agree with Jill. I'm not shocked at all when I come across those words but if they are used right not for sensational value alone. I also agree that some authors make me downright blush without using any of those words at all.

scarlettspace said...

I agree with Jill. I'm not shocked at all when I come across those words but if they are used right not for sensational value alone. I also agree that some authors make me downright blush without using any of those words at all.

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Laurie -

I think it depends on the character. Would the character - given the time period and education - be more likely to call a spade a spade - or would they call it a "blooming stalk" (grin). I must admit with my Catholic "good girl" upbringing I have difficulty typing some graphic words. Fortunately in my time period there's an abundance of euphanisms that get the job done.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jill. It depends on the characters, the scene and the storyline. I love Nora and Elizabeth Lowell and they write love scenes that are really hot and don't use those words. I write more erotic romance and use the words I feel are appropriate for the story...sometimes those words, sometimes the correct term.
Morgan Malone

Lisa F. said...

I've read books that didn't use the more explicit words and books that did use them.

To me, it's more important that the words fit the scene. I recently read a favorite author, and everytime the heroine used one of the more explicit words the scene just stopped flowing for me. Her character just didn't fit with the explicitness. Her dialogue just sounded stilted.

Virginia said...

To be honest I can take the langage or leave it. If the book has it I read and go on if it doesn't thats ok too. Can say I pay a lot of attention one way or the other. Its kind of a fact of life and you here it everywhere.

krisgils33 said...

The words don't bother me at all, it's the context they're used in. If a virginal schoolmarm is dropping an f-bomb it's going to annoy me because it's totally out of place. (an exaggeration, but you know what i mean) i also think that you can get the same level of "heat" by inferring things and not necessarily using blunt language, which goes back to the skill of the writer to convey the appropriate meaning.

Hope said...

I agree with Kris...The words don't bug me, sometimes they excite me, especially when put in the right context. I also agree, that using a swear word, for the sake of swearing kinda bugs me though.

Rosie Lane said...

They work better for me in the dialogue that the main text. A scene that is absolutely laden with them will make me roll my eyes, but used in moderation, fine. I've read scenes that smoked without them, so I don't think they are necessary.

Alison said...

I think I'm in agreement with most everyone in that the words don't bother me. I do expect to see more explicit words in contemporary books, than I do in historicals, because people didn't speak the same way back then that they do now. It also for me depends on the character. Overall,I think over use of any word or phrase gets annoying.

lushbookreviews said...

Dirty :-)

Jodi said...

Most of the time the words don't bother me. Anymore, I expect to see them more in erotic stories. In more "mainstream" stories, I find that most of the time it's annoying and distracting. But, I think that has to do with my upbringing!

Cybercliper said...

It doesn't shock me to see those word choices, but they do have to fit with the story. Character personalities and time periods have a lot to do with how or if those types of words are used.

alinaduffer said...

Hi Laurie and Jill! I think I am with most everyone else, the words don't bother me as long as they are used right. Its the same with curse words for me. It drives me crazy to read a story with a Marine or other military man where they say things like oh darn or golly gee. Marines curse a lot, I know cause I was raised by one and I married one, lol! So like I said as long as the words fit the story by all means, have at it, lol!

Have a wonderful day!!

Sheree said...

It all depends on the time period and the characters. About the only word that raises an eyebrow nowadays is the c-word, which can be used appropriately at times as well.

Anonymous said...

I agree with what the rest of the commenters are saying. Depending on the time period of the book,and who the characters are, the language doesn't really bother me. For instance, the language/euphemisms in a BDSM novel, and that in a Regency romance is probably going to differ significantly

Emily said...

I concur with many of the above posters. It depends on the character and the plot. If the character is prone to use more explicit language in everyday dialogue, then I would practically expect it to come up in an erotic scene. Even then, I'm shocked to see/read it because of how sheltered I've been as a teen and adult. :)

I found your blog through one of Jill Shalvis' tweets. She's definately an author whose sensual scenes stimulate without using explicit language.

Booklover1335 said...

I love Jill's romances and in fact just got done reading Animal Magnestism which I thought was very hawt for a mainstream contemporary romance. To be honest those terms don't bother me in either historical or contemp romance and I didn't even realize the terminology that Jill used (or didn't use) when reading her story.

It's not a prerequisite for me, but the one thing I don't like is when contemp authors use terminology that belongs more to a historical romance (i.e. member). Obviously you can right a steamy romance without using the terms you described since Jill has done so successfully (IMO).