Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Favorite Passage

I hadn't done this lately. In my WIP:

“I feel bad for ruining his life,” Norm said.
I started hyperventilating.
“What?” Roger shrieked. “He had a hit out on all of us.”
“Just self-preservation,” Norm mumbled.
“I’ll preserve his—” and Roger used his Marine-vocabulary for a good fifty syllables.
“Are you through?” I asked.
Roger ratcheted his head to the left. I think his neck popped five times. “Meh.”


  1. In your books you swear. Does swearing make the book be a best sale?

    I cannot understand that. Years ago authors never swore. And the books sold. Can you give me your reason why you want to swear? Rather then not?

  2. You are a writing machine. I hope that Mar is nudging you for the next.

  3. Who is doing the hyperventilating? Norm feels bad and Roger is shrieking; is there a third person present?

  4. Thanks for sharing your WIP!

  5. Seeing Mac wanted to put this on his comment page.
    I am sure others would like how he explained his question back to me.

    I wrote an Author but he also coments my page. He writes harsh books. S o I asked him.
    Carol Henstra

    I cannot understand that. Years ago authors never swore. And the books sold. Can you give me your reason why you want to swear? Rather then not?

    His Answer below.
    He felt he gave me a reply back on my question. I did leave out some personal name not to mention. So I will share. Seeing he put my email up on his blog. Why not I. let him speak what he wrote to me. I am sure it becomes a conversation piece. Or do they say. Coffee conversation or tea time.

    Hi Carolann

    I don’t think ‘Roger used his Marine vocabulary’ counts for using adult language.

    My wife has never liked my books with colorful metaphors. I was raised a redneck, around cowboys, roughnecks, and pipeline workers, so I was quite the effort on her part. Four-letter words were part of me, and as normal as please and thank you to others. which I can’t say one way or another whether that has helped or weakened my stories.

    There are some genres and personalities that presenting them with Sunday-best vocabulary would be simply so out of place it would distance some readers. You can’t have a space captain saying please in the middle of a horrific battle, or a bounty hunter chasing down a low-life miscreant in 100-degree heat.

    Just as the writer has to give thought to the physical setting of every scene, to fit the story, so must he/she design a personality/speech that fits. No writer would use the F-bomb in a middle-grade story. But most readers would accept a really ticked off Marine dropping a few choice, adult words.

    I don’t write Christian literature. I think readers who dislike adult language probably keep that as their preferred reading. I write about real people. In my world, real people drop an occasional F-bomb and exclaim their disapproval with other four-letter words.

    A last thought. A lot has changed in literature as has our society. Little highly stylistic prose gets published today. Today’s reader has a shorter attention span and gets bored with a book with too much description. We are used to action and more action. Reality, and a little more reality. Hemingway nor Fitzgerald could get a manuscript picked up today as an aspiring author. Turn on prime time TV today and you’ll see brisker, coarser language than you could ever expect just ten years ago.

    I think there is room across the style spectrum. No two people’s taste is identical.

    I appreciate your note. (I may keep this for a blog post one day :)