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Cussing in YA. What are your thoughts?
Alison: I have absolutely no problem with cussing in YA, as long as it’s natural to the character and to the story. In fact, I get annoyed if the author holds back.
Cambria: As long as it's not gratuitous and true to the character, I'm totally okay with it. TEENS SWEAR. Adults should realize this. Or if a teen chooses not swear, that's fine. But I guarantee you they know the words. It always aggravates me when school boards or uptight parents want to ban a book because it has curse words or sex or drugs. Whether we like it or not, teens are going to learn about this stuff. I'd much rather have it be while they're reading a good book.
Sara: Yeah, basically the same as what everyone else has said! I also like the impact a cuss word has from a character who doesn’t usually swear…
Alexandra: It didn't bother me when I was a teen and it doesn't bother me now. As long as it's not gratuitous (and there's gratuitous cussing in adult books, too) and true to the characters, I don't think it's a big deal. Teens know the words already, and if they're not comfortable reading something with cussing, there are lots of options without it. I would trust a high school student to choose whether or not she's comfortable reading a book with cussing in it.
Katy: I like characters to feel authentic. If that means they have to swear, then so be it. Lots of teens swear, and it sucks to be pulled out of a story because a character who's supposed to be badass says something like, "Oh, darn it!" At the same time, I've read plenty of YA books that have gotten around the swearing issue creatively and successfully. I think authors have to write what they're comfortable with, while staying true to their characters. Easy, right? ;)
Jessica: I think teens cuss. I lot. In fact, I know they do, because I am around them all day long and I hear it everywhere I turn. My walk from my classroom to the office is like walking through a crowd of the most vulgar sailors you can imagine. So I don't really bat an eye when I see it in YA books, and as a writer I'm really struggling with it because it seems so natural for my some of my characters, but I really can't be as free with it as actual teens are.
Copil: I don't @#$!ing mind. Just be sure it's appropriate for the !@#$ing story, you @#$!ing @#%$!
Karen: It doesn't bother me as long as the language is true to the character.
Matt: For me, YA is not being honest with itself unless characters are swearing and thinking about sex a lot (because that was me as a teen), but really the key I think is being true to the character.