Writing Song of the Day: “If I Ruled the World” by Nas ftg. Lauren Hill
It’s time to go on another Road Trip with the lovely ladies of YA Highway. This week they ask: If you were made supreme ruler of of the publishing world, what would be your first ruling?
Quita and I had to do a lot of soul-searching for this question. In fact, the only power I’m used to is having control over the remote (yes, I do make Quita watch E! News Daily and other forms of celebrity gossip).
After a much heated debate that may or may not have included thumb wrestling, we finally decided our first ruling would be:
Thou shalt not give negative reviews due to foul language.
Apparently our reign requires Biblical jargon, but that’s besides the point. I’ve heard a few people buzz throughout the Internet that they’ve seen YA reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, and other websites where people bash the book because the teen characters *gasp* swore.
Next you’re going to tell us that they skip school, or smoke cigarettes, or *double gasp* have sex.
Let’s face reality. Not every adolescent is going to engage in the above activities, but it’s safe to say that many of them do. I work with middle schoolers, and I hear words from their mouths that would make our crazy, ex-con uncle even blush.
Adult readers need to realize that YA authors are simply reflecting the world around us through our characters. Not all of these characters will have potty mouths. In fact, I sounded like a dork whenever I tried to swear around my much cooler high school friends.
So sorry readers. Our characters will use profane language as long as it fits with the story. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to allow your kids to read it.
They’ll just hear it when they go to school the next day.