#IWSG: Drawing the Line

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. It’s an opportunity to talk about doubts and fears you have conquered. To discuss your struggles and triumphs and to offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.


October 6 question – In your writing, where do you draw the line, with either topics or language?

In real life, I swear a fair bit – yet I don’t when I write. I could suggest that’s because writing is a more thoughtful process and so there’s time to come up with a wider vocabulary to express myself – but, in truth, I’ve made a conscious choice not to. There are many things which can take a reader out of the story, so why not exclude something which is known to cause offence and is easy to avoid. I’ve read books – mostly set in the future – where words are clearly used in the same way as I swear. The difference is those words have no meaning to us in the here and now, and so are unlikely to cause offence. I have to say, I particularly admire this technique 😉

In terms of subject matter, we made a decision on this website to exclude anything which would be regarded as NSFW (not safe for work). In my off-site writing, I’d not made a similar decision but, when working on a series of short stories about love based upon one-liners sent in to a competition, I’ve found myself skipping over the one which would be overtly sexual in nature – even though my intended take on the prompt is light-hearted and humorous. The Bad Sex in Fiction award is enough to make me extremely cautious and so likely to avoid that particular genre… unless using a nom de plume 😉 I’m also not drawn to anything containing depictions of extreme violence or abuse – either as a writer or a reader. That said, one of the best books I’ve read contained both, but as they’re not topics I seek out, I feel I’m unlikely to write anything where they feature.

Finally, can I put in a plea to the large number of you using the Blogger platform. Please consider setting your comments to include Name/URL, otherwise the demise of Google+ means those not on Blogger are unable to fully participate in this blog hop with you.

The awesome co-hosts this month are are Jemima Pitt, J Lenni Dorner, Cathrina Constantine, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, and Mary Aalgaard – do take a moment to visit them.


While you’re here, can I tempt you with a #FlashFiction prompt?

Every month, we run a different #FF prompt and this month it’s about a hitman for hire, but with one twist – your clients are all supernatural. Your business motto is “… because ghosts need revenge too.” Tell us your story, or tell us their story.

If you’re inspired to give this a go, you can get full details here.


© Debra Carey, 2021

Author: debscarey

Tweets @debsdespatches My personal blog is Debs Despatches, where I ramble on a variety of topics. I write fiction on co-hosted site Fiction Can Be Fun, where my #IWSG reflections can be found; and my Life Coaching business is Caring Coaching.

5 thoughts on “#IWSG: Drawing the Line”

  1. I generally steer clear of curse words in my writing. It’s not that I have a rule against them or anything. It just feels unnatural, for some reason, whenever I try to put one of those words into one of my stories. So I end up having the narrator say such and such character “muttered a curse,” or something like that, and I leave the actual curse word up to the reader’s imagination.

    Liked by 2 people

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