Swearing in young adult fiction

When you read a swearword in a young adult book, are you surprised? Or have you come to expect foul language?

I know when I was a teen, it was unheard of for there to be swearing in YA books, unless they were really edgy. Now, I don’t even blink if there’s swearing. I’ve kept it out of my books for the most part, though that was mostly because my editors insisted. In my next series, there’s a chance I might let the swearwords fly.

So, I guess that makes this a two part question. What do you think of swearing in books? And, what do you think of an author who previously had no swearing in their books and later swears away (in a separate series)?


3 Responses to “Swearing in young adult fiction

  • I feel its within reason. If within the same series it occasionally pops up its okay. Also, if you have more in a separate series its okay but somehow the author needs to tell the reader about the increase in language in an indirect or way. Many young students read books above their age group and parents need to have an idea of what they are exposured to outside of school.

  • Carolyn
    7 years ago

    It depends on the story. My book has limited swearing in it, because my main female character is kind of a goody-two-shoes, and the story is mostly from her point of view. Plus there’s a part that takes place in another world, so some curse words we have probably don’t exist there.

    If you have a modern story with an outgoing hero/heroine who likes to curse, I say why not?

  • Carolyn
    7 years ago

    I’m the same as you, Christina~ The YA books I read as a teen had little swearing in them. I’m not familiar with a lot of the ones that come out now.

    I realize I didn’t answer the second part of the question too. I personally have no problem with it, once I get used to the change. Books don’t have a strong rating system like movies and video games, so I agree with Nancy in that parents just have to be aware of what their kids are exposed to.

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