Literary License

I, for one, like literary license, but the key to good writing is moderation. I have no problem with freaking, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a problem with the word f–k, but mother f–ker is way too far out there for me. While I have said these words in the past, I no longer need to use them in conversation when a finger will do just as well.

My first novel, “Evil in the Mirror,” was void of the word f–k, as was my second, “Day Stalker” and third, “The Phoenix Code.” There really was no need to use the F word; the murder and sex scenes were nasty enough without totally alienating my reading audience with tasteless language.

When I first sat down to write “Evil in the Mirror,” I wanted it to be authentic, even though it was to be a fiction novel. I thought back to 1968 Tucson, Arizona, and realized that F words and the such were not really used that much. We were in the middle of the peace movement and terms like groovy, right on and sock it to me were much more common. Of course the police department didn’t use those hippy types of words while on duty; they were reserved for off-duty hours.

In any case, the absence of the F word in my work did not diminish the validity of the horror perpetrated by my bad guys. I was able to shock and scare the hell out of my readers while not using foul language. The reviews on Amazon have terms like dark, disturbing, evil and scary page turner; let’s face it – that is the stuff of good murder mysteries.

While there is no doubt that I am using this blog to plug my books, the more important message is that over-used literary license can kill a book dead (pun intended). In my humble opinion, the best authors take the time to write skillfully enough not to have to use fillers to make a publisher happy or trick someone into buying the book because it has gobs of pages. It’s hard to believe, but there are some readers out there who think they get a better deal if they buy books by the pound.

Short, sweet and to the point is my motto; unless it’s sadistic BTK stuff (which I don’t write about). Death does not take much longer than making love – although some women would dispute my claim.

I’m just saying,



8 responses »

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