While I don't directly use the "F-bomb" I do use mostly realistic language in my YAs. Teens can detect a liar from a million miles away, and they need to be able to trust that your main character (or you) isn't one. You can't do that and sound like a self-censoring adult. However, I don't feel comfortable going beyond what PG13 allows. I'm not writing for an R-audience restricted to those age 17 and up; I'm writing for teens. It's a tough balance to find, between what's realistic and what's appropriate. I know I won't be able to please everyone, but I do hope I'll find an audience who are looking for that exact balance.The truth is that the PG13 rating is a bit more lenient than I am, as it will allow a single use of the "F-bomb." There's just one in the PG13-rated movie "Freedom Writers." I won't do that, but I will use mild swear words, the kind allowed on network PG shows, like "Everybody Loves Raymond."
Hi Shevi, It's definitely a fine line, and as you point out, your characters need to be believable to teens. Laurie
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