Rule Y: You can’t avoid offending someone with your writing


Linda’s Rules of Writing

We’re onto the letter Y in Linda’s Rules of Writing of the A to Z Challenge, and You can’t avoid offending someone with your writing.

When I was writing with a cowriter, he asked a friend volunteer to read our novel in progress.  He told her it was a thriller set in Virginia during the Civil War.

She was a published writer, so it was kind of exciting because if she liked it, it would be a good referral.  She read 70 pages, and then gave back a 4 page critique that nitpicked the story to death.  I read it over and had set it aside for a few days.  It was scathing!  Her kindest words were “Your prose is clean.”  I read a few days later and immediately realized she’d hated the story and hadn’t known why.  So she’d picked it apart as justification.

A few months later, cowriter mentioned that the romance writer was vehemently anti-gun.  That explained a lot.

Civil War soldiers grapple with guns.
Seriously, it was Civil War. Did she think that we would leave out the guns?

You can’t avoid offending someone.  It’s simply part of being a writer.  Have you run into anyone you’ve offended for something in your story?


Caption: A to Z Challenge Logo