I redid The Navigators recently.
I took out the swear words and the sex scenes.
There were a LOT of swear words. Like, the F word appeared 50 (okay, 70) times! And a lot of other swear words appeared almost as much. I had a collage-age character who cussed a lot, and his friends cussed when they got excited.
I wrote it that way because I cussed a lot at that age. A friend read it recently and said it would probably sell better without all the swear words. I shrugged off her advice – for a while – but it was in the back of my head, taunting me.
Then I watched some movies.
Star Wars has very little cussing.
Harry Potter has very little cussing.
Jurassic Park has very little cussing.
Most of my favorite movies have very little cussing (although Goodfellas makes up for what Jurassic Park doesn’t have in the cussing department, as does Scarface). But as always, the great storytellers of our time were trying to teach me something. I just had to listen to the lesson.
I was at an event with kids recently, from college age through grade school, and they all wanted to read the cool time travel adventure, and time after time I told them no because it has lots of bad words.
Then I thought,
if Stephen Spielberg and George Lucas and JK Rowling can tell stories that the whole world enjoys without cuss words in them, then so can I.
And I did. My next book, Double Blind, a murder mystery, has none. You won’t notice it’s missing, either.
The stuff I redid in The Navigators made it better. The cussing was something I did a lot of at that age, but it was extraneous in the book – and for me at that age.
A good story doesn’t need a crutch like cussing. And it will appeal to a wider audience, too. So there’s that. I’m all about the sales, gang.
So, I need a few volunteers to read The redone version of The Navigators and make sure I didn’t miss any cuss words or sex scenes.
I’ll send you a free ARC copy to read; you report back. Maybe leave a review if you like it – which you will.
Contact me and let’s get started.
While we are at it, do we need a new cover for Navs? Comment below and let me know!