Wednesday, January 24, 2018

GUEST POST FEATURING IVIE BROOKS: Clean Writing Doesn't Equal Censorship

I saw comments around the blogosphere a while back saying Rebellious Writing is censorship. This honestly frustrates me because I know that is the opposite of what Rebellious Writing is all about.

Let's take a look at the definition of censorship, which is as follows:

"The suppression or prohibition of any parts of books, films, news, etc. that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security."

First off, Rebellious Writing is a movement that does not have the power to stop anyone from writing these things. All they can do is spread the word and speak to the world about better writing. That's literally it.

From the amount of views and followers they've accumulated in such a short period of time, it seems to me that the message of #RebelliousWriting has resonated with a lot of people. These people feel the same way about what The Rebels have to say.

I've seen people say it is within their character's personality to curse. That can still be the case without actually putting those words in there.

But Ivie, my character's personality is to say those words. How is not putting the words in there showing his personality?

I'm glad you asked. Here's an example:

Tom and I made it to the mile marker. We ducked behind the red oak tree and I leaned up against it, panting. Tom was doubled over, just as breathless as I was. When he finally regained enough oxygen, he peeked around the tree. "I think we lost them."

I sighed. "Where do we go from here?"

Tom shrugged and began walking, but tripped over a large tree root that had found itself above the soil. A string of curse words came out of his mouth. I rolled my eyes and stepped over the root to pass him. "Stop being a baby and let's get going."

Tom obviously hurt himself when he fell over an unearthed tree root. His was cussing and the point of view (POV) character wasn't very phased by it. But, this was portrayed all without Tom actually ever saying the words, allowing the reader to fill in the blanks as needed. Readers like when their imagination is stretched.

Same thing goes for romantic and social situations. Far too often, you'll find YA has become more and more like Adult Fiction. The problem with this is that teens aren't mature enough to really know what they should and shouldn't be doing. By presenting these things in front of them, it confuses them.

I know we, as teens, have to learn the harsh realities of the world, but books often portray things like underage drinking, sleeping around, and doing drugs as okay. Sometimes, it's applauded.

This stuff does happen in life. But it can be shown in a way where consequences come along with an action.

Drinking underage could result in being arrested or lots of community service. Sleeping around could result in getting a disease or for females, teen pregnancy. Drugs can kill you prematurely.

A character can't be put into situations and not be changed or suffer consequences.

I'm not saying these things can't take place in books. I don't think The Rebels think that, either. What we, as those who support this movement, have come to agree on is we want to see things portrayed realistically.

A character doing drugs could suffer side effects. They can't just be smoking whatever they get their hands on and not experience anything. Something has to happen.

What The Rebels and all their supporters want to see is authors stop trying to normalize things that just are morally wrong. We want authors to show consequence to action. We want authors to be honest.

We want books that will break our hearts, make us cry, make us laugh, and leave an impact on us long after we reach "The End."

Meet the Orator:

Ivie Brooks is a Jesus loving, dragon riding, book reading, sweet tea drinking writer who wishes to portray life in all its ups and downs. Writing characters that have realistic feelings is important to her, as is making the story raw and vulnerable. Ivie lives in the south and is a southern girl at heart. She hopes to run a business of her own and be her own boss, all the while self-publishing books every few months. You can find Ivie at her website, and you can see her book reviews over at Goodreads.


  1. Ivie, I LOVE this post! I am so happy that Rebellious Writing was started, as it's something that I feel very strongly about. I love how you said that it's not about censorship, but it's about change and showing consequences of foolish actions.
    Great post!!

  2. AAHHH!!! WHAT IS THIS!!! Okay, totally weird to see my post on a different website and I LOVE IT!! Thanks, Rebels!! This means a lot to me. <3

  3. This was awesome! I definitely agree--I've had a lot of people ask me about censorship, and my short answer is that simply raising the standard is not censorship. But you did a great job writing a whole post on this. <3 Awesome to have you!

    1. I've seen people saying it and I just wish they would understand the point. If they want to still include that stuff, no one's stopping them. This is just about different standards.

  4. This is amazing! Thank you so much!!
    People seem to not understand the point of Rebellious Writing, which is to encourage writers to write well and clean. Thank you so much for writing about that! ❤

    1. All thanks go to y'all for giving me a chance! <3

      I'm so happy I got the point across. :)

  5. Well said, Ivie! Thanks for speaking out both on your blog and this blog.

  6. Wonderful, WONDERFUL post, Ivie!! I could not agree more. :D Thank you so much for guest-posting! <3

  7. I LOVE this post, Ivie!!

    I would see why people would argue that Rebellious Writing would be considered some kind of censorship - especially when it comes to obscenity. (I personally think that obscenity, in both words and actions, should be censored no matter what).

    I love that you put a story example up. It explains the concept so much better than us trying to explain it via words.

    It's scary how much YA is blending into Adult, and MG is blending into YA. Something that I don't like one itty bitty bit.

    Thank you so much for guest-posting, Ivie!!


    1. Yeah, I know why they confuse it as such, but I know y'all have no intention of censoring people. We all have free speech. But YA shouldn't creep into MG. Same goes for erotica creeping into YA.

  8. THIS POST IS AMAZING! So true! :D

  9. Replies
    1. and your post :D

      I mean, yep, reality should be portrayed ... but as REALITY. Like, with all its consequences and so forth and so on ... and I believe there's a difference with wrong shown as wrong and wrong shown as right so ...

      I was thinking lately that if the public in the days of the Brontes saw what was being published for YA now they'd all die of a heart attack bc they thought the things written by the Brontes in those days were going too far and yet they were like 5 times cleaner than average YA these days lol XD

    2. Thank you! It is a variant form of what might go on the back of my books, replacing author with writer since I haven't published yet.

      Thanks!! Yes, there's so many classics considered going to far that are very clean now.

  10. This is a great post, Ivie! Even if we think something is bad, when we read it again and again, we will get used to it, and eventually stop thinking it's quite so bad. So people will start thinking that drinking or drugs or whatever is not as bad as it sounds.

    Books are extremely influential, for good or for bad. And we have to watch what we are reading.

    1. Thanks!! Just like when we hang out with a group of people, we will eventually change to be like them, good or bad. We have to be careful what we're putting in our heads.

  11. Incredible, incredible post Ivie <333 Your words hit the spot.

  12. Ivie! Thank you so much for all the support! This post is excellent! Thank you for your words!!!!!!! <3