Profanity and sexualcontent


Echoes does not publish material containing gratuitous profanity, violence, or sexual content. Let us know what you think about this policy.

Some writers and readers argue that the use of profanity, violence, and explicit sexual descriptions are necessary for their story to be "authentic" or to accurately depict the way people really speak and act.

It may be accurate, but in our experience this type of language or scene rarely contributes much to development of character, story, or meaning -- and often interferes with the development of a good story or poem. And many readers, including some parents and schools, are sensitive about or offended by profanity and sexual content. This is not to say that there is no place for words that may be offensive, just that they should be used, when they contribute something important to understanding a character.

It is often argued that profanity and sexual references are common among students, but this doesn't make it good writing. Anyone can sprinkle their dialogue with gratuitous profanity or throw in a sex scene to spice things up or prove they know about such things. (In our experience, such scenes appear most often in stories and poetry by writers of college age.)

We think an artist has to know what to leave out just as much as what to include. A good writer would not feel obliged to include pages of boring or repetitive dialogue just because that is the way people sometimes speak!

It's important to remember that one of the main purposes of writing stories or poetry is to communicate something to readers. It is hard to communicate if the reader closes the book!

We want to know what you think! Send us your ideas on this subject and we'll publish them! (We reserve the right to edit for content and style.)

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page updated January 19,1998

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