No news is good news: The last News of the World rolls off the press

So, it’s finally gone : read all about it.

Good riddance most will say. What happened with the phone hacking scandal has left most decent human beings cold. Unforgivable.

But let’s not pretend here. We all know that the NOTW will re-appear within a matter of weeks. Whether it be under the guise of The Sun extended to weekend editions or re-branded under another name, you can bet your last quid that it will re-emerge like the proverbial bad penny.

And after a few months, despite all the promises, people will buy it again. Fact.

Why are we so fickle?

What makes us fall under the hypnotic spell the media casts?

We believe everything we read right? We must do.

Do you know how many comments in reviews and negative emails we have had about Sugar & Spice?

A lot.

Let me just set the record straight here guys:

It is a work of fiction.

No, not all coppers are bent and most social workers are hard-working, decent people who truly have their charges’ welfare at heart. I get it.

It wouldn’t have made for a very interesting story though would it?

Oh and there was Baby P and 25 other children, failed by the system.

Not to mention those that ‘failed to spot’ Ian Huntley as a risk to children.

I could go on.

So, where do you draw the line with regards to writing fiction? Some people have suggested that we are actually asking readers to feel sorry for paedophiles. One reader (who’s review was subsequently removed by Amazon) even went as far as to say that we were condoning it!

I talk to other writers all the time and I often see them questioning themselves and their characters or actions.

Is there too much swearing in my book?

Should I tone the scene where my bad guy disembowels his mother with a garden trowel?

Is that rape scene too much?

I got news for you folks: life ain’t nice. People ain’t nice.

Good people have bad things happen to them. Bad people have good things happen to them.

Don’t shoot the messenger.

It’s a bit like the ability to turn off a programme you don’t like or hit the red ‘standby’ button on your remote if you’re disgusted at a show.

You can always choose not to read the book.

But if you do, before you rush to power up your PC and send a ‘strongly worded letter of complaint’ or write a scathing review about how disturbed you were at a book, just remember: you have the choice.

That’s the beauty of the world we live in, even if sometimes, it isn’t a nice place.

Saffi (not a monster, just a writer)

Leave a comment


  1. Preach it, sister!

    If you want a book written to your own standards of… whatever… write your own. But a book that’s only pretty isn’t going to be very realistic. Or interesting. You need the ugly and the pretty. It’s a yin yang thing.

    As for the swearing, I’ve seen those posts on KB. Should I have swearing? Can’t you do without swearing?

    Well, what would your CHARACTER do? Not you, your character. I have on character who swears a lot and another not at all. Because that is who THEY are. Not who I am.

    If you’re gonna write about a sailor, better make sure he swears like one. 😉

    • I’m with you there, sister! 😉

      I can just imagine The Huntsman standing over someone with a gun in his hand, about to spread their brains all over the walls and saying, “Right, you’re for it, Mister!”

  2. Just read the header about the ‘News of the World’, it came back under a different name and while reading through the rest of the post, you mentioned a real life crime (with a Grimsby connection), a notorious red top with links to the NOTW, the same one that used the despicable ‘Gotcha’ headline during the Falklands conflict, the same one that printed malicious lies about Elton John, the same one that wrongly accused Liverpool fans of looting the pockets of dead people at Hillsborough and urinating on the pitch is actually paying the brother of a child killer to serialise his book (if he had anything to say why wait 10 years?), I wouldn’t worry too much about criticism of fiction when these back street hacks are cashing in on real life misery.


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