When to Use Swear Words in your Writing

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Almira Torralba
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Re: When to Use Swear Words in your Writing

Postby Almira Torralba » Thu Oct 23, 2008 5:07 am

I usually use swear words (the more mild ones at least) when I have to either highlight the stress and pressure in a scene, or if my characters actually have it in them to cuss.

In my spiritual-writing, I have to admit, at least two of the major teenage characters curse a lot. I "allow" them to curse just to highlight not just their personas, but even how they change as they learn better to express themselves when under duress. It might be unusual for the genre, but I think it might work.

paladin1
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Re: When to Use Swear Words in your Writing

Postby paladin1 » Wed Dec 17, 2008 3:30 pm

I have my own personal rule when it comes to my writing. I never drop the F word and I try not to use anything stronger than "hell".

I use the word for some one who is fatherless when the situation calls for it. My work is not laced with cursing. I think it sounds better when

you say a character cursed or swore and that leaves it up to the reader to decide what the character might have said. But that's just me.

Francine

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TheProdigy2010
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RE: When to Use Swear Words in your Writing

Postby TheProdigy2010 » Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:12 pm

I was taught not to use swear words so in general, in my writings, it's very rare that you'll find swear words anywhere in there. However, now that my writing has matured quite a bit, I realize that depending on the character and his or her personality, it may involve swearing, it swearing it will be if that's the case.

L. Dalton
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RE: When to Use Swear Words in your Writing

Postby L. Dalton » Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:08 am

I do not use foul words in my writing with one exception. The word damn' and it's extensions occationally will arise in descirbing the effects on one moment or person. In many books I have read the language does not get any stronger than this. Personally, I find it isn't necessary to use foul language unless you are writing unspeakable characters.

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TheProdigy2010
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RE: When to Use Swear Words in your Writing

Postby TheProdigy2010 » Wed Feb 04, 2009 5:18 pm

Well, I was taught never to use swear words so in my general state of writing, swear words are practically never used. However, I intend to consider them more depending on the situation and what the character(s) is/are like. If the person(s) is the swearing type, then swear they be.

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mcedave
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Re: When to Use Swear Words in your Writing

Postby mcedave » Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:50 pm

I say never, but that's just my moral compass.

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AngelRoseDarke
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Re: When to Use Swear Words in your Writing

Postby AngelRoseDarke » Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:30 pm

I curse like a sailor. That's how I grew up. In my writing I use it when it's appropriate for the character. I may write a piece with no cussing at all, and then I may have a piece that is loaded with it.

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Re: When to Use Swear Words in your Writing

Postby RambleDown » Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:10 am

Sometimes ugly people say very ugly things. Hell, let's face it, sometimes pretty people say very ugly things. But as writers we sure would be doing these rascals a disservice by editing out their curse words because they're not so attractive to read.

Ever see or read Platoon? F-bombs all over the place in that script. Somehow, I don't think Oliver Stone would've captured the same feel of the American dogface had he written, "Sugar-chocolate-kisses, Barnes! I'm going to fudge you up!"

We can stop writing swear words when our characters and the world stop uttering them.

-Ramble

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restlessrick
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Re: When to Use Swear Words in your Writing

Postby restlessrick » Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:50 am

As a conservative Christian who attended a fairly strict Christian college, even today I only insert profanity into my stories after carefully thinking it over. Many I knew in the service, such as the drill sergeants and those who'd been in combat, had potty mouths. One sergeant I knew rarely spoke a sentence without putting in an f-bomb. Much of my wife's family uses profanity; one relative especially when they get angry. My editor at work also uses profanity.

The rule of thumb I use is this: if it's a Christian-themed story, I avoid direct use and instead of saying that John yelled "Give me the f****** box!" I would say, John swore and said "Give me the box!". Otherwise, if it's a secular theme, I might have more leeway.

I know I might anger family and those I knew at college when I say this, but the truth is we don't live in a vacuum. If you're out and about, you hear profanity frequently. I don't see how it's honest writing if you try to sanitize all swear words. While it might make your parents or clergy leaders happy, it will make for very choppy, cheasy dialogue.

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Re: When to Use Swear Words in your Writing

Postby Claryce » Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:45 pm

I agree with one of the older blogs in that I use foul language in my books the same way I use them in real life. I don't. Well, in real life if I'm really angry I may lose self-control at home and say a "bad word", but I have more control and time to chill out in writing.

I am always disappointed when I pick up a good book and get a long way into the story only to find the author begins to use foul language. A recent book I read could have been put in a church library but for the 'f-bomb' appearing 4 or 5 times.

Claryce

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