1. Maxtina
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    Maxtina Banned

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    Help with a character's habit!

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Maxtina, Sep 4, 2009.

    Hi guys!
    I have a question! I know it sounds strange but one of my characters is a total foul mouthed! :D He’s actually a cop but is really extreme in expressing his words! The thing is that this is a part of his character and I can’t change it; I don’t want to! So how do I write whatever he says?! No changes? or putting "#@$..."? I don’t know!

    I’ve read good books that just write whatever the characters say in them! So, what do you think I should do?!
     
  2. DragonGrim
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    DragonGrim Contributing Member

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    What kind of audience do you want to write for? If it’s young adult fiction, it may not be appropriate. If it’s aimed at the horror genre, it’s probably fine. I don’t know, but mysteries are probably less likely to have that sort of thing.
     
  3. Maxtina
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    Maxtina Banned

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    It is mysteries but gets political underneath. he's a very nice guy actually. But he has this habit of swearing a lot... I don't want to take it from him! I don't know what to do!...
     
  4. DragonGrim
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    DragonGrim Contributing Member

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    Every character should have a negative. No one’s perfect, as they say. Does he have someone like a partner that can try to persuade him to clean up his act? It could be humorous, if that’s what you’re looking for
     
  5. Maxtina
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    Maxtina Banned

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    Oh Yes! His new partner tries because she doesn't know him well...! It IS humorous! His curses are mostly to joke or to make some one mad!
    You know, the story takes place in a city that most of its people are socially and financially poor; so there's a lot of cursing among some of them. But this guy is the only one among the main characters that is REALLY extreme...

    So, you think it's OK? because the language says a lot about the characters... You think it's ok?
     
  6. Syne
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    Syne Member

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    Clean up his act? Do you know how many times I say '****' every day? Do you know what I would say to someone who suggested I clean up my act? Nothing very nice, I'll tell you that.

    Cursing is a natural thing. Everyone (including age-inappropriate) does it and everyone will continue to do it. If you don't, you stand out; not the other way around. It's not necessarily humorous, it's actually refreshingly mundane. Unless you start going overboard.

    While the 'genre' of the story doesn't matter, the age group does. If it is young adult, you might need to replace the curse words with '****' (though I don't know much about age group categorization). If it's targeted at a mature audience, just lay it out there.

    Though, on the subject of going overboard, why don't you give us a juicy quote, so we'll understand what you mean?
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Always understate the foul language. Even if you think every sentence contains a swear word, cut back to one swear word every three or four sentences. You'll still get the idea across. You don't need a sledgehammer.
     
  8. Maxtina
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    Maxtina Banned

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    Best suggestion! Thank you very much!
     
  9. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Those phrases could easily be reworded without the swear words and still have the same effect.
     
  10. Maxtina
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    Maxtina Banned

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    Well that's what I’m thinking! My work is targeted to mature audience and we all curse. Some people are used to cursing ALL THE TIME! This guy is just who he is! He’s foulmouthed but not a thug or jerk. He’s even very religious! He’s a nice guy but is mostly misjudged because of this extreme habit of his.

    But Cogito is right, cutting back to one swear word every three or four sentences will still get the idea across!


    Ok, I’ll give you SOME quotes instead of one… Sorry for the language guys:redface:, just putting some quotes:

    “There’s no such thing as being a decent guy here. Everyone here sucks so badly, so people here expect you to just suck so ****ing bad, that when you do one thing right, they see you as a ****ing saint!”
    “They should have named you Schmuck, not Schmitt!”
    “WOW! Well **** you very much for the offer, but I don’t need your ****ty money!
    “Ok ****head, after I’m done with my talk, you’ll have exactly five seconds to tell me the name of the bastard who gave you the permission to shoot us or I swear to God I’ll cut your nose and ears off and poke them to your ass one by one, then make you **** them out one by one, got it?!”
    “That’s what I call a good partner; someone giving his partner one hell of an ass-whupping and then kiss and make up five minutes later!”
    “Watch your mouth youngster! If I hear you say these kind of ****s in this house again, I’m gonna make you read Shakespeare out loud for a month!”
    “Please God; please let me pop this mother****er’s head tonight or I can’t sleep for months!”
    “I think smart ass broke my nose! Hey Ryan! I’m gonna catch you on the street on your day off and I’ll smack that pretty nose of yours off your face on the street, you punk!”
    “Hey, just because I’m a cop doesn’t mean I can slaughter whoever I want and get away with it. Unless it’s a ****ing mob; then it ain’t the matter of 'what I can do' no more, it’s the matter of what the **** I WANT to do!”

    Stuff like this, not more extreme. Again really sorry for the language!:redface:

    I'm gonna cut back some like Cogito said!
     
  11. B-Gas
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    B-Gas Contributing Member

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    I ****ing know that **** like swearing really gets people ****ing going, but let's ****ing face it- ****ing swearing all the ****ing time just makes it ****ing boring, and it's a ****ing **** full of **** to read through. Each individual iteration of "****," "****" and "semprini" just ****ing makes things more ****ing difficult for the reader, and **** it, he's not going to ****ing take it for more than about a ****ing page before he ****ing loses it.

    Have the guy swear once, at a really bad time, and have that one time get him in real trouble- or, have him swear at what would seem to be a bad time and have everyone very definitely not notice. Point out the fact that no-one notices. You'll get the point across.
     
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