1. NaughtyNick
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    NaughtyNick Member

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    Swearing

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by NaughtyNick, Aug 9, 2011.

    I am almost at the end of my first draft. When I began I was determined to write a "clean" novel but as I have progressed it has become obvious that my characters, well one in particular, need to swear in order to become realistic. He is a pleasure seeking, hot headed rogue from the back streets of London and as such, I am thinking that his language should be occasionally fruity. The thing is, I am generally a bit uncomfortable with bad language. Has anyone else encounteerd this dilemma?

    Oddly, I have included a short sex scene which I wasn't looking forward to writing, but which went quite well.
     
  2. VM80
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    Lots of swearing threads around lately. Something in the water? :)

    I think you should do what you feel comfortable with. If it fits the character, then you could always experiment & see how you go. You can always delete them again, right?
     
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  3. Islander
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    You can use historically accurate swear words. Some of them may just sound strange instead of rude to a modern ear.

    If you're writing in a fantasy or science fiction setting, you can also make up your own swear words. Battlestar Galactica did this with success - they couldn't use the "f" word, so they replaced every instance of it with "frakking". The meaning was still perfectly clear.
     
  4. NaughtyNick
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    My book is set in the present. I originally set out to write a piece of lad-lit fiction but I am now aiming for a broader appeal. My only concern is that, should I get published, by including bad language I would alienate a section of potential readership. But I suppose its better to try and go for realism.

    I don't know why I feel strange about swearing and sex because I occasionally do both, often at the same time.
     
  5. VM80
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    I wouldn't worry about the alienation bit. You can't please all of the people, all of the time.
     
  6. Jessica_312
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    Some of my characters curse like sailors - just part of who they are LOL. I mean if it gets to where they're dropping the f-bomb every other word, that might be a little excessive for a reader to swallow. But other than that, just write it however you want :D I don't have issues with my characters swearing because I'm no stranger to swearing, myself ;) lol
     
  7. SeverinR
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    Some of my characters are sailors.:D

    I know people that would use a profanity in every sentence, I think as writers we can edit that out to make the point that they curse... alot.

    But profanity is apart of the real world and most fantasy worlds too.

    I think a hardened criminal saying friggin, heck, darn and dang would not be believable.

    "Give me your darn money,you friggin idiot, Heck, I'll shoot you."
    The dialog just isn't friggin believable.:D
     
  8. Fullmetal Xeno
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    I was kinda feeling the same way earlier on, but i decided to balance it out a bit. But the Sex scenes are a big nono for me. I never write them.
     
  9. Quezacotl
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    I've never had a problem swearing in my works. I simply write what I imagine to the best of my ability and should it contains swearing, so be it. There may be a better way to say it - a more "politically correct" way to say it - but it's the story as I see it.

    As for sex scenes, I'm more conservative. There's a time and a place for them, and few such times exist in my stories.
     
  10. WriterDude
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    Seinfeld did the same. I remember Elaine struggling with a "funky" matress, for instance. :D

    Anyway, if you don't feel comfortable with swear words, why not make up stuff on your own? It can be quite rude to say someone's mom was a hamster and their father smelled like elderberries. :D
     
  11. VM80
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    That may work for comedy, not sure about something a bit more serious though...
     
  12. Islander
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    Don't the back streets of London have any exotic swear words? I seem to remember there's slang in London that's nigh incomprehensible to anyone outside England.

    Now that's just rude to the ladies :p
     
  13. VM80
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    ^^
    Cockney rhyming slang? Yeah, they have some good stuff right there...
     
  14. Mckk
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    "Give me your money, you worthless piece of scum."

    How about the above? No swearing :D (and I'd delete the emphasis on "I'll shoot you" - if anything, that line breaks the illusion more than the curse words. It makes the threat redundant if you have to say it because it's as if your action doesn't look convincing enough to your victim)
     
  15. WriterDude
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    Not those words, perhaps, but the point was you can do far worse than getting creative. As long as the meaning is clear, it doesn't really matter what the words are. ;)


    Maybe it's just me, but I don't think I would take someone who said that to me very seriously. It's too common and make it sound like he's reading from a bad script. If you want to attack someone (or scare away an attacked), you should rather say what comes to mind, not "what everyone else says".
     
  16. Flashfire07
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    My advice on swearing would be keep it to a minimum, if it stands out from the rest of the dialogue I find one swear word can really drive home the mood of a character or scene.
     

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