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  1. RittenRemedy

    RittenRemedy New Member

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    Help me swear

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by RittenRemedy, May 24, 2017.

    Being a vet, I can swear like, well literally, a sailor. But, I swear like a Joe, not an upperclass professional like the character I want to do the swearing in this instance. He doesn't swear often, but I want to have it happen now for emphasis because the guy he's talking to keeps flip-flopping in a high stakes situation. It's not an insult, just blowing off steam for a second. If this weren't a scifi, I would use "Jesus Christ." However, I want to keep the feel a little more distanced from our world.
     
  2. Writeorflight

    Writeorflight Active Member

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    If your Sci-Fi world has a unique cultural accent/language, you could try incorporating that into your characters' cursing. Try replacing common exclamations for different versions that are more 'culturally' fitting. Perhaps your Sci-Fi world refers to "sh!t" as something else, like "Dung-Wad" (<- bad example). As long as the readers understand that it's something offensive or inappropriate in that world, you could replace our cursing language with almost anything else. I would suggest staying away from using un-offensive terms to create a seemingly offensive one, like my "Dung-Wad" for example. Maybe the culture says "Gerkshot" (<- completely made up) instead. If you're afraid of made-up terms not having an offensive effect, you can make other characters react in a shocked or offended way. Small gasps, wide eyes. Something like that.
     
  3. Comatoran

    Comatoran New Member

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    I'd suggest that, since you don't want to use Jesus Christ, you figure out what the culture's equivalent is, or what displaced Christianity (depending on the specific situation.) Like how in Harry Potter, because Christianity never really caught on in the Celtic wizards and their descendents, they say "Merlin's beard" or "Merlin's pants!" depending on intensity. Or in Babylon 5, the non-humans reference their own religious figures: "In Valen's name" or "By G'Quan" instead of "For God's sake." Or in the Foundation novels, they reference the semi-mythical founder of the Foundation.
     
  4. Ross O'Keefe

    Ross O'Keefe Member

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    Hi,

    I wonder if the problem with creating a curse that has cultural significance to your story, is that it's effect will be lost on your reader. How does one interpret blasphemy as an exclamation if you haven't adequately laid the ground work to ensure we 'get' that it's a replacement for 'Jesus Christ?'

    For me, a well timed 'F' word (or whatever) would be adequate, even in a Sci-Fi setting. The effect is going to come from the quality of your composition. Just how frustrated/emotional/out-of-control is your character getting that he/she would betray their own principles by letting out an expletive? How would we know we've gotten to this blow out, without being shown that this person is more well-to-do; a bit more composed; and conventionally inclined to articulate themselves better?

    I don't think it's about what you say, but more how you get us to that outburst that will have the most impact.

    - R
     
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  5. RittenRemedy

    RittenRemedy New Member

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    That was really good. 0_0
     
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  6. Ross O'Keefe

    Ross O'Keefe Member

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    Hi,

    I hope it helped :)

    - R
     
  7. Jane with dyslexic flag

    Jane with dyslexic flag Member

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    or how about "turkey" or "clown",< you may decide to put a "bloody" at the front of those or "what-a-feather-brain move", or mumbling "unbelievable", "sweet balls of fire", or "for Pete's sake", "now my foot is in it", "confound it", "what in tarnation"
     

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