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  1. General Daedalus

    General Daedalus Active Member

    Jul 15, 2015
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    Profanity and sex

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by General Daedalus, Jul 27, 2015.


    So, long story short, I'm writing a novel (aren't we all?). And I'm now around 16000 words into it, and I've used quite some profanity. I really think I'm onto something here, though, and while I know that everyone thinks that about their own work, I'm writing a very compelling and allegoric tale of the sixties (dealing with social issues form racism to chauvinism and everything inbetween) with some seriously deep characters. Due to this premise, I feel that I have to use profanity, almost as Steinbeck did with Of Mice And Men. It just seems to make the setting, and feels almost fake without it. My novel is set to contain a lot of sex, but my question is- should I spare everyone the gory details? I don't know if I should just imply that the characters had intercourse or actually go all-out EL James on it's ass. What do you guys think? I am planning on having it published by a large house, and I've already had some interest from a couple of different literary agencies after I sent out my first chapter, so I don't want excessive bad language or erotic scenes affecting my chances of becoming a published author.
  2. Sack-a-Doo!

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

    Jun 7, 2015
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    If the sex, etc. is integral to the plot (think: the first Terminator movie) it needs to be there.

    If it's just background to the story, you can talk about it after the fact, report it as a third party in passing (someone walks by an alley and sees two people going at it, that sort of thing) or simply imply it. No need to go into details if John Connor isn't being conceived. ;)
  3. dreamersky1212

    dreamersky1212 Active Member

    Jul 19, 2015
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    New York (State Not City)
    There are many ways to write sex. You can allude to it, you can do the before and after scene as some books do. You can actually describe it but in more general detail. Or you can describe it in explicit detail. Since this is probably not a romance then I suppose you won't need to be explicit. But you don't have to skip it either. You can do the lead up (taking off clothes...getting to the bed...etc) and then gloss over the sex itself. You could then pick back up after the deed has been done, in bed (or wherever said deed was done). Sometimes having the sex actually in there instead of just causally mentioned is important for character and plot development. What better way to see the truth and vulnerability of your characters than when they are exposed as they would be during sex?
  4. Daemon Wolf

    Daemon Wolf Active Member

    Jul 18, 2015
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    Whatever you feel is best. I have a bit of profanity in my book but it's there when it needs to be. Only you can figure out if it NEEDS to be in it.

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