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Sunday, March 21, 2010

@#$#@ in novels

We all swear at times right? But let's admit it. Most of us here don't cuss every other word otherwise I would be swearing now right? So how do we all take in swearing in novels? Would you like it if your kids, siblings (in my case) that are younger read books with tons of swearing in it? My personal opinion is that swearing is absolutely fine. Like I said we all swear at times. Whether some of us swear at each other and others simply swear when something goes wrong. I think that if it is used swearing sparingly and at the right times it sort of just blends in with the scene. But if a character or characters swear completely for no reason it sort of slows the story down. At least for me. But swearing is completely a different case in fantasy novels. Particularly if you are writing an older made up world. For me personally I haven't yet used swearing other than damn and bastard. But to me those aren't really swearwords. What is your opinion on swearing and how often do you tend to use it or see it in your novels?


  1. I'm working on a fantasy that has no swearing in it at all. It's (on the surface, at least) a pretty calm and gentle world. But, in anger, one of the characters calls another a turd in response to the resolution of a scary situation. Sort of like calling someone a dirty name to their back as they walk away after an argument. It's completely in-character for the speaker, but it's still shocking. In this case it's also funny -- it makes the reader laugh, and releases the tension that had built up.

    I don't like my characters to swear, except in extenuating circumstances. If they do it rarely enough, then when they do choose to swear, it will shock the reader as intended without being overbearing.

  2. 'turd' lol that made me laugh! I say that at times. Not too often I hope. Yeah, I can't imagine my chracters saying something like f off because they are sort of old time... Even medievil I could say.

  3. Swear words vary by group. I used a lot of Spanish swear words for an angry teen since, in my experience, swearing and food are the last to go in the acculturation process.

    As for the amount of swearing, I think it depends on the character swearing ... and should be appropriate to the story you're telling. A ten-year-old would swear differently and a goth.

  4. Hmmm...I have a habit of sweating in my novels. Some more than others, though. I actually wrote one with no swears words at all. Gasp! I don't mind it, but I wouldn't really let my daughter read one.

    P.S. I gave you an award today...a fun one ;-)