Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy discussion

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To Swear or Not To Swear. You Decide . . .

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message 1: by Lilo (last edited Apr 21, 2015 07:01PM) (new)

Lilo Abernathy (lilo_abernathy) | 37 comments Take the poll!

SWEAR WORDS IN URBAN FANTASY / PARANORMAL ROMANCE BOOKS?
I just checked my reviews today and saw a new one came in addressing swear words. The reader writes,

"I like that you told a great story and you didn't have to use curse words. Thank you for that."

This isn't the first time I've received this comment and I love that readers are communicating their thoughts on this. However, this wasn't really a goal of mine when I wrote the book. I'm not pro or con swear words. I'm fine with them when they fit the story . . . (Click here for the poll and the combined results: http://bit.ly/1J5imrp)


message 2: by Veronica (new)

Veronica Rosa (veronicadelrosa) I do hard swears in my books although I never use the female c word. I'm not a fan of it and I've never seen the need for any of my character to do so.

I do agree that excessive swearing is a turn off.


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* (erinpaperbackstash) It can be overdone in UF. I'm no prude and don't mind realistic dialogue, but sometimes it just comes across trashy and forced IMO.


message 4: by Lokki (new)

Lokki (lokki8) | 18 comments I think it has to fit the character. Like in the Fever books, Mac 1.0 says 'sweet petunia'. You certainly wouldn't have heard Barrons using that as an expletive. Swearing is a part of some people's everyday conversation. I think if you want it to sound real, you sometimes need to include it.

I loved your comment about exclamation points (in your blog). I just recently started to read a self-published, very poorly edited book and the author used over 2500 exclamation points. It was crazy. His characters had entire conversations where they basically yelled every single sentence at each other. Even their internal thoughts in the narrative had exclamations.


message 5: by Lilo (new)

Lilo Abernathy (lilo_abernathy) | 37 comments Lokki wrote: "I loved your comment about exclamation points (in your blog). I just recently started to read a self-published, very poorly edited book and the author used over 2500 exclamation points. It was crazy. "

Wow! I wasn't that bad. 2500 is crazy. The thing about exclamation marks is that they are technically correct, but they just don't feel right in excess. I do think they should be used with expletives. And I love 'sweet petunia' as an expletive.


message 6: by Veronica (new)

Veronica Rosa (veronicadelrosa) I personally swear too much. I know it and I'm trying to cut back. So now my favourite "swear" is shish kabobs. It's fun to say. :)

And yes, I agree, the words have to fit the characters. Several of mine only swear in the moment of extreme emotional distress.

Another thing that bothers me is when they are incorrectly used. As in the placement of the swear throws off the whole flow of the sentence. Ugh.


message 7: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 66 comments I've read a book once where every dialogue sentences ended with an exclamation point. No need to say it ended up irritating me. I say use them sparingly. Make each one count . Make them mean something.


message 8: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 66 comments Forgot to say, this is valid for swearing too. ;)


message 9: by Candace (new)

Candace Blevins (candaceblevins) | 21 comments It's character development. The motorcycle club president is going to swear up and down, backward and forwards. The soccer mom may or may not swear, but probably won't in front of her kids.


message 10: by Alan (new)

Alan | 16 comments I personally do mind curse words in books; but please note that I retired from the US Navy and I used them then and now, more so than I should. But there are certain words that I agree could and should not be used because of their hurtful connotations. Veronica covered one of them.

Lately in some new authors books that I have been reading; the authors utilize different words of a combination thereof to be used in place of a "curse word"; similar to what Lokki stated that Karen Moning uses. (If I got the reference wrong, it is on me and not Lokki as I thought that was the Fever series noted.) I think by doing that you add the intent to get across to the reader and can actually make it "funny" while trying to be serious at the same time.


message 11: by C.A. (new)

C.A. Mitchell (camitchell) | 8 comments Veronica Del Rosa wrote: "I personally swear too much. I know it and I'm trying to cut back. So now my favourite "swear" is shish kabobs. It's fun to say. :)



Love it!


message 12: by Veronica (new)

Veronica Rosa (veronicadelrosa) My 6 year old takes me to task whenever I swear. He tells me I'm not allowed saying those words and he doesn't like it. I've told him that I need to swear when I'm driving because it makes me feel better. *laughs* That's the only time I'm allowed to do so.


message 13: by J.S. (new)

J.S. Watts | 35 comments For me, the acceptability of swear words depends on the nature of the book, what would be natural for the characters in it and who the book is written for. I know YA authors often choose to limit or boycott swear words (I also know that swearing, generally, seems to be more acceptable in the UK than the US). As a UK writer for adults, if it fits with the character, story, novel, poem (select as necessary) I use swear words.


message 14: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 90 comments I have no problem with swear words in the books I read, if it fits the character, it is what it is


message 15: by Liz (new)

Liz Meldon (liz_meldon) | 17 comments I'm never put off by swearing. Usually, the author does it to fit the character. PNR and UF can verge into "grittier" territory, so I'm never surprised to read about a character with a potty mouth. I personally have more problems with the vocab used in some erotica than I do with cursing.


message 16: by Diana (new)

Diana Rising (dianaruthr) Liz wrote: "I'm never put off by swearing. Usually, the author does it to fit the character. PNR and UF can verge into "grittier" territory, so I'm never surprised to read about a character with a potty mouth...."

I'm not against swear words, but they need to be used realistically. I agree, a Soccer Mom wouldn't swear in front of kids. But, I have the impression that men swear a lot more in conversations with just men friends than in mixed company, since men like to harass their friends.

I don't like the c### word, unless it is used in sex talk in a positive way.

That said, if my hero couldn't speak a most lines of dialog without swearing, I'd probably dislike him and put the book down.


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