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Archive > 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) | 16 comments Take the poll!

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:

message 2: by Greg (new)

Greg Johnson (authorgregjohnson) | 7 comments I am neither pro nor con swear words either, but I do find it more challenging to write without them. Many times they help put emphasis into a phrase, so I try to keep the emphasis without swear words.

message 3: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 23 comments I don't mind swear words but they need to fit in. In dialogues, it depends on who's speaking. It'd kind of expect to see a pirate use them but maybe less if it's a judge for instance. Same thing with the narration. Acceptable in first person pov depending on who's telling the story (pirate or judge for example), less acceptable in third person pov, unless in thoughts, else I'd think it's the author cursing.

message 4: by Amber (new)

Amber (amberterminatorofgoodreads) | 82 comments I'm not a fan of cursing in books. When I get to one I either bleep them out or substitute them with something else.

message 5: by C.P. (new)

C.P. Cabaniss (cpcabaniss) | 25 comments Personally I don't like swearing in books. I usually skip them or come up with a replacement in my head. If there is a lot, then I may not finish the book. As was already mentioned, it can be more difficult to construct certain scenes without swearing, but I think it shows more creativity on the part of the author when they are able to avoid them.

message 6: by Erik (new)

Erik (erikdsouza) | 3 comments I prefer to avoid curse words, but depending on whose speaking I sometimes feel compelled to use them. It's hard to write dialect from a drunken truck driver and avoid the occasional cuss word.

message 7: by Christian (new)

Christian Galacar | 4 comments I think it depends completely upon the character. Often times they take on a life of their own, and if that does happen and they do swear, you are doing yourself (the character included) and readers a great disservice by censoring them. That being said, swearing for the sake of swearing, without adding to a character's depth or adding to the story, is just as egregious a writing sin. That's my two cents, anyway. Not that I was asked to give it.

“If you substitute ‘Oh sugar!’ for ‘Oh sh#t!’ because you’re thinking about the Legion of Decency, you are breaking the unspoken contract that exists between writer and reader- you promise to express the truth of how people act and talk through the medium of a made-up story” ~Stephen King

message 8: by Lilo (new)

Lilo Abernathy (lilo_abernathy) | 16 comments Christian, I absolutely was asking for your opinion. And I love the quote. Thanks. :)

message 9: by Christian (new)

Christian Galacar | 4 comments Lilo,

Glad you liked it--that quote is one of my favorites. SK's 'On Writing' has some great gems in it.

message 10: by Nanci (new)

Nanci McGraw (nancimcgraw) | 7 comments Erik wrote: "I prefer to avoid curse words, but depending on whose speaking I sometimes feel compelled to use them. It's hard to write dialect from a drunken truck driver and avoid the occasional cuss word."

Glad to hear this. NC &:) San Diego, CA

message 11: by Lilo (new)

Lilo Abernathy (lilo_abernathy) | 16 comments Hi All. If any of you have not taken the poll, I hope you will. I'm hoping to get to 100 entries. If you do take the poll, please answer it as a reader (of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance) and not as a writer. You can view the results of the poll in real time by clicking on the link below the poll in the blog post.

Thanks very much!


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