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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 07:03PM) (new)

Lilo Abernathy (lilo_abernathy) | 10 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 Julia (new)

Julia Rist | 4 comments I am not morally against swearing, whether in real life or in books. I don't mind profanity in appropriate contexts; you should have heard me when I broke my toe against the door jamb. Nevertheless, too much of it shows a lack of imagination, and turns me off. (I was very colourful the time I broke my toe, AND in two languages.)

In fiction, it depends on the character. Someone dropping the f-bomb every three words gets tiresome really fast. On the other hand, if you character is a biker who just got shot by a member from a rival gang, do you really expect him to say 'Jiminy Cricket!'?


message 3: by Groovy (new)

Groovy Lee I agree, Julia. But I think it would be creative and fun in life if we substituted words in place of the f-bomb if one got shot by a rival gang. Instead of "Jiminy Cricket!", he could say 'artichoke! artichoke!'--just funning:)


message 4: by Lilo (new)

Lilo Abernathy (lilo_abernathy) | 10 comments Groovy wrote: "I agree, Julia. But I think it would be creative and fun in life if we substituted words in place of the f-bomb if one got shot by a rival gang. Instead of "Jiminy Cricket!", he could say 'artichok..."

Nice . . . :)


message 5: by Ed (new)

Ed Ireland (edireland) | 17 comments I wrote a book that was essentially about gangsters and killers. I wrote it in the street language that would be used and had people tell me there was too much cursing. I grew up around these kinds of people and if anything, I toned it down.
In my eyes, if you pick up a book about an unsavory subject and it doesn't say YA or children's book on the cover, then you should expect unsavory language. What good would a book be if the gangster missed a shot and yelled "Oh pickles!"


message 6: by Groovy (last edited Apr 22, 2015 08:24PM) (new)

Groovy Lee I still say you can write a convincing suspenseful story, a believable plot with rough characters without all the constant profanity.

Case in point: The Jason Borne series is filled with action and intrigue, but not one profane word. When he got shot, thrown in the sea, etc., not one cuss word, but the plot got its point across. Mission Impossible---no cuss words, but still filled with intrigue and got its point across. The last installment of Die Hard, maybe two hard-core words, but it didn't offend you with them.

This proves that you don't have to go overboard with the profanity, nor substitute "Gee, golly whiz, or dag-nabbit" either. It's called being creative.

That's my POV and I'm sticking to it:)


message 7: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Timberlake (rebeccatimberlake) | 3 comments Groovy, it's interesting that you mention those series because people tend to either really love or really hate them. I doubt it has anything to do with the level of swearing, just a coincidence, but it's still interesting they have that in common.


message 8: by Groovy (new)

Groovy Lee Rebecca wrote: "Groovy, it's interesting that you mention those series because people tend to either really love or really hate them. I doubt it has anything to do with the level of swearing, just a coincidence, b..."

I agree with you, Rebecca

I don't think their popularity had anything to do with the degree or lack thereof of the profanity. They were just good movies. And that's why it's possible to write good, entertaining series of that genre without profanity overkill.

I applaud the writers or producers for this, otherwise I could not enjoy them as much as I do.


message 9: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Timberlake (rebeccatimberlake) | 3 comments It certainly is impressive. I don't mind one way or the other, but to mindfully write/film something without cursing has to be difficult. At least, I would think so. It's so easy to show emotion with vulgar language, it's a lot harder to do it with "tame" words.


message 10: by Lilo (new)

Lilo Abernathy (lilo_abernathy) | 10 comments Scott, Your post doesn't relate to the topic at all. Can you please delete it?


message 11: by Ed (new)

Ed Ireland (edireland) | 17 comments wow Scott...spam much?


message 12: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Lair | 48 comments I was just at a writers group where an author edited out his swear words because it could offend a parent there. I like the parent, I would never want to hurt that person, but I told the author, if those words are said by those characters, you have to say it. If you can edit now, you could've edited them out when you wrote the piece. We have one writer that writes about drug users and he swears, but given the circumstances, that character would swear.
I announce ahead of time, I'm going to swear. parental guidance is suggested.


message 13: by Ed (new)

Ed Ireland (edireland) | 17 comments I agree to a point JJ...If there is a good bit of foul language, I'll bump my book up to mature. At that point, anybody that picks it up has no room to be offended. If swearing is that offensive, they need to stick with YA works.


message 14: by Lilo (new)

Lilo Abernathy (lilo_abernathy) | 10 comments If any of you have not yet taken the poll, I'd appreciate if you would. I'm hoping to get 100 entries.


message 15: by Ed (new)

Ed Ireland (edireland) | 17 comments Done Lilo...and that was some pretty fancy cussin' you gave for examples....Holy Cow? LOL


message 16: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne | 17 comments Hi Lilo, I took the poll. I honestly don't mind cusses and swear words of any kind if the nature of the book calls for it. i.e.: The book portrays a realistic setting. But if you're writing paranormal - and I'm not sure what Urban Fantasy is, but I suspect it falls under the same genre/category, I don't think its necessary, and would probably prefer it not to have any extreme profanity.


message 17: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne | 17 comments Lilo wrote: "If any of you have not yet taken the poll, I'd appreciate if you would. I'm hoping to get 100 entries."

Please post the results when you get your 100 entries.


message 18: by Lilo (last edited Apr 27, 2015 09:41AM) (new)

Lilo Abernathy (lilo_abernathy) | 10 comments The results can be seen now by clicking the link on the blog post below the poll. It goes straight to the results and gives them to you as they are updated. I think you will find it interesting. I certainly did.


message 19: by Lilo (new)

Lilo Abernathy (lilo_abernathy) | 10 comments Ed wrote: "Done Lilo...and that was some pretty fancy cussin' you gave for examples....Holy Cow? LOL"

I believe I gave a wide variety. :)


message 20: by Lee (new)

Lee Sweetapple In the thrillers I write, bad people swear more. Spies and cops cuss in real life, so they do in my books too. Also, there are different levels of cursing that can help develop characters. I will be following this to find out what readers say. Thank you. LS


message 21: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Blake | 3 comments I wrote a memoir about teaching inner-city high school students. Lots of swearing. However, I did this: f*** you, b****
It got the message across, without being offensive.


message 22: by Connie (new)

Connie (Glossophiliac) | 7 comments You've got over 100 responses now.


message 23: by Nik (new)

Nik Morton (nikmorton) | 8 comments Interesting! See my 2012 blog about the subject
http://nik-writealot.blogspot.com.es/...


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