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Potty Mouths


Swhouston44

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I'm trying to guage the community's (tolerance), (reaction to) the use of the four letter word in stories.  I see sex a'plenty, and the use of hell and paler blue verbiage.   I have read a substantial number of works by many of the authors here.  I havent' witnessed but in one or two instances (and they were older stories) an abundance of the use of the F'word :blushing: , or S~~ :unsure2: t, or G~~~~~n :gikkle: .

 

I would appreciate any and all input.  Thanks 

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I have a few characters who cuss in my stories, nothing over the top, mostly F-bombs, GDit, an occasion A double croocked letter, and some SOBs to boot, but i try to keep it relevent to the situation and not have them use profanity constantly.

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I don't think anyone really objects to profanity in stories if it's appropriate to the story or character.

 

I've read a few stories on site where the author has self-censored their use of the more extreme expletives by replacing one of the letters with an asterisk.

 

In this day and age it seems that more and more readers expect to see profanity in literature, and it's no longer the shocker that it once was.

 

I can remember reading some of Stephen King's books when I was eight or nine and giggling over the f-word and the b-word - my mum never found out what was so funny as she never read any of the books before I did to check if they were appropriate for me to be reading.

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Gotta say a few times reading Mr. King, my face got very red, and I became offended by his flood of 4 letter verbiage.  I believe on one or two occasions I have self censored, but it was to show the characters' innocence.

I put this up because sometimes when I'm writing I feel some of my characters would never have the balls....(see I actually wrote one) to say the words.

 

I am impressed with the number of responses I got...even your rather nasty rant Mr. Savik  :lmao: .  Thanks for all of your feedback.  

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When we first saw Sordid Lives (sadly missed!) on the TV there was episode 6 (in the hairdressers) where, at the start, at one point almost every other word was 'beeped' out.  On the DVD version they didn't censor it, and to me it lost some of the humour because you heard what they said.

 

Now, of course, it seems that pixilating the mouth is almost universal as well.

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Like everyone said, if it adds to your characters/ the story, I don't mind these words. 

 

Btw, I still don't know which word you meant by "G~~~~~n".  :/ 

 

Cheers

Ieshwar

 

 

I've been wondering that too :0

 

 

...

 

 

GrapefruitNNNNNN?

 

Idk lol

 

Oh God I had to google this, it's "goddamn" HAHAHAHA

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I don't use rude language in my own writing unless it makes sense in context for it to be there.

 

For instance- strange diseases are breaking out, nukes have gone off, a big honking war has broken out and 5 teens are in a SUV running to their family summer house in the mountains.

 

Even a nice kid is going to ask, "Is anybody besides me scared sh**less?"

Edited by jamessavik
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I am a huge pottymouth. Like, the biggest ever. In the last thirty minutes, I've had to actively decide against throwing the F-word and and the B-word and the S-word and and and and and... yeah. A few days ago, I saw what /real/ overkill was. That person, my god, they came across as a raving, screeching, psychopath. Made me opt to curtain my cussing.

 

As for cussing in the stories... they're just words. Noises we developed with our fleshy meat parts. Sure, we gave them negative meanings, but... grapefruitn, that's no reason to frown and condemn, is it? At least, not in literature... especially when used appropriately.

 

I've written lines for characters that throw "harlot", "female canine", even "fornication" around like candy. Then there's a classy little man who's only used the F-word once ("Fuck procedure!"), when he was telling another guy to screw the law and just arrest a couple dozen people.

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I remember when this lady from a writing seminar I attended in college said that '...You don't apologise for your characters behaviour or their manner of tone, words, and profanity in their context. I don't think you would apologise if you're angry and you say "I'm fucking pissed right now."'

 

For me, it's all in the characterisation really. Well...I don't want my character saying, "Oopsie Daises! I have cancer. I'm gonna die?" or "Hail Mary Immaculate Conception conceived without original sin, I'm gonna die? Mother Fu...Father-Jesus-Joseph! Huuwaay?"

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I remember when this lady from a writing seminar I attended in college said that '...You don't apologise for your characters behaviour or their manner of tone, words, and profanity in their context. I don't think you would apologise if you're angry and you say "I'm fucking pissed right now."'

 

For me, it's all in the characterisation really. Well...I don't want my character saying, "Oopsie Daises! I have cancer. I'm gonna die?" or "Hail Mary Immaculate Conception conceived without original sin, I'm gonna die? Mother Fu...Father-Jesus-Joseph! Huuwaay?"

 

Damn,

 

that's frickin' funny!     Hail Mary......I'm gonna die!!!!

This so funny, I'm dying right now  :rofl:

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Lol by the time you got the "Hail Mary"version of the sentence out your going to have you character and the reader hysterical rather than angry.  Which sorta defeats the purpose .  As a reader I'm not for a lot of cussing indiscriminately used cause everyone chosen to do so, but if it applies to what us being said and makes the point perfectly then go for it. They are just words to me we as readers as well as you authors put the meaning behind the words.  At least that's my way of thinking anyway.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well folks,

 

I guess we know who clucks and cackles now don't we?  I write over 1600 blasted words and barely a blue smudge, let alone a streak of obsenities.... Perhaps it is much harder to bare one's soul....or write a bog stall full of obsenities when one has to think long enough to put pen to paper, or in this instance, thumbs to keyboard.

 

Thought equals conscience, perhaps, or thought enables conscience.   

 

I did write a few 4 letter words, but I could not write about the female anatomy......goes to show where my interests lie.......

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Gotta say a few times reading Mr. King, my face got very red, and I became offended by his flood of 4 letter verbiage.  I believe on one or two occasions I have self censored, but it was to show the characters' innocence.

 

Prude! The kids in my neighborhood were using the F word when I was 8, and we're talking 1962. Four-letter language is nothing new.

 

I think you can use (and not use) curse words as a way to distinguish characters' dialogue. I've written stories where one character never curses, while another curses like a sailor. And others where they only curse very, very rarely, under duress. I just finished a novel I've been working on for six years, and a quick check reveals I used the F word a grand total of 16 times. Given that we're talking 125,000 words, I think that's not a bad average, roughly .7%. In real life, trust me, one 20-minute drive on the LA freeways, and I'm already well-past 16 F's.

 

I agree that there's a time and a place for foul language, but I would never dream of suggesting to a fellow writer that they add more. But at the same time, I think self-censure in 2013 is insane. I have no problem turning the F-word into something tamer, particularly if it's a script for broadcast television or something, because that's the necessity of the beast. But there are no such rules for novels.

 

On a related note: I chuckled at what J.K. Rowling did in her Harry Potter series as the characters got older. Rather than spell out the curse word, she'd just say something, "Harry spat out a curse. Hermione cringed, 'Oh, Harry -- you shouldn't call Snape that!'" Stuff like that. And it worked fine for a YA audience.

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On a related note: I chuckled at what J.K. Rowling did in her Harry Potter series as the characters got older. Rather than spell out the curse word, she'd just say something, "Harry spat out a curse. Hermione cringed, 'Oh, Harry -- you shouldn't call Snape that!'" Stuff like that. And it worked fine for a YA audience.

 

One memorable one went something along the lines of, 'What in the name of Merlin's saggy left––' 'Ron!' Among the more creative, I thought. ;)

 

My characters tend to curse quite a bit. Realistic dialogue has always been really important to me, and I've found the easiest way to do that is have my characters talk the way my friends and I would. And we curse, frequently. I've been known to use the f-word as punctuation. :P Then again, on our side of the pond (the European one) cursing just isn't quite as big a deal as it is on the other. 

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One memorable one went something along the lines of, 'What in the name of Merlin's saggy left––' 'Ron!' Among the more creative, I thought. ;)

 

My characters tend to curse quite a bit. Realistic dialogue has always been really important to me, and I've found the easiest way to do that is have my characters talk the way my friends and I would. And we curse, frequently. I've been known to use the f-word as punctuation. :P Then again, on our side of the pond (the European one) cursing just isn't quite as big a deal as it is on the other. 

 

I have a number of friends from your edge of the world, and all but one or two cuss like frickin' sailors.  so yeah, ya'll do tend to cuss more freely than we Americans... I think it's the blasted puritanical roots over here that have us all tongue tied ....except Stephen King, and one or two other U S authors......

 

 

 

will have to remember Merlin has a saggy left....

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Prude! The kids in my neighborhood were using the F word when I was 8, and we're talking 1962. Four-letter language is nothing new.

 

I think you can use (and not use) curse words as a way to distinguish characters' dialogue. I've written stories where one character never curses, while another curses like a sailor. And others where they only curse very, very rarely, under duress. I just finished a novel I've been working on for six years, and a quick check reveals I used the F word a grand total of 16 times. Given that we're talking 125,000 words, I think that's not a bad average, roughly .7%. In real life, trust me, one 20-minute drive on the LA freeways, and I'm already well-past 16 F's.

 

I agree that there's a time and a place for foul language, but I would never dream of suggesting to a fellow writer that they add more. But at the same time, I think self-censure in 2013 is insane. I have no problem turning the F-word into something tamer, particularly if it's a script for broadcast television or something, because that's the necessity of the beast. But there are no such rules for novels.

 

On a related note: I chuckled at what J.K. Rowling did in her Harry Potter series as the characters got older. Rather than spell out the curse word, she'd just say something, "Harry spat out a curse. Hermione cringed, 'Oh, Harry -- you shouldn't call Snape that!'" Stuff like that. And it worked fine for a YA audience.

 

 

Prude! Well, maybe.  But I get to point fingers at my parents and at a  Southern U S upbringing steeped in puritanical religion.  

 

maybe when my fingers glide across the keyboard could my computer be influencing me as well?  

 

Maybe Mr. Jobs has a new life guiding my fingers.

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It depends if you want realism. it would be naive to thing you could write a story with young adults and get realistic dialogue without using swear words. Fu** in particular is now part of the vernacular and you're just simply not going to find a group of teenagers who don't use it at all.

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after reading so many different stories  I've actually gotten good at determining where the authors reside mainly by the swear words and also by the amount of them.  Lol 15 years ago I cringed everytime I read a story that had a lot of the so-called harsher swear words in it, sometimes it turned my right off the book.  Now I've accepted that just about every story has cussing in it,  but I do draw the line at books that have people using the f-bomb initial ever second or third word.  I have two girls in their late 20's I'm getting accustomed to it but that does not mean I have to read it when I want to relax.  So I am one that says yes use cusswords if they are pertinent to the story but not to the extent that the cusswords equal the same or more than "normal" words. Use them to make a point express rage, terror or sometimes when there just isn't anything else to say hehe.  

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