It’s that time of the week – Discussion Tuesday.
From those who are new, each week I post a topic (relevant to my WIP) and try to unravel the mysteries and perspectives of it.
This week’s topic is:
Profanity in novels
Profanity is an interesting topic to me because of people’s vastly different reactions to it both in real life and literature. Some people cringe and can’t take swear words at all, others aren’t bothered by them in the slightest and some people consider them only to be effective when used in a good context. You even get those who feel profanity is a crutch for the inarticulate.
Some readers are turned off by even a single curse word, whereas nobody will buy your book simply because you use raw language.
As a reader: What is your thoughts on profanity in novels?
As a writer/ author: Do you use profanity? If so, why?
In my opinion, humans get angry. They crave precise expression. If you want to write realistically about certain milieus, such as wharves, mines and battlefields, well-written raw talk can make your characters seem lifelike and more authentic.
But even if real people use vulgarism every other word, it’s unnecessary for you to make your characters talk exactly that way. Just as with dialect and accents, using raw talk wisely serves to keep the reader grounded in your imaginary world, while avoiding the potential fatigue of overdoing it.
We are writers and most of the time other words can be used.
What do you think?
Post your comments and answers below. If you think someone has an interesting point of view and answer, please invite them or share this post to them.