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  1. #1
    Carl Purdon
    Guest

    Profanity Question

    Does not using profanity in a novel hurt your chances of getting published?

    In my daily life, around the guys, I'll admit to using some profanity. Around my kids, my mom, women in general or around people I'm not familiar with I don't. When it comes to fiction, it doesn't bother me to read it so long as it fits the situation (as in dialog, etc.). When it comes to my writing I try not to use it. Sometimes, though, a well-placed word just seems to fit.

    My general guide is to never commit anything to paper that would embarrass me if my mother or my children read it. But....

    In my current WIP one of my characters is an abusive ex-husband who continues to stalk his ex-wife. In once scene he grabs her, throws her to the floor and stops just short of raping her (because of an interruption). As he's leaving he turns and says: "You belong to me, bitch." My wife is trying to get me to rephrase it to "woman". I'm not going to because it would kill the scene. And that brings me to the nut of my question:

    Do publishers/agents expect a certain amount of profanity if the dialog is between, let's say, drug dealers, bikers, or even hookers?



  2. #2
    Keith .
    Guest

    Re: Profanity Question

    Does not using profanity in a novel hurt your chances of getting published?


    Hell, no.

  3. #3
    Keith .
    Guest

    Re: Profanity Question

    Do publishers/agents expect a certain amount of profanity if the dialog is between, let's say, drug dealers, bikers, or even hookers?

    Hell, yes.


    They want authentic.

  4. #4
    The Midnight Writer
    Guest

    Re: Profanity Question

    seems like it would be out of character for him to say "woman" instead of "bitch." from your description, i gather he doesn't value her as a person so much as property, so he would use a degrading term for her. Go for it. As far as not wanting your kids to see it in print, they probably won't for a while if they're young, based on the content.

  5. #5
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest

    Re: Profanity Question

    Maybe you should have everyone talk like those gum commercials where the people are calling each other doo-doohead and stuff like that.

  6. #6
    Kitty Foyle
    Guest

    Re: Profanity Question

    Years ago I cringed when I heard a guy refer to his ex-wife as a douchebag.

    This seemed like a really mean thing to say...and not just because I was her friend. :-(

    *_*

  7. #7
    Glen T. Brock
    Guest

    Re: Profanity Question

    Carl,

    Profanity is like spice--a little goes a long way.

    Using profane language in context is perfectly all right but using it in excess or for shock value isn't.

    Glen T. Brock

  8. #8
    the cat came back
    Guest

    Re: Profanity Question

    Someone beat me to everything I would have said.

    Fvck!

  9. #9
    stevenlabri ô¿ô
    Guest

    Re: Profanity Question

    Authenticity is important when writing a story, however overuse is overuse regardless of your character’s traits. The popularity use of the “F” word sometimes amazes me. In some circles, it is as common as breathing, and used to describe most everything in sight or thought. I do believe however, a well-placed explicative in a story does well most of the time.

    Not that he wrote in the manner, however I suppose the master was Mark Twain . . .

    "Livy, it would pain me to think that when I swear it sounds like that. You got the words right, Livy, but you don't know the tune." He once said.

    He also said in a letter in which he referred to an editor as a "quadrilateral astronomical incandescent @!#$."


    And of course we must end this with, "If I cannot swear in heaven I shall not stay there."

  10. #10
    L Bea
    Guest

    Re: Profanity Question

    I guarantee that your children if they are as young as kindergarten have heard much worse from other chilren.

    What about a word like skank? Or some other awful reference that you don't consider a cuss word? I agree with the others though. You need to keep it in character. It sounds like you're not cussing just to cuss but that it fits the scene/character.

    Does anyone watch Battlestar Galactica? OMG! They use the word frack! Frackin' this and frackin' that. It's so uncool...

    Bea

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