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  1. #1
    Ann Kruse
    Guest

    Newbie question about obscenities

    Hello, all. It is my first time here and I need a few words of wisdom. I am writing an epic fantasy of 500 pages and while I am pleased overall with what I have, is it a turn-off to readers/editors if I have a few swear words here and there? Granted, I pared them down to major, pivotal events (death (or close to) and a few instances of great personal tragedy). Should I cut them out altogether or is it permissible to keep in those situations?
    (I have 14 and gladly will part with them if it will improve my work.)

    Any suggestions? Spare me nothing!
    Thanks!



  2. #2
    Sam English
    Guest

    Re: Newbie question about obscenities

    Permisible by whom? Agents? Publishers? The reading public?There's is no way anyone could say that removing them would "improve your work" without reading them in context. I wouldn't cut them if you believe that they are absolutely the most appropriate thing that your character would say in the situation.
    I'm more concerned that you've written a 500 page "epic".

  3. #3
    Keith .
    Guest

    Re: Newbie question about obscenities

    The character says what he says. If he cusses in a childrens book or when it doesn't fit the context, then your problems run deeper than foul language. But if your novel is constructed, targeted and written for the same audience, then you're okay. My opinion. Luck.
    km

  4. #4
    dan z
    Guest

    Re: Newbie question about obscenities

    I second Sam and Keith... it's all in the context. You could scale the vialness a couple notches down and give the cuss words a more subtle aspect of triviality, turn'em a few degrees cooler.
    Real life does contain swear words,so my opinion is that one can mirror reality in that aspect, only on a more subdued level, just to keep an acceptable level of moral decency.

  5. #5
    Glen T. Brock
    Guest

    Re: Newbie question about obscenities

    Ann,

    Obscenities are like spice. A little goes a long long way. They are usually used for their shock value so, if used too much, the shock goes away and the power of the word is dimininished. If the words are incorporated into the important theme of the story, or characterizes a character better, then I'm all for it. Otherwise, there's usually a better way.

    Glen T. Brock

  6. #6
    Janice W-D
    Guest

    Re: Newbie question about obscenities

    The number of pages is meaningless because margins and font size can change that. Agents/publishers will want to know your word count, which can only be tallied after you finish writing, revising and polishing your novel.

  7. #7
    Cathy C
    Guest

    Re: Newbie question about obscenities

    My obscenity level varies by book. It depends entirely on the protagonist. But in the most extreme circumstances, most anyone will swear. I still remember the day my mother, who'd never uttered a swear word in my presence from the day I was born, stepped on a rake and the handle smacked her in the face. I learned a few new combinations that day. ;-)

  8. #8
    John Oberon
    Guest

    Re: Newbie question about obscenities

    For myself, I write whatever would not embarrass me to read to God or to my children. That's usually a good gauge.

  9. #9
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest

    Re: Newbie question about obscenities

    You read to God?

  10. #10
    brittney voyles
    Guest

    Re: Newbie question about obscenities

    Every writer has their own style and vocabulary- use what you think is right for your story... If you're writing fantasy, most publishers are looking for 80,000 words... I don't think 14 little foul words are going to matter. Just don't over do it. Write what YOU think YOUR characters would NATURALLY say in whatever situation they're in!

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