Thursday, April 7, 2011

What the fuck is wrong with character's swearing?

So many writers worry themselves to death about swearing in their books. I've lost count of the number of threads I've seen on message boards from writers asking if it was all right if their characters swore or said a politically incorrect word. I have no problem with characters who swear, fart, drink, or say things that are politically incorrect. I think it makes them more realistic.

Human beings are flawed. We swear, we get angry, we laugh at the wrong moment, we fart in public and try to pretend that it was not us. Characters should do all of these things as well. When I get angry I swear like a sailor. I will scram and tug on my hair and shout naughty words until I'm blue in the face. I actually think it's healthier to scream the dreaded F-word at the top of your lungs then put your fist through a wall or break a window.

I love it when characters swear. A swear word inserted at the right point can make a scene much more emotional and paint a vivid picture of the character and how they tick. I don't get people who don't like swear words. I mean, yeah, they can be offensive, but they are just words. Remember that phrase 'Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me?' the reason I swear so much is because I don't have a problem with it. I accept that other people do though. I try not to swear at work or in front of children. When it comes to adult fiction I do not understand why so many authors get so worried about swear words and wonder if they should censor their characters or if a publisher will have a problem with swear words in their manuscript.

We are all adults, aren't we? Surely people should be able to handle the F-bomb being dropped in a manuscript. One of my favourite lines in the Harry Potter series is when Molly shouts "NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!" Oh my God, what a powerful line. It was so shocking because it was the first swear word in the entire series and came flying out of the blue. No one expect THAT WORD to appear in such a popular kid's series. But there it was. And how awesome did it sound? It was realistic too. It made the scene a litle more shocking, a little more emotional, and very memorable.

I hope they keep it in the movie!! I'll be very annoyed if they cut it out.

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