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Re: Blah blah blah, writing, blah blah blah.
Posted By: Howard, on host
Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2001, at 05:46:44
In Reply To: Blah blah blah, writing, blah blah blah. posted by Quartz on Tuesday, March 13, 2001, at 14:37:28:

> I certainly hope that whoever reads this will give me their opinion on this matter instead of the usual shaking of head and wondering when I'll stop and just go away.
> Basically, the thing is this: I've been thinking about having some of my characters in my stories use swear words from time to time. Not seriously bad ones, just a "damn" or a "hell" every once in a while (and since I'm so conservative and uptight about things like that, my characters would probably only swear when their spaceship is going to crash and they're all going to die or something).
> I'm a Christian, so I don't swear, but I got to thinking that a writer shouldn't let their characters be like them. Note I say that's what they shouldn't do. I'm not saying that's what writers never do. I mean, everybody has had difference experiences, so their outlooks on life are all different, and all their characters will be a facet of them (although maybe a small one), whether they like it or not, whether they try to or not.
> Swearing would probably make a story more realistic. Not necesarrily likeable or more enjoyable, but realistic (and I know I spelled necesarrily wrong).
> And another thing is, I don't swear, and I belive it's wrong to swear, but what if you're an author? Is it wrong to make your characters say swear words, or even to write swear words at all? I could mention I've read a mystery novel written by a Reverend who made some of his characters swear, but I'm still unsure on the matter.
> I've talked this over with my mom, and she doesn't like the idea. We're going to ask my dad's opinion later. I just wanted to see how the people here would think of it.
> If the general vote is no, that's fine. Whether my characters swear or not isn't the whole point of the story. The point of the story is the STORY.
> Qua "Shucky darn, dag nabbit, heavens to skimmed milk" rtz
> ~~*Q*~~

I really hope you are keeping track of the vote on this subject. Put me down for a "No." I have never read a story that was improved by cuss words, but I've read plenty where it detracted from my enjoyment. Contrary to popular belief, not everybody talks that way, and it isn't necessary for realism. Where would you draw the line? Will your characters be smoking, drinking and worse? Stick with your principles.