Cursing in novels?

XXXconanXXX

Cocktails anyone?
I wanted peoples' opinions on this.

Do you see cursing in novels as bad, detracting from the overall feel of the book, or do you feel if used sparingly, it's good at invoking a sense of emotion?

For me personally, I look at it from both sides of the spectrum; In dialogue, especially for the more gruff, looser characters it does a good job at defining their personality and making it more modernized, but in writing that's outside of dialogue, or is much more proper or in an older setting, it really detracts from the overall experience.

For example, you wouldn't hear age old mages from circa the dragon-age dropping the F' bomb, but in a more urban, or futuristic setting, it does a good job at portraying a character better, and is much more realistic.

I just started pondering this as I was reading back through old chapters of Paradise, and saw some of the 'profanity' the characters used. I see it as I explained, with a character saying "F***!" when he knows he's about to die, but not in text like "Mr. Man got up from his f***ing chair and sat on the f***ing couch."
 

ReVolver

Moderator
Staff member
I like reading book that have cursing in the text.. its not really that bad.. what are you like 7? xD once your like 10 its ok to read curse books :p
 

XXXconanXXX

Cocktails anyone?
I like reading book that have cursing in the text.. its not really that bad.. what are you like 7? xD once your like 10 its ok to read curse books :p
No, what I mean is, do you think it detracts from what could be a vert serious tone? Throwing out the F' and S' words every other line really undertones the author's whole point of view, and the entire story at that, especially for a very serious book.

I'm not saying it's bad per se, just that it could potentially detract from what could be an amazing story.
 

Lord_Phoenix

Dogs are fuzzy
No, what I mean is, do you think it detracts from what could be a vert serious tone? Throwing out the F' and S' words every other line really undertones the author's whole point of view, and the entire story at that, especially for a very serious book.

I'm not saying it's bad per se, just that it could potentially detract from what could be an amazing story.
Usually when an author spam's swearing, he's writing junk fiction. Take Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell for instance. I think he knows that Ubisoft just destroyed any chance of the story being ligitimate, so he just writes what they want... well. I mean, I read that book, and I could predict exactly what would happen pretty much when I read it. I didn't even play Splinter Cell at all. Great fiction is often timeless. For example, you woulden't want people putting out cell-phones in the middle of our fiction story, because maybe in 100-200 years, we won't have cell-phones. Things that are set in a specific world-time often seem to be more popular, but not as long lasting. Take Harry Potter. They are good stories, but are set in today's world, which makes them have no quality beyond today's time period. Lord of the Rings, on the other hand, are timeless, because there is no way to relate the fiction to a specific time. Modern books usually don't last as long as others.

Just my Point of view.
 

DM Cross

You want to see a magic trick?
Staff member
I would say it depends. I curse in Corruption, but not out of dialog. I have the characters curse, but not too much. Some people curse a lot. That's just the fact of life. I try not to over do it because what if little kids ever read my books? (Not that Corruption is all that kid-friendly, but that's not the point) However, I believe giving them their own style of talking, whether that involves old sayings or swearing, gives them more depth than if they were constantly serious and all spoke the same way.

Yes, cursing can be appropriate. But never over-do it.
 

Jindo

Self
I agree, it adds expression to the character, so long as you don't use them after every word.

(I acutally hope Corruption will be in the shops this/next year, I probably shouldn't count on it though).
 

DM Cross

You want to see a magic trick?
Staff member
the manuscript deadline is June for Corruption :p After that, I can't say how long it'll take to find a publisher and actually get it out there, though.

Now for the on-topic part of this thread to come back :D There is a Corruption thread around here, somewhere.
 

Knights

You can change this now in User CP.
I once read a book called "Feed".

There were swearwords, like, every second. Around 3-7 per page.

Around the end of the book, a big argument was going on between two characters.

It wasn't great, as there was no subject to it, but here it is in a nutshell.

Char 1: "F*** YOU!"
Char 2: "NO, F*** YOU!"
Char 3: "YOUR A B****, GO F*** SOMONE!"
Char 4: "YOU STOLE MY F***ING GIRL F***ER"

etc...
etc...


Sometimes, cursing ruins the book, but at times, it wasn't bad.

Also, the book was supposed to be written as if the author was a teenager, and had some spelling mistakes, etc.

Knights:cool:
 

Halahan

To die will be an awfully big adventure.
I think that swearwords are fine, but only in diologue, and usually detract from almost all books to me unless its a curse original to the book. For example, in Wheel of Time, Cursing are such things like, "Blood and Ashes, which is are version I think of d*** f***, and then theres "Burn you," which is ours of "damn you," and "Light," which is our version of holy something or G**. Idk, I just think that few times does an actual swear word from our time incorporate into a story very well or describe someone well. I think you should come up with your own. ;)
 

SilverHawk

General Iroh - Dragon of the West
For me personally, I look at it from both sides of the spectrum; In dialogue, especially for the more gruff, looser characters it does a good job at defining their personality and making it more modernized, but in writing that's outside of dialogue, or is much more proper or in an older setting, it really detracts from the overall experience.
This is what I believe.
 
Cursing, now-a-days is one of the inevitable things. If you are reading a more modern text, then depending on the type of character is the amount of swearing that should be used. But over doing it is just bad taste. For books set in a more medieval period, it should be best left out. Make up other words for the swears, it'll make it a little bit more believable.
 

Tonks

New Member
It all depends on where you use it. Out of dialouge = no good. In dialouge = okay, when used correctly.
If you have a sailor in your book, who curses a lot by the way he lives, then of course you'll use a lot of curse words. If it's a little kid, then of course you're not going to use any.
Using curse words out of dialouge is just unproffesional.
 

Husky

Local Lurker
I dont mind it, as long as it's not over done. In the novel im working on I use swear words. Why do I use them? The main characters are 2 young guys in a war-torn world and city where nothings looking good. You think they'd swear right?

Now if I wrote a fantasy book I wouldn't have any swearing because they weren't invented way back then... Well depending on the timezone of the book. Say if a modern day guy/gal got sent back in time well then the main character could swear but it would be stupid if the others did (unless they caught on from the main char).

I use swearing to express the personalities of my characters. As I said, two young guys are gonna swear quite a lot in the enviroment they're living in and what happens to them.
 
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