Swearing. What do you think?

Dyslexia://

New Member
When writing stories down, when is it appropriate to drop a couple of F-Bombs?

For example, one of the characters that I am writing with is more or less a street kid. You could call him a punk, a gangster, whatever. You get the idea.
And usually, you can't just make him say things like 'Oh snap!' or 'Sucker', because that's not only out of character, it's also totally lame.

I believe that to be true to these types of characters, dropping a few F-Bombs when s/he exclaims something is kind of necessary depending on the situation.

Care to share some thoughts?
 

Avaleirra

Is back. Probably.
I believe it is ok as long as they are not overused. Use swears to add to the story, not take away from them.
 

ElderKingpin

Post in the anime section, or die.
depends on your audience. One of my books doesnt drop an f-bomb, it just says

"He cursed under his breath" or
"He yelled some foul language" etc. etc. Depends on the audience


In "The Steel Wave' and etc, it was set in WW2, but none of the guys ever dropped an F-Bomb.
 

Ninva

Анна Ахматова
It heavily depends on your audience. If your audience will be older adolescents with rebellious attitudes, drop that bomb like it's WWII. If you're aiming to please everyone, use an alternative.
 

Miz

Administrator
It heavily depends on your audience. If your audience will be older adolescents with rebellious attitudes, drop that bomb like it's WWII. If you're aiming to please everyone, use an alternative.
It depends on the Audience and of course the situation and the narrator. If your character experienced a major lost (lets say in War) right before his eyes, realistically he is probably going to drop the bomb.
 

thewrongvine

The Evolved Panda Commandant
Staff member
Suddenly, a trip mine exploded. Buddy Joe's body disappeared.
Friend Tim's eyes widened as he gasped, "F-Bomb!"

~Hai-Bye-Vine~
 

Ninva

Анна Ахматова
Suddenly, a trip mine exploded. Buddy Joe's body disappeared.
Friend Tim's eyes widened as he gasped, "F-Bomb!"

~Hai-Bye-Vine~
lol, nice illustration

It depends on the Audience and of course the situation and the narrator. If your character experienced a major lost (lets say in War) right before his eyes, realistically he is probably going to drop the bomb.
Tim slid down the hill into a deep valley as the enemy army advanced on his platoon's retreat. His fellow soldiers collided with the muddy earth, screaming as they madly dashed for the thickly forested area just beyond another steep hill, an obstacle proven deadly by countless bodies and limbs slowly rolling down from its peak. Machine gun bullets ripped them to shreds. No one was spared from the horror of war.

Tim stood in between these two large hills that protected him from the firefight. He watched in terror as he saw his brother Joe climbing up ahead of him. Tim's eyes were wild with fright as he saw a bullet struck his brother. The young man flopped head first into the mud, yet his body stiffened and began to inch its way down the hill into Tim's valley. Tim watched his poor sibling desperately, waiting for the young man to finally roll down the hill; but then there was silence from the machine gun. Those who fled were shot by snipers. Slowly, Nazis appeared as they began to examine the dead and mortally wounded. They were looking for survivors, and when one was spotted, a handgun would ignite and a dull thump would harmonize the fatal gunshot. Tim began to tremble. His brother had remained stationary during this slow phase until he rose his head to greet a surprised Nazi inspector. The officer questioned the man, and then asked for the assistance of another officer. They conversed in German until the discussion became an argument. Suddenly, the approaching officer pulled out his handgun. He fired at the wounded soldier three times. Two bullets zipped passed Joe until the third struck his head. A violent jerk confirmed his elimination.

Tim cursed under his breath. What could he do now? And without a firm answer, he cried until a Nazi found him too, and they took him away where they questioned him too. Tim couldn't speak though. He didn't know German; thus, he was kept in a little cell where he couldn't sleep. His brother haunted him there until morning, when a Nazi soldier found Tim hanging from the barred window at the end of a loop made with his jacket.
 

Miz

Administrator
I would also saying cursing in a story. Just like in real life, with moderation. Because if you do it too much it loses meaning.
If you use swear words correctly in a scene than you can so easily portray a person reaction. But if he uses one almost every paragraph, than it loses meaning and importance. Thus it would be pointless and might just use other words.
 

Ninva

Анна Ахматова
If you use swear words correctly in a scene than you can so easily portray a person reaction. But if he uses one almost every paragraph, than it loses meaning and importance. Thus it would be pointless and might just use other words.
Or it can reflect on the times and characters. I don't think using swearing/cursing in moderation improves a character or story. It just censors your characters. If you're going to drop some f-bombs, do it. Don't hold back. But then again, if you writing a story that should be PG, then use alternatives.

Swearing is not important. What is important is how you use it. For a great example of obscurity, read Slaughterhouse Five. For a childish outlook on swearing, read Catcher in the Rye. Two classics that explore characters. They'll help you write better.
 

Dyslexia://

New Member
Hmmm. Interesting.
So, in short, use it when it contributes to character or if it fits into the situation, but not overuse it to the point where it's just plain unneeded profanity.
I'll keep that in mind. Thanks :thup:
 

New_U.S.

ITS OVER 9000!
but not overuse it to the point where it's just plain unneeded profanity.
Just for another perspective. :thup:

[YOUTUBE]mFTeG-RoBTQ[/YOUTUBE]
The Departed - Oscar for Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay
 

Ninva

Анна Ахматова
Don't watch movies. We're talking about literature, not scripts. Two different things! Don't even argue, or it'll show your ignorance.
 

Dakho

()[o__o]()
Depends on the audience and the character. If your character happens to be an Italian from Brooklyn, it's pretty likely his dialogue will be littered with F-Bombs.
 

Pineapple

Just Smile.
Avoiding swears is the easiest way to ruin a character. If they will swear they will swear. Do not try to avoid them. Do what flows naturally. Do you see people staying their swears? A few do, many will swear their heads off. If you character does, write it for gods sake. Its a fucking word and it wont fucking hurt you for fucks sake.
 

ElderKingpin

Post in the anime section, or die.
it may ruin the character, but some people just dont want to read a character that excessively cusses.
 

Zakyath

Member
Using it in your text in lack of other words = No
Using it because the character is likely to say it = Yes
 

Ioannes

Oh man, I shot Marvin in the face.
It depends on the genre and what impression you want to make.
Observe the graphic.




Stories can have a conflict of different significance to the future of mankind: books like Tolkien's or Tom Clancy's deal with big wars, nations against each other, etc. The Discworld series to a smaller extent. (possibly not, I haven't read most of them)

Also, stories vary in terms of how the characters behave. Everybody's well-behaved in Pride and Prejudice (I'm pretty sure), and on the other hand Holden Caulfield is as direct as a person whose only exposure to culture was a horrific blend of South Park, low-quality rap music, and dunnowhat more.

And so, you can see the genres here. High fantasy works score in the upper right, the higher the fantasy is, obviously. Military fiction would be in the far-left, top half. Romance novels go down and to the right.

So, when you think of the genre of your writing, perhaps this table will help you decide what characters' manners should be, or where your work will appear at the end.
 

Durandal

New Member
When writing stories down, when is it appropriate to drop a couple of F-Bombs?
If your character has to swear to get his/her point across, me, I tend to automatically deduct 50 IQ points from them

I honestly feel, that there are almost always more intelligent and eloquent ways to make your point, then to ever swear, swearing is generally for the guy or girl who doesn't have a large vocab and thus uses curses to supplement it. So it's a matter of how smart you want your character to come off as.

Now imaginative curses are a different story as well.

I probably sound like an idiot
 
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