Writing Wrongs

February 22, 2005

So Iím reading Romancing the Blog, and wow! An entry on one of my favorite topics: swearing.

A lot of times when this topic comes up, especially on romance boards, the bias is toward not swearing in stories, not even in dialogue. Someone usually cites a sainted, well-educated, and generally dearly departed relative as saying only a small mind resorts to swearing.

To which Iíve always wanted to respond with a variation of ďscrew you.Ē

But Iím convinced the irony would be lost.

Even writing guru Jack Bickham takes the no-swearing stand in The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes: (And How to Avoid Them). He goes as far as to say that when he was in the military neither he nor any of his compatriots swore.

Um. Sure, Jack. Whatever you say.

Stories come from characters, and some characters swear. I do know when I go back and look at The Boysí Club on paper, Iíll probably take out some of the swearing. I like the comment someone made about it being organic to the characters. Iíve read stories where substitute swearing has made me roll my eyes as well as books where swearing didnít fit the tone, style, and voice of the prose or the image I had of the characters.

Like any other writing ďrule,Ē itís all in the execution.

Writing Progress: Iím convinced that writers everywhere, whether they believe in a higher power or not, need a serenity prayer. As soon as I think one up, Iíll post it here. Iím pleased to report that Iím writing again, kind of, on The Boysí Club (by ďkind ofĒ I mean completely out of order) and I even prepared a submission yesterday.

Charity Tahmaseb wrote at 11:48 a.m.