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Questions tagged [profanity]

questions about the correct use of crude, offensive, and/or blasphemous terms in one's writing.

32
votes
11answers
11k views

Using fake swear words without them seeming out of place to the reader

This is not a question about slang, but about swearing and word creation. I have a character who uses swear words, and this is part of his voice. I do not use real swear words. I want the sense of ...
22
votes
15answers
5k views

How much swearing is TOO much? (And how much is not enough?)

I've noticed that some of the most successful writers refrain from using profanity, such as Stephanie Meyer and Norman Mailer. Are readers turned off by swearing in books? More importantly, is it ...
22
votes
5answers
3k views

How to write cleanly even if my character uses expletive language?

I'm writing a story that I'd like younger readers to pick up. I and they know and understand that some situations are far better expressed with one f-word than a thousand milder ones. I'm keeping my ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

Using profanity

I'm working on a war novel (sci-fi). My initial plan was for my MC to start out with a very clean language, almost comically clean, and as the plot progresses and the situation gets more FUBAR, his ...
11
votes
9answers
626 views

Swearing in a book, within a context. Too offensive?

I am currently writing a science fiction novel. The characters are almost uniformly pirates and/or miners in the asteroid belt. Having worked in the mining industry, and grown up around mining towns ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Swearing - Censor, allude, or include?

I was reading this thread, but it didn't quite the answer a question I had about creative writing and whether profanity should be used or not, in a way that is best for creative storytelling. Here's ...
6
votes
2answers
148 views

Crossing the line from Middle-Grade to Young-Adult

I would like to followup on this excellent question which outlined differences among works for children, middle-grade, and young-adult. What are some clear differences in theme/story between children&...
3
votes
6answers
430 views

Can I use “fuck” as a non-vulgar verb in a fantasy/steampunk world?

I've been sending my fourth-ish novel through the my writing group. It is about a trio of teenagers running away from some mercenaries. One of them (Maris) is a girl who has only had a year of formal ...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

Would publishers accept a title which includes the F-word?

I have a title for a novel, however, it would lose its zeitgeist if I couldn't include the F-word. I can't go in to details without giving away the title. Would this limit the potential audience ...
1
vote
5answers
274 views

In-universe swear, curses, similies and sayings, how to make them less cringeworthy

Hold Your Hippogriffs: A (more often than not) cringeworthy version of a saying (though can be invented on the spot), that is prone to cause Fatal Death in most readers. But it sounds fun, who wouldn'...