46

First, I would not do the "translation" of your last sentence. Second, you need to understand that swear words are typically one or two syllables, and the audio effect needs to be somewhat similar. Another word for "fuck" is "intercourse", but it is nearly impossible to use "intercourse!" as a swear word, in places where we would normally say "fuck!". "...


39

Each usage has its place. #1 is most commonly used in such situations. Even if you're not writing for children, you don't necessarily want every bit of cursing. Sometimes telling that the character used a strong word is enough, or even more effective, than actually spelling out what exactly he said. #2 has place when you're writing for adults, who would ...


18

Keep it consistent throughout the story and don't use lots of words. Making up one or two is better than four, and keep using those. Make his audience gasp when they hear him saying the word. Make them shake their heads at his foul language. No need to say what it means, the reader if he reads it a couple of times should catch the idea. And if they don't, ...


18

I think the answer to your question lies in the very problem you're having. You say you've created a character whose language is so clean it's almost comical, and you yourself feel awkward when you write profanity, so use that to your advantage. Have the MC refuse to use profanity while the other character tease him for it. Then when something goes wrong, ...


14

I think this is a good technique, I've recommended it myself elsewhere here, but it needs to align with how people really create and use words. Curse words and oaths are generally used for shock value. Euphemisms are used to clean up or soften curses. And slang is used to establish an in-group (that understands the slang) and an out-group (that doesn't). ...


9

Fake swear words are a staple, particularly in otherworld fantasy and science fiction. But most of the fake swear words that I can think of are real words, just not ones that are typically used as swear words. This is fairly realistic to real life, too. If you think about it, the word 'bitch' doesn't have any intrinsically scatological, sexual, or ...


9

How can I write this kind of language, that I do not talk, not even as part of my internal monologue? This is either a problem or a blessing. If you, like your character, do not use it on a daily basis (not part of your verbal repertoire) then it will sound stilted, awkward, and just... well, weird. And that's the way it should sound coming from someone (...


9

There are 3573 entries on Goodreads with the word "f***" in the title (I only splat it for this site, not for my own sensibility). The titles contain the full word, spelled out. 2744 entries with the word s*** in the title. And so on. It's just not an issue with many publishers. It may be for others but those others likely wouldn't publish your book ...


8

Write the story you want to write. Some people will take offense. That's okay. Read any chapter of Game of Thrones that has an adult viewpoint character. Watch any episode of Deadwood. Some people will take offense. That's okay.


8

Again not the answer you're looking for, but it depends! Don't put in swear words for the sake of it, but when they add strength to a piece of dialogue then go ahead. So when a man kills a man in front of another man is it better for that other man to say "What was that for?" or "What the fuck was that for?" Note the increased impression of anger here? I ...


8

I read an article by a film critic once where he commented (not an exact quote, quoting from memory), "When was the last time you heard someone say, 'That could have been a good movie, but they just didn't use the f-word enough.'" His point, of course, was that the opposite is true. There are many people who do not like profanity and who will not read your ...


7

Aged 10-12, my understanding of sex was "that's how you make children". It didn't sound like fun, so my understanding of why people would do it, other than to make children, was rather in the "adults are weird" realm. (Adults were also weird in other ways: they drank bitter coffee, and sour wine, and smoked stinky cigarettes, and it's not like any of those ...


6

I think you need to consider the context. Is the swearing important or decorative? "James swore under his breath" is not the important part of that scene; the important part is that he can't find the USB stick. But Anthony snarling, "I've had enough of your bullshit" actually is the point of that line of dialogue, so using the profanity makes sense. This ...


6

Part of it depends on your character. Is he one to toss around profanity like a kid playing catch? Or is this unusual for him? Do you want the "shock value" of using the actual word? Personally I prefer writing (and reading) the more creative phrasings authors use to cover up the profanity She swore, using words no proper young lady should know and that ...


6

Swearing can be tricky and in general it's not a great idea to over use it. However, I think that if you do it in context and use it sparingly then there isn't a problem with it. The opening line of the book, "The Martian," uses the F word, and it's not having any problems with sales and was turned into a movie, but you should be aware that by including ...


6

Maybe you can use a spoonerism? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoonerism However, I am not sure if there's any unintended effect it may have (it could make the excerpt unintentionally funny). For example: Instead of saying "F**k this!", your character could say: "Tuck fhis!". Check this example as a reference: Similarly to the above example, "...


4

In my current story, a character just came into a room and saw our protagonist standing among a room full of dead bodies. In utter shock and fear (as he had no expectation of this) he proclaimed "What the fuck did you do?" I don't think without the included profanity, the scene works. He hardly is a character to throw around profanity in regular ...


4

Derive the profane words from something your characters' culture reveres. Swearing emphasizes a moment. Profanity does that while also reinforcing the cultural background that helps to make a story interesting, and the cultural background provides a framework for ranking the severity of the profane words. For example, many terms in Quebec French profanity ...


4

One way to accomplish this is by using the same word roots and structure of swear words but modifying them in a way that is not immediately obvious. For example, think of the ominous land of "Mordor" in Lord of the Rings, which uses the same root as "Murder", a very negative thing. J.K. Rowling employed this tactic as well when naming places, things and ...


4

You do it as you did, they just need to be short and pithy enough that people get what they are; slang or shorthand for something ridiculous or over the top. I would read them out loud (in my studio alone, or to the dog), to see if they feel "sayable". The Flower Hill comment does, the Orion thing does not. To become popular, sayings need to be short and ...


4

Oh man. Swearing is f*cking poetic. I think you need to find it in you. Release it. Find the thing that pisses you off like nothing else ever has. It might be a current event (insert soul crushing current event here), or something else. Swearing like a sailor is a beautiful thing, it has rhythm and rhyme and is percussive. Swearing like a 15 year old who ...


3

As an accompaniment to the other suggestions, I would suggest initially telling us that the characters are swearing. For example, the dialogue: Bob: How does this apparatus work? Alice: Jesus! Do I have to explain it again? Fuck that. might become "How does this apparatus work?" whimpered Bob shyly. "Geez!" swore Alice. "Do I have to explain it ...


3

Look at your characters. If they are people who are likely to swear then to strip them of that is to make your characters less realistic. Look at the scenes you're creating, if you're writing the conversation between a group of mid-twenties guys in a bar, it would be strange if they didn't swear. Obviously your perceived audience comes into that, if you'...


3

I'll repeat the main point I tried to make in the thread you referenced: Regardless of how you think this character would actually speak in real life, and regardless of your own opinions about profanity, there are many people who find profanity distasteful or offensive, and who will not read a book if the quantity or intensity of profanity passes a certain ...


3

I believe it's okay depending on the context you use it. "Fuck" does throw off a couple readers because it comes off as a jarring to some readers. It's also not widely accepted in society. However, if your character is built up to have such mannerisms, then it's okay to use it. I wouldn't expect to hear "fuck" from a devout nun, but from a psychopath ...


3

The first thing you must consider, is your own vocabulary. In order for the swearing to SEEM natural, you must be totally comfortable with your own use of curse-words! Otherwise, it's akin to Mark Twain's observations on a spinster's "cursing": You'll know the lyrics, but not the tune! I've known women authors who were excellent word-smiths; but only one ...


3

I've never liked these 'fake words,' and I asked something similar here. I don't think there are any easy ways. Even though I dislike them as a reader, I want to use them as a writer, and so I am resigned that this is an uphill battle. The upside is that people that learn the word eventually become the 'in group' that know, for example, what a mudblood is. ...


3

Write a short story involving foul language. Possibly several. Or just run through some shorter exercises where you you have people arguing over things - child custody, music volume, the remote, etc. See where you stumble most, and where your writing seems most artificial. Improve it through editing, and see what made it better. And get feedback from others ...


3

Most of the difference is in a degree of adult themes that are depicted in the book. For younger readers, you would have less violence (or the violence that is less graphic), and you don't want to go too deep into the dark themes. However, "Relationships/Sex" stands aside in the list of your concerns. This is the area where middle grader might have a lot of ...


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