Welcome back to another Open Book Blog Hop!
Today’s question is: How do you feel about the use of profanity, either in your stories or in what you read?
And remember to pay a visit to my fellow writers to see what they have come up with. You can find their works here!
I’ve seen this question come about quite a bit the last few weeks or so. It’s an interesting subject, too. I know plenty of people don’t like swearing. It’s not a massive stretch then, that they probably aren’t going to be massive fans of swearing in books, tv, film or any other media. And there’s nothing wrong with that at all. If I’m being honest though, I am not in this camp. I swear. It’s not a badge of honour, but stub your toe or hit a wall when trying to work through a problem and a good old fashioned curse can help. It’s strangely cathartic.
There are plenty of people that see swearing as an indicator of low intellect. I’ll refrain from commenting on that one. But it is a part of reality. People swear. Some only at times of high stress. Others way more frequently. It’s a standard feature of dialogue in video games, films and TV shows. I’ve read plenty of books that feature violence, adult themes and, yes, plenty of swearing. As long as it seems right, I have no issue with it.
Chasings Shadows has swearing. Why? Well because it’s a natural part of dialogue. There’s a sprinkling of some of the more “everyday” curses peppered. Nothing that’d make a sailor blush or turn the air blue, but it’s there nonetheless. I’d like to think it doesn’t appear forced or shoehorned in. I wouldn’t say I follow any rules as such, just that it shouldn’t be out of character for the person cursing. That’s massively important for me. That doesn’t necessarily mean a vicar or nun can’t swear – it could be all the more impactful from someon who hasn’t sworn previously in the book. But, it needs to fit the person and the situation. If it’s little children doing, or if it’s overused then it’s jarring. And worse, it can be so overused they have no impact. In that scenario it’s just as unnatural as not seeing curses where they’d be perfectly natural.
Love it or hate it, swearing is a part of many dialects and languages. Certain parts of society, or even certain vocational routes have always been more associated with it, but I don’t see a problem in using it in context, and sparingly in media.