Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Potty Mouth

AHA! I knew you'd click in ;)

Today I want to talk about dirty language and swearing in fiction. Well, to be more precise, in my fiction. First though...

Confession: I am not perfect. Got that in mind, right? Okay, good. All delusions shattered. We're ready to go.

There are some words I will use in fiction because I think they help establish the character, etc. Some will "swear," others are like me and try their best not to.

Here are words I will NOT use in my writing, on moral grounds:

Jesus' name (in vain)
God's name (in vain)
H-e-double hockey sticks (as a swear word, such as "What the H-word are you talking about?")
The D-word (as a curse)
The C-word (it's just gross and cruel)
The S-word (gross)
The F-word (see above)
The A-H-word (above)

And those are the words I can think of that I choose not to use in my writing. Here are the ones I will include, if appropriate, and why:

Both the B-words (not used here so as not to offend.) They're not dirty words. Period. They're mean, granted, but some of my characters can get mean.

The A-double-snakes-word. It's crude, but it meant a donkey before anything else.

The point is, it is appropriate sometimes. Most of the time, however, it is NOT. Middle grade shouldn't have any of the words I mentioned. At least, not MY middle grade.

Why did I write this post? To defend myself? Maybe. But more than anything to warn my readers--friends and family among them--that my views of what constitutes "language" might vary from theirs.

So, please, if you pick up one of my books one day, do not be surprised. There is no need for the soap. My characters did it!

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