Reading an utterly fabulous post over at The Daily Post got me thinking about swearing and, in particular, how my characters do it.
Now I’m on the pro-swearing side, but I must admit, with my first attempt at a novel I steered well clear of swearing. I didn’t want to upset anyone, after all. And the story I ended up with was sickly-sweet: with an overload of sugar and not much depth. And absolutely no swearing.
Of course, I’m not saying swearing is necessary to give characters depth, but since that first attempt at a novel I’ve ignored my inner swearing-sensor and let my characters swear whenever it seems right for them.
And, for me, that’s the key thing: when it’s right for them.
It shouldn’t be forced, or just chucked in like a cheap special effect. Swearing should be something that shows the character, is true to their way of reacting to the situations they’re in, and the words they choose fit with their use of language.
So as a result some of my characters swear in dialogue, some never swear in dialogue but do think it. And some don’t swear in any form.
What’s right for your characters: to swear, or not to swear?
- Swearing (dailypost.wordpress.com)