Readers Chime In

June 9, 2016 10:32am CST
As a writer, I had a discussion in my writing group about using swear word in our books. One person chimed in "They would never read any book with foul language." Another said It was important to the character development. What do you think. Do you like reading books with swearing? I value your opinions.
9 people like this
12 responses
@Daljinder (22202)
• India
9 Jun 16
What if the character is a foul-mouthed individual? LOL! How would the writer portray the character without using the swear words uttered by that character?
2 people like this
9 Jun 16
Exactly DJ.. Some fiction writers write gritty characters with foul nasty mouths. Granted, it can be bothersome to read a string of foul language, but it is my job to portray a character that paints a picture in the readers mind. I want you the reader to love or hate the character, it makes the book more intriguing. Thank you for your opinion :-)
@Genipher (5273)
• United States
9 Jun 16
It could be unique to make up a new "bad word" that the character says in lieu of "real" bad words. Another way around it would be to leave the actual word to the reader's imagination. i.e. "She flinched as the expletive left his mouth." or, "She let the word-bomb drop from her lips..." or, "The plants shriveled at the impact of the invective."
1 person likes this
10 Jun 16
@Genipher I really like that idea. The reader already has a great imagination. All a writer needs to do it lead them there, the reader wil finish the thought according to their preference. Thank you!
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (48793)
• Germany
9 Jun 16
If swear words are used only occasionally, it's ok for me. Yet, many writers exaggerate.
2 people like this
• Westland, Michigan
9 Jun 16
I agree, if most of book is clean and once in a while we see swear word and it is used to develop a character, than yeah I am good with that.
1 person likes this
10 Jun 16
A well placed word can say so much :-)
1 person likes this
@Marcyaz (35549)
• United States
9 Jun 16
I do not like swearing in a book and once I read a book like that I will not look for a book by that author again.
1 person likes this
18 Jun 16
Authors beware. It is a risk we take as writers. This is why I put the question out there for all of you. Thanks for your honest input. It is true, if you do not share the book, the author will not get read. It. Is our goal to get our books into as many readers hands as possible.
@zarlamain (24931)
• United States
9 Jun 16
It depends on the character. If the character is a type to swear, then so be it.
1 person likes this
10 Jun 16
I don't know if there is a right or wrong answer, but hearing everyone's opinion is very helpful.
1 person likes this
@zarlamain (24931)
• United States
10 Jun 16
@WriterGirl44 That's good. It's nice to have a vast array of opinions.
@JudyEv (156265)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Jun 16
I'm not keen on swearing just for the sake of swearing but if a character calls for it, then I think it is okay. That doesn't mean every second word needs to be an expletive.
1 person likes this
17 Jun 16
Agreed!
1 person likes this
@marlina (83341)
• Canada
9 Jun 16
No, I do not like to read a book with swearing in it, neither watching a TV show or movie with swearing.
1 person likes this
9 Jun 16
Thank you. I appreciate your opinion :-)
• United States
10 Jun 16
i reckon such depends'n many factors. fer myself, i aint into the curse words'f the times. they're o'erused to the point that many turn a deaf ear when they hear 'em. if such's written to excess, one's likely to jest close the book. then there's others who seem to "feed off" such....
1 person likes this
@miniam (9218)
• Bern, Switzerland
10 Jun 16
This will always depend but i think most people would not share a book with swear words in them.I for example, would not share such a book with my mum,sisters or anyone l know in my circle, but l dont have a problem reading a book with swear words.
1 person likes this
@Genipher (5273)
• United States
9 Jun 16
As a reader, sometimes foul language throws me off. If there are a lot of "F" bombs, I tend to shrink away from the book and author. However, a few "craps" or "damns" don't bother me and, like other have said, can develop the character into something believable.
1 person likes this
@maezee (36431)
• United States
10 Jun 16
It doesnt really bother me. For some characters it seems to fit well that they have swearing in their thoughts or dialogue.
10 Jun 16
Thanks Maezee, I agree, if it fits the character then go with it. Just make the dialogue real. I don't know anyone who speaks as every other word is swearing :-)
@maezee (36431)
• United States
10 Jun 16
@WriterGirl44 True. But I guess its fiction for a reason lol
• Lenox, Georgia
17 Jun 16
I don't enjoy foul language but if it's in a book I will still read it, I just don't read those words.
@polyxena (2600)
• Sturgis, Michigan
11 Jun 16
I think as a writer, it's fine, as long as you're not over using swear words, like dropping the F bomb half a dozen times.Though I hav read books like that in the past that were full profanity, which didn't keep me from reading the book at all. There just has to be a fine line between the swear words and what's being written.