Jessica Wolf is a striving author who spends the majority her time writing. Through Simple Scribbles, she hopes to meet up with other writers, share tips, and inspire others to begin writing. Check back every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for new posts!
Also, check out my guest post at her blog here.
WITHOUT FURTHER ADO...I bring you...JESS WOLF!
I am not afraid to curse in my writing, and I am not afraid of reading curse words in a book.
In the past I have run into some push back regarding curse words in novels and my own writing. (And, strangely enough, none of that push back has come from any of my family.) I completely understand a person's sensitivity to cursing. This post, though, is not to tell people how to feel about profanity. It is simply to explain why I curse in my writing and why
I personally view it as useful.
I curse because people do.
Profanity - whether you like it or not - is a part of every day life. Some people choose to use it in their day-to-day vernacular. Other people, like myself, choose to save their curse words for their writing. But the fact is human-beings curse. They curse at baseball games or when talking about getting their groceries. They curse when getting bad news or when excited.
Curse words express an emotion that other words aren't capable of expressing.
If all of my characters had squeaky clean mouths, that wouldn't be true to real life. So some of my characters use profanity. It's a part of who they are.
I curse because I want to portray real life.
It is my job as a writer to portray life as realistically as possible. I would be cheating myself if I refused to acknowledge the fact that people curse and keep it out of my writing just because I'm uncomfortable with it. Therefore, because I want to create a world and characters that are true, I cuss. And no, I have yet drop the f-bomb, and I highly doubt I will. Thus far, I've only used two cuss words: damn and hell. (And I'm not entirely sure those are even considered cuss words any more.)
The point of this all is: Cursing for the sake of cursing isn't a good enough reason to drop profanity into your novel. Often times, a cuss word every two or three words not only makes the prose hard to read but hard to take in. Cursing in novels can serve a greater purpose than just trying to be "grown up" or "cool" because it emulates real life and it emulates real people.
Some of my favorite characters are complete potty-mouths. They feel completely real because the author isn't afraid to ruffle some feathers with a few harsh words. And that's the thing - cursing ruffles feathers. It makes people uncomfortable. But that's okay. Isn't literature supposed to stir emotions, good or bad?
In the end, whether or not you curse in your novel is up to you. I'd love to know what your opinions are: Why do you or do you not curse in your novels?