Monday, May 14, 2012

Would You Like An F-Bomb With Your Fiction?

I was reading a young adult novel this weekend where there was a curse word in every other sentence.  The f-bomb, sh*t, h*ll--you name it, this book has it.  In spades.  No exaggeration.  Like most YA, it was told in first-person so, pretty  much from the first page, I got the obvious hint that the narrator was angry, frustrated, and even a little old and jaded for her years.  So, mission accomplished.  Go, you.

At first, I found the narrator quite annoying.  By the third chapter, I had grown used to her and even felt a little sorry for her (which I'm guessing was the author's intent).  By the fifth chapter, I was into the story so there's no turning back.  I will finish it. 

Do you appreciate a well-placed f-bomb (or a million of them)?  Do you care? Does/should it matter?  That's the million dollar question for the day.

12 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If it fits the character and the scene, it works, but I don't want to read a slew of profanity, especially if it's not needed.

Trisha said...

I love swearing. so it doesn't bother me really, but I do recall reading one book where even I thought that all the f-bombs were unnecessary.

LTM said...

Hmm... It depends a lot on the story and if it's appropriate. I don't like pandering in any form. But now I'm wondering what this book is... I have a guess. :D <3

LD Masterson said...

I struggle with it. I don't like using the f-bomb myself but when I'm writing crime drama, it's hard to have a local thug saying "gosh, darn".

raelynbarclay said...

I don't mind swearing if it fits the character and their reaction to a situation. I don't want it thrown in for shock value or whatever other reasoning someone might have. I'm not sure I've read anything, yet, where I felt the swearing was overdone.

Cold As Heaven said...

Personally, I dont mind. I swear alot myslef, and I have taught my kids to swear too. But I've also taught them to swear only in situations where it fits, among friends, in the soccer-team locker room, but not in class or when speaking to the grand parents.

When it comes to fiction, I think the F-bomb (as you call it, I would say it straight), or swearing in general is needed in some cases, for instance when it's used to show the personality of a character.

I think the fear of the F-word is exaggerated, in particular in YA fiction. Have you heard a natural conversation between teens? I have an 18 yo son, and lots of his friends visiting our house. They're definitely not afraid of the F-word or any other word >:)

Cold As Heaven

Randy said...

I don't like reading language like that and I make sure not to include it in my writing.

I had once heard from a comedian that resorting to vulgar language and crude humor was taking the easy way out. It takes more skill to make people laugh and keep it suitable for all audiences. That's the way I look at my writing. I choose not to take the easier way out.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Honestly? Never. If a book has the F word, I usually stop reading.

Carol Riggs said...

I definitely don't include it in my own writing (it's offscreen when my characters swear in earnest), but I can handle reading an occasional F-bomb or such like while reading. I don't like books that are saturated with swear words; come on--is it REALLY necessary to the storyline? To me, it detracts.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Yep. Give me adult language, nudity, sexual content, and anything else you want to throw in. I'm an adult. I'm proud that I'm old.

Danette said...

If it fits the character than go for it. Teens swear and they swear a lot. Inappropriately. To the point where you have to remind them that there are times to swear and times to keep that language to themselves. So if they are reading it... *shrug* I wouldn't mind at all.

Angelina Rain said...

It depends on the book and the characters. I like finding words like that in James Patterson books as it fits, but I would put a Nora Roberts book down if it included so much profanity. Some authors could pull it off while others can't.