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Writer's Lounge Need advice? Want to give advice? Come on in and share ideas with your fellow writers. Just remember, all fics go in the main forum.


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  #1    
Old September 2nd, 2012, 08:43 AM
Infiltrat0rN7's Avatar
Infiltrat0rN7
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Hello, it's me again. I have a few questions to ask about swearing:

Can swearing seem forced?

Does swearing actually help set a more serious tone?

Is swearing frowned upon?

Does swearing turn you off?

Dropping the F-bomb= M rating?

Is there anything else I should know about swearing?

Any input would be appreciated!
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  #2    
Old September 2nd, 2012, 08:58 AM
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Swearing can be forced if it's not something that seems like what a character would say. So generally, it depends on how the character acts and speaks, but yes, it can sometimes be forced. For those cases, I can be turned off my swearing, but it doesn't overall. I mean, I swear a lot in reality, so it doesn't bother me in the slightest. Actually, I find a little swearing can add to the realism in the story if the characters fit, like if they're a ragtag bunch of criminals.

In some cases, swearing can set a somber tone, but it can also be used to display comedy. Generally, it depends on how it's used, just as all other words, really. But swear words can add to the tone of your story. However, I wouldn't rely on them. Although, it's worth mentioning that you don't want to swear too much in your prose; it should mainly be saved for dialogue unless it's in a first-person narrative and the narrator is a swearer. If you can make it work, though, then go for it. It does set a tone depending on how you use them, so it'll be interesting to read.

And I think if there's an f-bomb, it automatically receives an M rating for movies. I don't exactly agree with that unless it's excessively used, so I think you'll be safe with a T rating if you use the f-bomb sporadically and warn readers beforehand.
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Old September 2nd, 2012, 09:23 AM
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I love swearing. No realistic story is complete without it. I only bothers me when swearing is included in a story that doesn't need it.

The overall tone felt friendly, but then a **** is dropped. It doesn't belong there, to me.

I don't feel like a story needs a 'M' rating if it has a few f-bombs here and there.

I think it deserves an M rating if f-bombs are part of his/her vocabulary. Everytime they have dialouge they cuss, then yes.
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Old September 2nd, 2012, 12:48 PM
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Digimon Kaiser
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Dropping multiple F bombs should be automatic M rating, but once in a blue moon is ok for Teen fics.
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Old September 2nd, 2012, 11:47 PM
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Iqid Loopz
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hmmmm I to be honest, swearing is, well. Makes things casual for me. Swearing can be forced, if the situation is right. ex; if your character drops something heavy on their toes, or break there legs while standing, why not, throw in swears. Wouldn't you swear if something dropped on your toe or broke both of you legs while standing.

And yes, swearing can make a situation or moment be serious or a better term "doodoo hitting the fan" And in a T rating, most definitly can make a part really intense. Like two characters are arguing without swearing and out of no where one just throws an insulting-swear, doodoo went down. Sometimes its unnecessary to swear, and some times there's no need too and sometimes a turn off. Most definitely if there's loads of fracks here and there, they yes, slap a M all over. Don't OVER USE swearing, and don't put very very insulting swears. That's is all. Hope it helped.
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Old September 3rd, 2012, 02:50 AM
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The MPAA officially lets you get away with one F-bomb (or other "harsher sexually-derived swear") in a PG-13 movie, as long as it is not used in a sexual context but rather as a simple expletive, and may let you off with two if the movie is otherwise mostly or just about devoid of other objectionable content (violence, drug use, sexuality, etc.). At least one movie (As Good as It Gets) has managed to slip by with three F-bombs and no violence/drugs/sex. Either way you'd need to think very carefully about the timing if you want to have swearing but restrict yourself to that number.

Swearing is very much a characterization thing; for some characters it feels right that they do, and for others it would feel out of place. It's also a mood/atmosphere thing, though; a character who would swear in a grittier story would probably feel out of place doing so in, say, an otherwise lighthearted action/adventure story with kid main characters. It generally feels forced if it seems like the author is only including swearing in order to seem cool and edgy, instead of it being a meaningful aspect of characterization: if, for example, everyone just seems to pepper their words with swearing in the same way, regardless of who they are or whether the situation calls for it.

Personally, swearing doesn't put me off at all unless it's forced like that; usually it's just a neutral thing. Though really well-timed precision F-strikes can actively add to a scene, and it can be an additional dash of flavor to the characterization. I've personally written both fics with no swearing and where it would just be inappropriate to the mood, a couple with one or two F-bombs coming from characters in a very agitated state, and one where one of the characters swears almost constantly when he's stressed, angry or upset, some of the others swear every now and then, and others don't at all. It all depends on what works for the story and characters.
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Last edited by Dragonfree; September 3rd, 2012 at 03:36 AM.
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Old September 5th, 2012, 07:10 PM
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Infiltrat0rN7
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Thanks everyone! You're feedback is as usual appreciated. As it is right now, I think swearing would seem in place for my story and not forced, as I am trying for a more realistic world. Also kids these days do have potty mouths

Anyway, thanks again!
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