Tuesday, November 10, 2009
What The *$%#@...er....Heck Is Going On?
Forgive my lapse in propriety with the title. I usually refrain from foul language in writing (though I've been known to let a few fly in person from time to time - sorry, I was a soldier). But the title really is appropriate. Allow me to explain.
This all started amidst my NaNo writing. I have a MC who experiences many situations where it might be appropriate to cuss a little bit. I have as of yet refrained from letting him "let go" so to speak, mostly because I didn't want my writing to disintegrate into mindless ramblings with an occasional cuss word thrown in here and there.
Today, I stumbled on Scott's interesting post over at The Literary Lab and it has caused me to question this behavior. Am I being untrue to myself (and the MC) by muzzling him? Don't get me wrong; I'm not a fan of profanity for profanity's sake. One of my favorite authors (Stephen King) seems to dive headlong into the cussin' pool more and more these days, which I find irritating. This is not the impression I would like to leave with my readers.
I just don't know whether putting in an occasional heck or darn (or their more provane equivalents) will damage my story. Or should I stay true to how I "really" envision my MC and let him fling a curse here or there?
I guess I should mention that I already know my book is not destined for the YA genre. This is not a question of what is "appropriate" for my audience as far as genre goes. I guess I'm just holding back because I've seen how easily this slippery slope can become a downward torrent, and I don't want that to happen. So I pose the question to you, my followers. How do I resolve this problem? I could really use some advice, so please feel free to fill my comment box up.
Oh, and yes I am still forging forward on NaNo. For those keeping track, I'm somewhere above 17K at this point.