Thursday, May 28, 2015

Let's Talk About the 'F' Word In Books

Warning: Lots of 'F' words in this post. 

Let's talk about the 'F' word. Mainly, a writer's use of the 'F' word in a book. 

Now, before I get too deep in this post, I am a writer that has used the word "fuck" in a book. Several of my characters use it throughout the book in times of anger, frustration, and even friendly barbs at each other. That being said, I get it. I get why you would use the word in your writing, especially if you're trying to portray a character a certain way. 

That being said....

There is such a thing as too much "fuck". 

I refuse to out the book because it hasn't been published yet and I am reading an advanced copy so there may be changes before it finally goes to print but I am currently reading a book that had 15 'F' words on the first page. The first fucking page. (See, that's a legitimate use.) And then I turned the page. And there were 15 more. 

Listen, I have a foul mouth sometimes. In the almost 4 years that my husband and I have been married he's threatened to invoke a swear jar, wash my mouth out with soap, and put hot sauce on my tongue about a million times like my grandmother used to do when I was a kid. I promise you, nothing is going to work. Sometimes it just feels good to cuss. But I don't get that same good feeling when my eyeballs are assaulted with f-bombs every other sentence. 

After a while it just becomes exhausting. The writer is trying to portray this character as a big, scary bad-ass and he's just coming off as a little boy who is trying to get out as many cuss words as he can before his mom comes back in the room. 

To me, it takes away from the actual story. I'm so distracted by all of the weirdly placed 'F' words that I can't focus on the characters and what's going on with them. All I'm thinking about is how ridiculous someone would sound actually using all of those 'F' words the way the author wrote them. "I think I want a hamfuckingburger with french fucking fries and a fucking coke and don't you skimp on the mayofuckingaise you fucking burger flipfuckinger"  (Okay, so that's not actually a quote from any book, thank goodness, but you get the idea!) 

If you must use cuss words in your books, that's okay! Just make sure that they're actually necessary. If there are so many cuss words in your writing that those words outnumber regular words, you should probably try eliminating some. Maybe try reading it out loud and seeing how it sounds? 

Maybe it's just me? 

Does this bother anyone else or am I just being a pansy? 

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