No cursing in my novels

thiebaud-faix-1178408-unsplash My book will not have cursing in it. If someone curses, I say, “He cursed.” I don’t use actual curse words. That’s my preference. Others say they want their stories to be realistic, so they use curse words. As a former teacher, I’ve seen and read many books by popular authors who use no cursing in their books. I don’t curse, and I don’t like cursing. I’m not offended by it; I’m actually seldom offended by anything. Just because I don’t like something doesn’t mean it offends me. My feelings are this: I want anyone to be able to enjoy my writing. Those who curse and those who don’t. If I add cursing in my dialogue, I’m alienating a group of people who don’t want to read books with cursing. If I don’t use cursing, I’m not really alienating anyone. I asked a group of students if they preferred books with cursing or no cursing. They said it doesn’t matter. What matters is if the book is good. But I have had students who didn’t like books with cursing. It’s a matter of preference and sometimes morals. I do feel that what we read and hear affects us and the way we speak. As a parent, I never wanted my children to be exposed to vulgar language. I wasn’t exposed to it as a child, and I never had issues with cursing or vulgar words being part of my language. I worked at school this week, and as I stood in the hall watching junior high students go to class, I heard the vilest language come from the mouth of a cute little blonde girl. I think this is common nowadays. How sad. How do you feel about realistic dialogue? How do you feel about the use of cursing in books you read?

Dialogue is the bomb!

Writers who advise other writers say make your dialogue realistic. Every person doesn’t talk the same, so your characters shouldn’t either. Boy, that gets challenging.

I’ve worked to give my characters different voices. When the people who live in a certain area speak, they speak simply and use slang and bad grammar. When my characters who are educated and professional people speak, they use less slang and more proper language.

Now I’m returning to the manuscript to do some layering. I’m giving one character a slang-word: Dadgum. I’m giving the main character the ability to sing and play music very well. The antagonist loves to hear him play and sing and has a favorite song he requests. I had to do a little research to find good guitar songs. That was fun. I heard songs I’ve never heard before.

Editing is hard work. I have so much to do before this book is done. Lord help this writer!