Monday, June 24, 2019

Profanity in Fiction? Hell, Yeah.

The other day I was getting ready to leave a review on Amazon when another review caught my eye.  It was a one-star and it went kinda like this:  'Littered with profanity.  I won't read any author who isn't intelligent enough to write without profanity.'

My first thought was 'well, honey, you read this one'.

My second thought was 'aren't you precious?'

My third thought?  'Who in their right mind read the blurb for this book and thought there would be no profanity?'

I mean, it was a suspense with a gritty, take no shit from anyone, hardass main character - which was pretty obvious from the blurb.  He had to deal with lowlifes and gangbangers and scum.  And she (I assume it was a she) thought there would be no swearing?  Oh, for pity's sake.

Personally, I didn't notice an overly large amount of profanity in the book.  It didn't stand out to me.  Which is how you should have swearing in your work.  It should flow naturally.  If you're throwing naughty words into your work for effect, it won't flow right and readers can tell. 

And if you're writing about life and reality and bad things happening, your work should probably have profanity.  Because, let's face it, people swear.  A lot. 

Of course, it should fit with the book you're writing.  I mean, if your book is set in Amish country and the characters are Amish, then profanity wouldn't fit.  Derp.  And if you're writing a fantasy or SF or something, you may have to make up swearwords to fit the world.  (DJ Salisbury - our very own Deb - does a most excellent job of this in her fantasy world.) 

Thinking about it now, the person who left that review probably read two pages, found an f-bomb, and got up on her high horse.  Wrote a one-star review to show how virtuous she was and went about her day patting herself on the back for her good works.  Bleh.

I hope she doesn't pick up my books.  Especially Sleeping Ugly - which is probably the most profanity-laced of my books.  But yeah, there's profanity in most of them.  Naturally.


  1. Jeez. Can you imagine what s/he do with Sade and/or Hannah? Or most of my Wolves? I just roll my eyes when I read reviews like that and the reviews on romance novels that decry the sex. Seriously?!?! It's a ROMANCE novel! Unless you are reading Amish/Inspirational or the new "cosy/clean" category, you're gonna get six in varying degrees. People.

    So yeah, you don't like swearing or sex? Stay away from my books. Sheesh. Some people. 🙄

  2. People swear. Even "virtuous" people swear when they get upset enough. Characters in a hardboiled any-genre novel are *supposed* to swear.

    Leaving a one-star was beyond rude. Of course, that might encourage the "I want real life" readers to buy it.

    Thanks for the shout out! :-)