“You will never find a character use foul language in any of my stories.”

This something I’ve heard a couple times from writers recently, and it’s something that’s stuck in my craw enough that I’m still thinking about it this weekend. I rarely say anything when I hear someone say this–or at least I haven’t said anything so far–because why argue about trivial things like this? But my initial reaction is always pretty visceral inside. I find the idea … annoying. It grates on what I will ambitiously call my artistic sensibilities.

Why would you purposely limit the characters you can write by taking that approach?” I think when I hear these words.

I respect these writers’ opinions, and I see that approach in one’s life as a noble and profoundly important thing if you can pull it off. I do my best to control my language as I go about my daily living. So, I get it in that fashion.

When it comes to writing stories, though, it’s a different thing all together. I agree there’s no reason to be gratuitous, of course, but a person’s relationship to, and use of, profanity is a major element that speaks to their view of life. To write a character who should swear without allowing them to swear removes their power. It’s like taking out one of their lungs. They still show up and still do their thing, but they can’t run at full bore when you need them to because they’re down on oxygen.

So, why would any writer purposefully remove tools from their toolbox?


Just venting, I suppose.


While not technically finished, Lord of the Freeborn is now at such a state as I can say the story itself is finished. Everything is in place, and while I think the last 5 pages need a serious tightening, the work that’s ahead is pretty clear-cut. I’ll probably leave it sit for a week, now, and then either Friday or Saturday do a full read of it out loud to clear up any odd sentence stuff, and hopefully then this will be completely behind me.


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