So this morning I’m looking at a sample chapter from a novel, (not one that I wrote), and there, in the second sentence of the opening narrative, is the dreaded, “F-bomb.” That was it. I was done. The book may have had an intriguing title, but once I saw that expletive, that was it. I was immediately turned off, and had no reason to read any further.
Now I’m not saying I’m a total prude, however, I don’t use profanity in my narratives. There simply is no reason for it, especially when writing in the third person, as this novel was written. It’s a sign of a lazy, sloppy writer–one who is a rank amateur. A good storyteller doesn’t need to use profanity. Plain and simple.
But some of you may be asking, “What about the dialog?” Okay, there will times when an, “Oh my goodness gracious,” simply won’t cut it. I’m also fully aware that it’s the 21st century; not the 1950s. Therefore, I’ll use an occasional, “damn,” or “hell,” in my dialog, but never the “F-bomb.” And by the way, the keyword here is occasional. My characters are not potty mouths. Even my villains have more class than that.
Yes, it may be the 21st century, but there are still people out there who find profanity, particularly the “F-bomb,” offensive. So why risk alienating readers who would have otherwise loved your book?
My tip for the day.