Views on profanity

Use this forum to discuss the March 2018 Book of the Month, "Final Notice" by Van Fleisher.
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Van F
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Views on profanity

Post by Van F » 21 May 2018, 02:34

Amongst the many reviews I have received for FINAL NOTICE - Thankyou! - a number of people commented on the profanity. I don’t believe I included a lot of profanity but I appreciate the feelings and views of readers.

My inclusion of profanity was meant to better describe situations and characters. As I write the sequel to FN, I would like to re-consider this and invite your views. I would also like your view on whether substituting asterisks for some letters is a viable option or a cop-out. Many thanks. Van

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Post by shidawn » 23 May 2018, 09:11

I felt like there was a lot of profanity as well, but there are many books that have significantly more profanity than was in your book. As for using asterisks, I would definitely avoid that. It just looks like you are censoring the book. Of course, if the second book deals with censorship, you could make the asterisks work in your favor.

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Post by Riszell » 24 May 2018, 13:12

Profanities are obscene language but they are used as expressions. More often in real life, people curse or swear words to express their intense feelings. I think the use of such words actually contributed to specify the situations. Using asterisks for me would just make readers think why include a word if not intended to be read.

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Post by Riszell » 24 May 2018, 20:33

Just read the First Reading today and remembered this topic so I'm posting this:
But above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath, but let your "Yes" mean "Yes" and your "No" mean "No", that you may not incur condemnation.
I may also have personal views on the matter but I highly respect the teachings of the Bible and the Church. :techie-studyinggray:

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Post by ValBookReviews » 26 May 2018, 09:51

While I'm not a fan of profanity, I certainly thank you, Van for clearing up your viewpoint.
"And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life". (Revelation 20:12 (NKJV) :reading-7:

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Post by CinWin » 27 May 2018, 13:49

Profanity has its place in the world as well as in books. It is the amount of profanity that is used that I question. If it is sporatic and seems like that is what the character would say in reality, then by all means use it. I would not use asteriks. It smacks of censorship and you might as well delete all profanity in the books you read and write than just "hint" at it. I think your book did not overly use profanity and for those that are against ANY profanity in writing should not read it.
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Post by alisonedgee » 27 May 2018, 15:22

i personally love swearing. i think all people do tbh.
when it comes to books i think swearing in speech is totally fine, if it’s from from first person pov ok because you’re coming from a characters angle
but if it’s a third person narrative then only do it in speech bc then it comes across as cheap unless you do it well but in the whole there is nothing wrong with swearing at all

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Post by Brittany J » 27 May 2018, 21:26

I would not use astericks. I think profanity is fine when used occasionally and appropriately in some characters' dialogue because it is realistic. I think an excessive use or having all characters use it can detract from the story.

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Post by Mely918 » 30 May 2018, 00:44

I think profanity can be a very good artistic tool. It can show a character's stress, anger, frustration, or any other strong emotions they may be experiencing. However, it may begin to lose it's meaning if it is overdone. Unless it's all coming from one particular character who is known to be a potty mouth. Just as long as it is used tastefully and stays true to a character's personality, I don't see an issue with it.

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Post by Chanti Stargirl » 30 May 2018, 03:44

Mely918 wrote:
30 May 2018, 00:44
I think profanity can be a very good artistic tool. It can show a character's stress, anger, frustration, or any other strong emotions they may be experiencing. However, it may begin to lose it's meaning if it is overdone. Unless it's all coming from one particular character who is known to be a potty mouth. Just as long as it is used tastefully and stays true to a character's personality, I don't see an issue with it.
I agree with Mely918, profanity should be used artistically. Personally I don't enjoy excessive swearing and it has ruined books for me in the past. However, when profanity is used in a tasteful manner is actually has the potential to enhance the story.

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Post by Wesley Liu » 01 Jun 2018, 16:23

I don't think that there is anything wrong with profanity inside a book. The use of profanity is to project the character's personality or feelings, not just for no reason. As long as each word is used for a valid motive, then I view it as something that could actually improve the book's style. One way to tell whether or not you should use profanity is think, "If I am in this same situation, would I use profanity? If others were in this same situation, would I use profanity? Does this use of profanity enhance my writing?" If there is no profanity, the book could seem very "fake" and unnatural, because it is normal for people to curse every once in a while because of something frustrating, scary, etc. Additionally, profanity should only be used in dialogue if the story is in third person, or it could be used anywhere valid in a first person story, or else the writing could seem random and low-level.

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Post by Kendra M Parker » 02 Jun 2018, 06:44

Van F wrote:
21 May 2018, 02:34
Amongst the many reviews I have received for FINAL NOTICE - Thankyou! - a number of people commented on the profanity. I don’t believe I included a lot of profanity but I appreciate the feelings and views of readers.

My inclusion of profanity was meant to better describe situations and characters. As I write the sequel to FN, I would like to re-consider this and invite your views. I would also like your view on whether substituting asterisks for some letters is a viable option or a cop-out. Many thanks. Van
When used sparingly and with serious consideration of the situation, I think profanity can be a tool for a writer. I have read a few books where it is part of what makes the character who he is and adds to the story.

That said, I still would comment on it in a review so that readers that would want to avoid this may do so. I do not think that I would recommend that to younger readers, either.

As for using asterisks, if you're going to bother to include profanity of any sort, own it. Don't try to hide it unless it makes some further point with your story. I would alsay recommend that you avoid going overboard with the use of profanity.

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Post by -brintontaylor » 02 Jun 2018, 14:23

Profanity makes characters speech way more realistic. It enthrals the reader and really engages them and let's them know how the character is feeling in my opinion.

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Post by VirgoRules2018 » 02 Jun 2018, 23:58

In a perfect world one may not need to use such language nor write them. However, the world we do live in is certainly miles away from perfection and sometimes based on the setting and the scene and given the character being described.....the selective use of profanity conveys the truth. And the truth can sometimes be ugly and not what we are willing to accept as a palatable version of communication. The very good writers can use all manner of words and expressions to transform our thoughts and help us understand what is happening.

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Post by its bri » 03 Jun 2018, 15:37

I don't mind profanity in books when appropriate. Now-a-days that's how a lot of people talk so it makes sense that it would end up in our literature. One book I'm reading, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, has a lot of profanity and I personally think it makes it very powerful.

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