Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Only I didn't say Fudge...

It's Wednesday again and I'm actually blogging. Did you miss me? Because it's so hot this week, I've been thinking about winter and the holidays. Kinda like a mental fake out.

Actually, I forgot I needed to blog today, and this is kinda what I felt like. I refer you to the iconic holiday flick "A Christmas Story."

Ralphie: Oooh fuuudge!
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Only I didn't say "Fudge." I said THE word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the "F-dash-dash-dash" word!
Mr. Parker: [stunned] *What* did you say?
Ralphie: Uh, um...
Mr. Parker: That's... what I thought you said. Get in the car. Go on!
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] It was all over - I was dead. What would it be? The guillotine? Hanging? The chair? The rack? The Chinese water torture? Hmmph. Mere child's play compared to what surely awaited me.

So, this brings me to my current beef. The unadulterated overuse of profanity in fiction today. Don't get me wrong. I'm not a prude. I have my big girl panties pulled up and firmly in place to deal with this subject. I don't mind some profanity in books if the situation warrants it. Heck, an author can even do it to get a point across or use it to make a scene a little more "crude, cutting edge, or raw" I don't care. I have even used them in some of my books (I know you're shocked because if you know me in person or have spoken with me on the phone, you know I never curse) LOL I say "fudge" or "freaking" LOL So I suppose when I do use the word in my writing, it's a form of escape for me.

What I take exception is using the words simply to use the words. Dropping f-bombs like you got a 3-for-1 at the local dollar store isn't cool. Actually, it's annoying and yanks me right out of a story.

Why do I bring it up right now?

Because I'm seeing alot of this in movies, TV shows and in books. The f-bomb is losing its cache and shock factor. They're just words, right? It's becoming mundane and multiplying in annoyance like a couple of rabbits during Valentine's Day.

My point? Use it. Don't use it, but try to remember if it's actually needed before you go effing up the place LOL

I was going to leave you with an excerpt of one of my upcoming releases where I used the f-bomb but I think I might save that for later ;-) Stay tuned, though, I have two new releases coming your way this month and you won't want to miss them!

So, readers and writers, what's your take on the F-word? Use it, lose it, doesn't bother you? I wanna know! :-)


Jennifer L Hart said...

You're going to laugh, but I really think there is an art form to profanity. Knowing when to use it and more importantly when not to use it. It's a matter of degree. I pick up a romantic suspence, I expect to see it. We're dealing with characters whose lives are in jeapordy, so you don't expect them to be fudging around. Not digging it so much with a historical romance.

Time and place.

Rebecca Royce said...

I use it if the character uses it. I have some characters who never curse and some who can't seem to stop. Personally, I'm not offended by curse words. Maybe, I've just gotten used to it.

Sandra Sookoo said...

Thanks ladies. I agree. Time and place. I'm not offended. Just a bit tired of having to read through it or listen to it in movies if it's not needed.

Sara Brookes said...

Dropping f-bombs like you got a 3-for-1 at the local dollar store isn't cool.

LOL - that's hilarious!

I use it, my characters use it. Hopefully not to excess BUT yes, there's a time and place. I usually get wary of using it in anything other than present day. So much so that I do variations for my sci-fi since it takes place sometime in the future. So far, fucksticks is my favorite one. LOL

Sandra Sookoo said...

lol Thanks Sara.

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

Tee hee! I write romantic suspense. My new release has the f-bomb used in various forms. Okay, I lost count after twenty, however, I do spend time in my villian's POV as well. My heroine is a cop and she certainly drops the f-bomb. The hero PI not as much. I think it depends on the genre, character, setting. Personally over the years, I've dropped a lot of f-bombs, so I'm definitely not offended when I read the word my mother said was the "worst word in the world."

There are other words I have more trouble using, but do because those words are "expected" for the genre and publisher.

PG Forte said...

I don't use profanity for shock value in my books. In fact, I'd make the argument that I'm not the one making the decision to use it or not use it at all.

If it's what the character would say, he or she says it. If not...then they say something else.

I will say, though, it's used a lot on German soaps (to which I've become addicted) and frankly, I find the authenticity refreshing.

Sandra Sookoo said...

Thanks Marie-Nicole :-) Genre does usually dictate.

Thanks PG. I agree that authenticity is good. I just take exception when gets excessive.

Thanks both of you for coming by.

Charli Mac said...

I have a character who is known for cursing. My peeps are Philly cops and contractors. They are gonna say fudge on occasion, but I agree it's an art form. Knowing when and how is key. Great post!

Nicole Zoltack said...

I hate books or movies when they over-use the f-word. I haven't used that word in my writing. Then again, none of my characters would say that. I can understand a character saying it, if it's a part of that character, but otherwise, don't use it if it doesn't HAVE to be there.

Jenna Howard said...

Considering I'm a f-bomb dropper in real life...

Yes I use it in my books. But it's not just because I'm a f-bomb dropper. I've been known to delete it if it didn't suit my characters or the story or the publisher.

Years ago when I was a member of a writing group, I was asked what "line" I was I writing for. Everyone seemed to aim for Harlequin. "I don't want to write there," I said. "I want to curse." "There's cursing there," she said. Me: "I don't want to use gosh or darn. I want to use damn and fother-mucker." (though the not PG version) Her eyes went wide and I grabbed a cookie and walked off, grinning.

So yes I curse. And proudly too.

I wonder what she'd say if I mentioned the menages and anal sex? *buffs halo, wanders off and grabs a cookie*

Caroline Clemmons said...

Sandra, like you, I don't curse in real life. My annoyed words include "rats" and occsionally "crap." But my characters do curse. Not the f word or God-anything, or OMG, because I don't like to take God's name in vain. There are plenty of other curse words available. I did have a scary character who use the MotherF....word, and that shocked my critique partners. I said, "I didn't say it, he did." One of them said, "I didn't know you even knew that word." Well, I'm not a prude, but I do think cursing is overused for shock value in movies and many books. Mary Higgins Clark writes mystery/suspense without cursing, so it's possible.

Nerine Dorman said...

I only resort to profanity if it's in keeping with a character's demeanor. I agree it loses its impact if overused.

Sandra Sookoo said...

Thanks Charli!

Thanks Nicole. A good example of way overusing the word is Hell's Kitchen with Gordan Ramsey. Seriously, it's bleeped out and you have no idea what anyone was saying. Don't use it so much lol

Thanks Jenna! That's how you roll :-) Party on.

Caroline--I use crap. My sister think it's scandalous LOL

Thanks Nerine! Use but don't abuse, right? LOL

Stacey Kennedy said...

LOL!! That is my favorite Christmas movie of all time :)

Listen, the f-bomb is sometimes just needed! Both within my stories and sometimes in my personal life. If the need for such a strong word presents itself, I say USE IT and feel good about it!!!


Sandra Sookoo said...

Stacey--I didn't say I'm against profanity in books. I'm just saying there is such a thing as too much

Marie Beau said...

Mostly I think profanity is overused in stories even more than in normal conversation. What there are no other adjectives or verbs besides the f-bomb?

India Drummond said...

Great article. I personally swear like a sailor, but whether my characters do depends on their personality, upbringing and the social situation.

J Hali said...

Lordy, you picked my favorite word, lol, that and mf, sb, ah--live by them and with them! I use it, me and my characters do a lot of swearing back and forth at each other. They're just like that (me!)
Great post, Sandi.

Sandra Sookoo said...

Thanks Marie! :-)
Thanks India!
Thanks Joann!