I’ve been editing two manuscripts this week and I’ve noticed in both, my hero likes to swear. A lot. Which got me wondering—How much is too much? I happen to have a bit of a potty mouth and I often think in swear words, which is why so many of them get said. Yes. It’s a problem. But a minor one, I think.
When I’m writing, I try to get into the mindset of my characters and though I can usually be heard dropping an expletive on just about any occasion, most of my characters don’t. I like to think that it’s because I am actually, you know, creating them to have their own personality and voice. However, my two current heroes are both former military, older, bachelors and are clashing with women they can’t resist and it’s playing with their heads. And causing many an f-bomb to be thrown.
I’ve been trying to edit some of the cursing out, but it sounds wrong for these men to not curse aloud or think it when frustrated. I will never have my manly men say, Oh Shoot or Darn it. I can’t imagine NOT thinking F$%^ this, or well SH$# that… Before that scares you off from ever wanting to talk to me in real life—I do know how to shut the F&^% up in polite company.
So, dear readers and writers—Does cursing turn you off from a character and/or pull you out of the story? Are there words that you skim without thinking and others that jump out and smack you on the forehead?