Cursing and the F-bomb
Published on January 6, 2011 by lahilden | Views: 1151

When is it okay for your heroine to let the F-bomb fly?  This came up in another blog I was on a few weeks back, and I thought to discuss it further on my site.  The reason for this discussion is because one of the heroines in my Destiny Series, Desirea Leighton, a Hollywood starlit (think Brittany Spears or Lindsay Lohan but without all the trouble those two have managed to ensnare themselves in).  Now my character Desirea is a modern day heroine swept back to Regency England and she has the worst potty mouth, in truth, cursing is part of her charm.

Of course, ladies never swore in Regency England, ah, I hate the word never, because I believe even the very best of lady’s had a reason to curse on occasion, I refuse to see it any other way.  Anger can lead one to harsher words even if the word is as mild as damn, which brings me back to the biggest swear word of them all the F-bomb.

Does the f-word pull a reader out of a book?  Are you personally offended if you see the f-word on the page?  Perhaps this isn’t such an issue with contemporaries, but what if it’s found littered through the pages of a historical romance novel when the f-word is not expected?

This is the dilemma I’m facing on the writing front.  I love Desirea’s character, she’s sassy, brave, and swears like a dockhand, but she’s great and I don’t want to change her.  Her words are a part of who she is and her swearing has made for some very fun scenes.  And yet I find myself wondering, should I change this one to frik, or should I substitute anther word altogether like the mild hell or damn.  And what if hell or damn isn’t harsh enough.  I’ve come to the conclusion that sometimes the f-word simply cannot be replaced or the power of the sentence disappears right along with it.