To swear or not to swear – that is the question…
Okay – so I’ve just tidied up a nasty scrap down in Kranek Harbour. Our boys were in the …. they didn’t know what to ……. do and things were generally getting out of hand. Nothing new there. That dreadful assassin fellow was doing awful things to our leading lady, whilst Dumb and Dumber were fending off all manner of ugliness with their steely blades. General chaos, really – a mixture of swords, profanities, (mainly on the part of the princess – bless her socks,) bad attitudes and sorcery. It’s on those profanities I’ll focus today – so please bear with me…
Recently I had a discussion with my editor up in NYC about the use of certain expletives. These words (I won’t mention them) sometimes issue from the mouths of some of my characters. I have nothing to do with this and have tried to stop it but to scant avail. They can be a rough lot, as you know.
Actually I think it’s a fine line. Placed well a nasty word adds punch and attitude, but their overuse gets boring and detracts from the storyline. The Fall of Gol had a lot of nasty words in it. Mainly because it had a lot of nasty characters in it that did a lot of nasty things to each other. I didn’t have a problem with this as I think it worked with the subject matter. But with Shattered Crown I’ve added humour to the mix and pretty much left the nasty words for the fight scenes, (because be honest who isn’t go to swear when a bunch of eight-foot hairies with axes are chasing you down an alley?)
Back in the halcyon days of Tolkien, Eddings and Feist nobody swore – oh, sure characters grumbled and complained (mainly dwarfs) but no one actually swore. I mean imagine Legolas the Elf gobbing off at some goblin – shocking the mere thought of it. But then came Game of Thrones and bad attitude changed up ten gears. Can you picture that imp in Rivendell? The Dark Lord has nothing on Tirion Lannister. I love G.O.T and I love L.O.T.R but they are fantasy worlds apart.
As I’ve said before my pitch is the middle ground. In Corin’s Chronicles we find many moments of bewitching mystery. There’s also a lot of carnage. I’ve welded the two together in a way that I hope you, dear reader, will enjoy. Incidentally I’d enjoy any feedback on this matter as it’s so subjective. As for my characters – I hope you can forgive them their choice words upon occasion.
After all it is quite stressful starring in a book
Have a great weekend! JWW