Use of swear words in a novel?

I'm writing a novel and i want one of the character to be exceptionally hateful towards the gay, black, and generally any minority to him, and I want him to use words which are deemed as offensive towards these communities, is there any sort of guidelines related to this?

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  • 7 years ago
    Best answer

    You want your characters to be as honest as possible. Unfortunately, there are people out there in the world who use the n-word, people who hate homosexuals, who are narrow-minded and shallow. If these characters populate your book, then it's your job, as a writer, to be honest about what kind of people they are.

    If a character would cuss in real life, don't skirt around it.

    If you're writing for Young Adult or Middle Grade audiences, then yeah, some publishers will be aware of the number of cuss words you use. There's a difference between being honest and being gratuitous.

  • 7 years ago

    Yes, there are.

    First, you have to consider who your audience is. Obviously, if this is a children's novel, you should stay away from foul language altogether. If it's young adult, it's allowed, but no excessive. With adult novels, you can do pretty much whatever the heck you want.

    Something to keep in mind: To make swearing effective, use it sparingly. I get it, this character is hateful and no body likes him. But try not to make him swear so much to the point that all these f-bombs and n-words start becoming white noise to your readers. Less is more. Really look at what he's saying and have him swear in dialogue that you want people to NOTICE. (Likewise, if I had written this entire explanation in ALL CAPS, the word "notice" would have had significantly less impact than it did.)

  • aida
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    Some people object to Huckleberry Finn (which others consider the Great American Novel) and call it racist because of the use of a certain racial epithet. Those who object to it on those grounds evidently don't understand that Twain was satirizing racism and having his characters use that word to demonstrate their ignorance.

    Today you can use any word you choose in a work of fiction. As long as you put offensive words in the mouths of characters you want to be seen as offensive, there should be no problem. As long as it's clear that that's your intent, few people should object or see YOU as holding those prejudices.

    Source(s): Retired English professor
  • 3 years ago

    the place did you get the thought it fairly is 'frowned upon by readers'? in case you're writing for an person readership, then it is not 'frowned upon' to place in writing life like communicate. at times meaning swearing. case in point, Irvine Welsh's bestselling novel Trainspotting is narrated by drug addicts in a working classification Scottish city, so it could be ridiculous in the event that they did no longer swear plenty. specific, some human beings are indignant by swearing, yet *each thing* will offend *somebody*. maximum individuals of person readers will assume that many times, human beings of specific varieties and in specific situations will swear, and whether those readers do no longer approve of swearing in genuine existence, they gained't commonly be bowled over or upset to work out it in a e book in cases the place it fairly is life like/necessary. in case you're writing for youths, then you definately could have some swear words - yet no longer on the different internet site. in case you're writing for babies, it fairly is extra or much less a no-no.

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  • Lane
    Lv 5
    7 years ago

    Use whatever words you want. If you want to make a realistic racist character he needs to be appropriatly racist. ( I don't know if I would do it if the character is a author avatar.)

    Readers are bright enough to understand meta-langauge. That is, no you using those words but you talking about using them or of others using them. I'm a trail attorney and I would never ask a witness if he called my client "the N-word" I would ask if he called my client a ******. The jury understand that that is not me calling anyone a ******. If your readers are not brighter than a jury you are writing for 5 year olds.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    It is important to make it so instead of the characters say the things to be degrading, you have to degrade the characters morals for them saying that. if you haven't already, read the adventures of huckleberry finn and use that as an example.

    Source(s): Honors high school english student
  • 7 years ago

    It's your story, you're allowed to use whichever words you deem necessary to the characterization and such.

  • 7 years ago

    You could... invent your own slang?

    For example, in the game "Thief", there's a word called "taff". It is basically equivalent to the F-word.

    "You taffer." "Quit taffing around." "Are you taffing with me?" Found it hilarious.

    So... maybe you can invent some of your own?

  • 7 years ago

    Just go on. Make your characters precise and honest anyway.

  • 7 years ago

    i say go for whatever words you want to use. controversial books get the most attention anyway

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