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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The F Word

Today on Twitter (you can find me at there was a brief exchange about using the F word in our books. I've used the word more and more the longer I've written, but in all honesty, my heroes use the word. Every single one of them.

In my first book, Ravyn's Flight, I covered up the word by using "he cursed" or some similar phrase. I thought I couldn't use the word at the publisher I was targeting and I didn't want to blow my chances by using it.

In my second book, The Power of Two, I still thought I wasn't allowed to drop the F word, but Jake used it all the time. All the time! I managed that by having him refuse to use that word in front of the heroine and her thinking that was sweet. That book is littered with "fu--" throughout. :-)

And then I found out I could use the F word at my first publisher! Bliss! I know, weird thing to be overjoyed about, but like I said--my heroes swear. I tried to not use it too often in Through a Crimson Veil, Eternal Nights, or my story in Shards of Crimson, but I did use it. And loved not having to censor myself or my men.

When I sold to Tor, I knew my characters could swear more and both Deke from In the Midnight Hour and Creed from In Twilight's Shadow used the F word a lot. It was so great! Oh, I tried not to overuse it, but I didn't have to really do any censoring.

And then I got to Logan and Shona's story. (I still don't know what the title is, BTW.) And I thought, wow, my guys swear a lot. I wonder if I can still write a book without using the F word? If I was going to try, now would be the time. Logan is so much less likely to swear than my other guys, so as an experiment, I tried to write the entire book without using that one little four-letter word.

How did I do, you ask? Very well, thank you. :-) The word only appears once and my hero doesn't say it, a lowlife criminal does. I call that a rousing success. Of course, I owe that victory largely to Logan, but hey, I did prove I could still write without that word.

With that proven, I can move on to the next story. Kel, Logan's brother, uses the F word. I'll be using it, too. :-) And it's still blissful to have the freedom to use it. :-)