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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Dropping the F Bomb

I've been thinking about the swearing my heroes do. My heroines, too, to some extent, but they never seem to sink into the depths of profanity that my guys do. When do I curb them or do I curb them at all?

No one's said anything to me, but the hero in the proposal I'm working on now goes farther down the road than any other hero I've had. It's not so much the frequency as his choice of words. I'm used to hearing the F bomb from my guys--they all use it, although in my first few books, I censored them. If you see a line that says, he cursed, you can pretty much just insert the F word there. :-)

Some of my guys censored themselves for me. Jake from The Power of Two wouldn't use the F word in front of Cai, his heroine. So there was a lot of Fu-- in the story as he stopped himself. And Wyatt from Eternal Nights was raised not to swear at all in front of ladies, so the few times he does drop the F'inheimer around Kendall, it grabs her attention.

Logan from Edge of Dawn just plain doesn't swear much at all, but I did go with the he cursed thing again because I was curious if I could still write a book without using the F word. I didn't bother to rein in Kel from In the Darkest Night, but while he swears more than Logan, his brother, he's a far cry from Deke and Creed who both swore constantly. Sigh. They were a trial to me. We all survived, although for me it was barely.

Now I'm working on Jack and Liza and Jack not only uses the F word, he uses MF.

This raises questions for me. Will a publisher put out a paranormal romance with a hero that says that word? I can cut it back to F'er if I had to, but this is how he talks. I've written three chapters for my proposal and he's used it twice so far.

I'm not asking for advice because I'm pretty much decided to submit it to my agent with the language intact. If she thinks it'll be a problem for a publisher, I know she'll tell me and I can fix it then. I have contingencies in mind already if the need arises, but it does make me wonder where the language line is in the romance genre.