• DW Johnson

What the ^%$#?

Updated: Dec 6, 2019

As a writer, you have thought hard about your fantasy world. You’ve given your characters unique names. You have changed the names of things like drinks and food and animals to suit your new world. Then weeks, months, even years later your book is done! ​ You read your proof before sending it to the publisher.

Jacon ran  forward, bloodthirst on his lips, his kapic sword raised, he cried out, “You sons of bitches, I’ll kill every &^%$ one of you!”

Wait, what? Do you read what I read?

You went to all the effort to create a completely new world with new names for almost everything under the sun (including the sun) and yet the characters curse the same way some people do on earth?? What the Frak is that?

What makes you think these “people” in your book, living in a completely different world would curse the same way English speaking people do? (because not everyone on earth uses the same curse words “Bloody Hell”)

Let me add that I am not a fan of Earth curse words in any book. Prudish? No, not really. I have some made up curse words in most (if not all) of my novels. I think using Earthly curse words detracts from the flow of a story. It pulls you out of the realm you are reading and thrusts you (most often violently) back into our world.

You spent all this time creating a new world. Go the extra mile and make a new profane language.  Don’t worry about whether your reader knows that “Pokar” means bastard or not. Use it in the correct context and your audience will get the message.

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