No, I’m not calling any of you a-holes. That’s a line from Nic Cage in The Rock, and one of the only lines I can remember that uses a swear-word substitute and is better off for it. Today, I’m considering swear words. Most notably, the f and s words, because apparently, manuscripts which contain those are not eligible for certain book clubs. So, decisions. Take them out, or leave them in? This question came up also with Sleepwalk Society, where the publisher scaled back the profanity. I gritted my teeth a little, but ultimately, enough of the natural language was left in that it didn’t hurt the book. However, what we’re finding now is that parents still aren’t going to jump on the Sleepwalk Society bandwagon, because of the sex and drug treatment.
So what to do with Anna Dressed in Blood? To be eligible for the aforementioned book clubs, all of the f and s words need to be cut. Or changed to "shoot" and "frick". No thank you. After sitting here for several minutes, I’m going to leave them in. I don’t think they’re gratuitous, or that any of my characters could be construed as a "potty mouth". And let’s not forget that the book is loaded with witchcraft and gore, so it will probably rub censors the wrong way anyhow.
Plus, Cas is still talking to me in Book 2, and I don’t want to institute the swear word jar and make him drop a quarter in every time he wants me to type it.
I’m curious about how other writers feel regarding profanity. Anybody got a project with questionable language? Anybody run up against objections? Why not leave some fuckin comments in the fuckin comments section. (See, now that was gratuitous.)