Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

To Cuss or Not to Cuss--How Will My Characters Talk?

Sometimes I worry I do my readers a disservice. They never know what they're going to get from me. Depending on my characters, language can run the gamut from one or two "dirty words" to more "F-bombs" dropped than gunfire in a war.

So, why the difference?

Why don't I write all my books in the same language style?

In short, it's my characters.

As I write their stories, some characters tell me they wouldn't use that word so I clean up the language. Yes, I hear voices. Others, like my hero in a book currently with an editor, have no qualms about using the F-word frequently. The hero in the book I'm writing now speaks with less spice.

But why? Aren't I the writer? Aren't I the one putting the words on the computer screen? Yes. Yes, I am. I am also in my character's head. If I'm striving for deep point of view, I have to mentally become them. Yup...there are times, for hours a day, I might think and write like a man. I have to act and react in an Alpha male manner. Use my pretend hunk swagger.

If I choose not to listen to my character's directions, he or she wakes me up at night. Or preys on my mind during the day long after I've moved onto another chapter.

Not all authors think the way I do. And that's okay. They don't have to deal with how my mind works. I do. So one time you might read a book of mine with little swearing and other times the language will make your hair curl. It's my characters' fault.


lilacandlace said...

I totally get what you mean about your characters. And, to be honest, the language rarely even fazes me. I have three step-brothers, a half-brother and younger brother, so... yeah. lol I think what makes your books so good is the depth of the characters and the dialogue.

Angela Adams said...

It's all about the characters and how much readers can relate to and/or understand them.

Leslie Scott said...

My CP usually has me add more colorful language to my dialogue (not that you'd know anything about that ;) ). BUT, I think I'm careful about using it because in real life I am rather foul mouthed and ALWAYS getting in trouble because of it.