It’s true. Even people who don’t like to cuss enjoy foul language in their literature at times. If done properly, it commands attention and makes the story more organic.
I had this reinforced last night at the St. Louis Writer’s Guild open mic night. I’ll admit it, I’m the dumb ass writer who has no trouble getting up and speaking in front of people, singing and dancing like an idiot, but if you ask me to read one of my stories I want to curl up into a ball and wish for death.
I don’t know why. You could say I lack confidence, but I think it’s more that I still consider myself new to the writing community. I’ve been writing since I could hold a pen and getting published for a few years now, but some of the old dogs I heard last night have been at this for decades.
It’s fucking intimidating!
But I forced myself to sign up and listened to everyone else with open ears. A lot of the writers changed what they were going to read based on who went before them and they openly stated this. It helped me realize that we’re all scared shitless.
I also noticed a lack of realistic dialogue, or dialogue at all for that matter, something I consider essential for a story to have good pacing. It makes me glad that I have a theatre background to aid me with mine.
My throat was dry and I shook a bit, something I’m not used to because I’ve been onstage hundreds of times, but not nearly so exposed. I mean it takes a lot of nerve to read your own work.
When I scanned the group as I read, I found all eyes locked on me. My stories never seem to lack originality, but mine was also the only one that has straight rough dialogue. There were some shits and asses in their which seemed to astound this particular writer’s group.
But they loved it.
My writing Yoda (Mark Pearson or Marc Pierson as he is truly named) is British, so I guess maybe I’m picking up on a more free style, I don’t know. What I have noticed is that the good shit, the really “punch you in the gut make your remember the story” shit, is often a gritty raw piece of material that avoids all the poetic nonsense and digs itself into your soul.
I don’t curse in all my stories. I haven’t in most of them. It depends on what genre you’re writing. But if you want real, honest lit/modern writing, you have to let the words flow and forget about what may offend.
Listen to me talking as if I know anything. haha Maybe I am more of a writer than I think.