On Writing: Swearing

How do you handle swearing in your constructed (fantasy, sci-fi, etc) settings?

I’ve run into this more than a few times over the years. Sometimes, I find out something about the setting when I have the characters start swearing.

Gods below… swear men in Tír na Cali, which leads to the question… below what, and why are they below.

Eleven departed gods… people curse in Fae Apoc. Why are there 11? Where did they go?

I’m still trying to decide about curses in Reiassan… Girey blasts things a lot and, coming from a maritime culture, sometimes swears by whirlpools. Rin… doesn’t swear much.

How do you handle swearing? What’s your favorite and/or least favorite ways you’ve read other people handling it ?

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0 thoughts on “On Writing: Swearing

  1. For my CotRV setting, I tend to borrow “frell!” and “fragg!” from chaypeta‘s Teriu universe. To that I’ve added “Cold and Dark!” which is a reference to the Foxen afterlife (after you die you wake up naked in a midnight snowstorm. Righteous see the light the Mother Goddess has lit to lead them to shelter and their reward. Unrepentant souls just keep wandering lost).

    • *grins* I haven’t heard “Frell!’ I years! I need to watch Farscape again. As for swearing, I enjoy invented words (like frell) and also phrases that make sense in the culture (people on Pern cursed by Thread, if I recall).

  2. Not a writer. As a reader, I tend to be most fond of world or culture or character-specific curse-phrases. (“Temple and Arch” leaps to mind at the moment.) I did also like just ****ing the cursing in Spots the Space Marine, as that would have been pretty much modern language (with stereotypical military levels of swearing), and it was appropriate to the main character.

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