When to drop the f-bomb!

I spent a lot of my life working labor-intensive professions. Worked loading docks and factories and out in the field and in a cotton mill. Worked as a roustabout and house painted and lugged professionally and as a result I KNOW how to curse in many creative fashions.

However, when I write I do my best to school my language appropriately.

I try and save my cursing for the strongest of moments.

These days writers and entertainers are just a little bit too comfortable with dropping the “f-bomb”. They feel that it’s somehow freeing and adds strength to their performance.


It is just as easy to say “butt” instead of “ass”.

It is just as easy to say “freak” instead of “fuck”.

It doesn’t weaken your writing one single bit.

Then – when your main character finally DOES feel the need to drop an “f-bomb” the reader is going to react strongly – “Holy freak – this main character just watched his girlfriend drop from an airplane full of nuns that crashed into the burning house where his parents had just finished announcing that this character was actually adopted by aliens – and now they are burning to death while a random drive-by shooter pops a cap into said main character’s dog, Rowlf.”

No wonder he dropped a freaking “f-bomb”.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

PS: Don’t forget to check out my latest double-sized entry in the Flash Virus series!


4 responses to “When to drop the f-bomb!

  1. I remember reading an older Koontz – Door to December, I think – and honestly being shocked when the lead protag dropped the f-bomb. You have it exactly right. I’ve always considered going back and taking some of the swears out of my earlier work…


  2. I live by a high school and I’ve learned that if you want to write realistic dialogue, F bombs will make more appearances that ‘a’ or ‘the’ if your characters are teens. However, there is tremendous power when you use the word sparingly, pullling it out like a heeled gunslinger who has had just about enough.


  3. That was effin’ great.

    Sorry. Couldn’t resist, Steve.


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