I need to preface this post with the fact that I am NOT against cursing in books. So, I am NOT against cursing in books.
Have you every seen the movie “Good Will Hunting”? I read something recently where it started to turn into that movie. For the first ten pages there were no curse words, not harsh or crass language. Then suddenly, it was like WHAT THE FUCK? <== see what I did there?
Anyways, suddenly the word “fuck” was used in every other sentence. The word lost its meaning. I am not opposed to using curse words in exposition or in dialogue, but you have to make them worth while.
For example: I have a scene in “Forever Burn” were Max is freaking out because he feels completely helpless and pulled in ways he never thought possible. He didn’t know what to do and the frustration just continued to build. EXCERPT TIME!
In frustration, he tossed the piece of paper with Rob’s name and number into the trash bin and stood up glaring at the telephone.
The word slipped through his lips. It was rare that he cursed, but the harsh word sounded throughout the deadly silent room and filled him with a sense of pleasure.
“Mother fucker!” He shouted it louder this time.
The knot that had been held tightly in his chest and stomach released and everything tumbled down. He sat back in the chair, his hands covered his face, and his mind reeled with the reality.
The tears fell unbridled.
See, the cursing plays to the mood of the character and exactly to what is going on in that moment. But if the word overused, if the meaning behind it is overdone, then it loses all its impact.
Just food for thought.