Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Language in fiction…


Language in fiction!*!*…

This blog discusses strong language but I will try to refrain from swearing during it. I must confess I live in the modern world. It is a world where my acquaintances use swear words frequently. The opening scene from Four Weddings and a Funeral springs to mind. Yes, sometimes my life is like that. Sometimes I even do it myself. I am not averse to swearing, in its place, and believe it is a legitimate form of expression. Feel free to argue against me if you wish – it is all opinion.

Anyway, the point of the blog is that recently I’ve read some genre novels that employ strong (and when I say strong I mean very strong – what some would see as highly objectionable) language throughout to increase tension, expression, aid visual description and generally drive an impact. It works. It is effective. It makes these characters feel real, increases empathy, but more than that it gives them human flaws. And flaws are a large part of the human makeup. It seems the more flawed the character, the more engaging they are to the reader.

My novel is in first draft stage and so far in the writing I have not employed any overly strong language, but having seen the positive impact it can have from recent reads, such as George RR Martin, Joe Abercrombie, Sam Sykes et al, I certainly won’t be ruling out the possibility, and when I know my characters a little better I may just need the odd spewing of language to really put the message across. To be decided.

Elloise Hopkins.

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