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would you read a sweary book

(30 Posts)
Icanhearmynebioursshouting Fri 06-Oct-17 14:04:51

ive just complete a book and im pretty proud of it i think mumsnetters would love it, buts it;s got a few swear words in it not nothing over the top just a few fucksake, twat, tit, bastard, fuckoff, piss off. is it to much ??

chipsandpeas Fri 06-Oct-17 14:35:51

wouldnt bother me

luckiestgirl Fri 06-Oct-17 14:36:03

Swearing wouldn't bother me. The bad grammar would.

IckyPop Fri 06-Oct-17 14:39:31

Fuck yeah! grin

StevesFlappyCap Fri 06-Oct-17 14:40:10

If you're asking MNers, you can't know us that well grin.

StevesFlappyCap Fri 06-Oct-17 14:41:46

The best books reflect the real world. And swearing is sometimes a part of that. The Mary Whitehouse crew can look away if need be.

StevesFlappyCap Fri 06-Oct-17 14:45:26

I say that as a literature lover...

Didn't understand the "cunt" reference properly until I'd read Lady Chatterley's lover - was a naive early-teen though tbf.

SunnySomer Fri 06-Oct-17 14:46:52

Depends how it's used, how well it's used, how much it's used.
I once bought a self-published book as a favour (someone I once knew had written it). He'd tried to be really "edgy" and funny but I had to stick the book in the recycling (couldn't inflict it on Oxfam) after the first 20 pages.

Coffeetasteslikeshit Fri 06-Oct-17 14:52:21

It wouldn't put me off but if it was done badly then it would piss me off.

StevesFlappyCap Fri 06-Oct-17 14:53:37

Agree, too much repetition in any way is not good writing.

Icanhearmynebioursshouting Fri 06-Oct-17 15:32:09

cool i dont think its to repetitive, ill admit my grammER AND spelling are awful thatw why i will be paying someone to go over it. it should be ready soon then. yay!

StevesFlappyCap Fri 06-Oct-17 15:36:56

Am I detecting exaggerated lack of grammar here OP? Or a giant piss take? Either way I think an editor's in order grin.

Icanhearmynebioursshouting Fri 06-Oct-17 15:38:53

haha honestly im just tryping and my fingers are too big for this tiny keyboard i just dont go back to correct what ive done haha

Pollaidh Fri 06-Oct-17 17:09:41

I'd read it, but it needs to be in character. My current MS has one character who is very sweaty, but he's Scots and a soldier; the other MC is more straight-laced and stretches to the odd 'bloody' but only uses 'fuck' once at the crux when he finally realises what's happening.

Icanhearmynebioursshouting Sat 07-Oct-17 22:21:43

well id say my character is more of a bridget jones type, been perfect and posotive all her live. but has finally had enough, shes just a fuck it type of lady. haha

Icanhearmynebioursshouting Sat 07-Oct-17 22:24:19

this is out of my first paragraph would it put you off??? egnore spelling grammer ect ect...

Hi I’m Louise Bumkin, also known as Bumkisser by the asswhole kids from high school. Loubum by my mother, god rest her soul. But mostly Lou, so ive lived in Essex all my life. And I can gladly say (not boasting) Ive done pretty well in life, own my own business, own my own home. And have three beautiful kids all little fuckers who make me want to pull my hair out on a day to day basis but beautiful. And no there not fed organic meat from only grass fed cows from the ‘local’ butchers’ and veg thats just come of the fields (middle finger up too you school gate braggers, I don’t want to be part off your stuck up group anyway). So I give them tons of chocolate just so they will leave me alone most days. But hey I’m only human. I do have an amazing husband, well he is my husband now. He wont be for very long if the twat doesn’t pluck up his ideas. You see Eric (the hubby) he is amazing in every single way, caring, gorgeous, spontanious and most of all he is just the best thing that has ever happened to me. But he also brings the worst thing that has ever happened to me into my life.

Gruntbaby Sat 07-Oct-17 23:02:26

Is this copy and pasted directly from your book, or have you typed it in on your phone and accidentally added in typos and spelling/grammar mistakes?

The swearing in your first para wouldn't put me off, although it doesn't make the character doesn't seem very sympathetic.

I can give more info on the issues I've seen if you like, but obviously there's no point if you don't want critique on other matters, or they're merely typos/autocorrect errors from typing in on your phone.

If the errors are intended as part of the character's voice, as she writes (as in this is part of a letter) directly to the reader then fair enough, but if it's supposed to be verbal it would be better to fix the grammar/spelling errors, and convey the character more through word choice (like the swearing).

Hope that helps.

Icanhearmynebioursshouting Sat 07-Oct-17 23:39:26

She is speaking to the reader, it's a copy and paste. I've just wrote it not fixed spelling and grammar yet. Still need to do all that but no critique me. It will benefit me, is appreciate it

Gruntbaby Sun 08-Oct-17 22:24:09

OK, so first impressions are that this is an enormous block of text for the reader. If you haven't already you should probably paragraph more. It may be the character's personal style, but I think the block of text might put off some readers and agents. (It's something I particularly notice when I read fanfic - if the opening para is a long block of run-on conversation then I close the page and don't bother.)

It's very chatty, but in a sort of American over-sharing way and she clearly has a major chip on her shoulder. This and the way she refers to her children put me off her as a character, she doesn't feel very sympathetic. Even heroines need a downside to make them human, and every character arc has to start somewhere, but it's a careful balancing act. Go too far down the unlikeable route and the reader will get annoyed/won't care enough about the main character to read on.

I like the fact you give a possible reason for why she might be a difficult character - past bullying. That makes me give her a chance.

It's going to be tricky as you're obviously trying to convey quite a difficult, bolshy character. And the sentence structures and word choice do a great job of conveying a character who probably hasn't had many chances in life, maybe a bit of an outsider, not very well educated, bit of inverse snobbery. However it also makes it quite difficult for the reader to follow. They might read it and think, as I did, 'god, if it's like that the whole way through I won't be able to cope'. Add that to an unsympathetic character, and I would put the book down.

A solution might be an introductory paragraph, maybe in 3rd person setting the scene (though tricky to pull off), or even a retrospective comment from an older and wiser main character, that show the reader/agent that they're safe, it's not going to continue like this through the whole book!

Calling her husband a twat at the same time as admitting he's generally pretty decent doesn't help with her likability. Twat seems a harsh word, and whilst 'little fuckers' for the children could be interpreted as a fond joke (I refer to my DC as little buggers sometimes), the description of her husband somehow feels far more serious. It does however mean that your story 'hook', (the 'worst thing') is more effective because the reader wonders what could be so awful that it counteracts his decency. I do want to know what it is!

There's also a LOT of info to take in, in that first para. Some no doubt important for the story, some possibly not. Again it's probably quite in character but it does feel a little hard to wade through. I wonder if you could cut some of it - like the comment on the organic food - it might make for a more streamlined and compelling opening.

What would determine for me, whether I read on or not, would be how long this chatty style continues for, and where the action starts. If it goes on like this for more than 2 paras I think I'd give up. If it's just this and then it breaks into action or dialogue, in real time, then I'd give it a chance and carry on.

I should add the disclaimer that I don't think your style of book is the type I usually go for - I'm more of a classics/literary fan. Your chatty first person opening reminds me of some Young Adult books I've read, so some people are obviously keener on that style than I am.

How long have you been in the writing game? It's generally expected by reviewers/beta/critique partners that you fix the grammar and spelling before you ask for comment! It's really difficult to ignore the errors, and that impacts on how a reviewer perceives the whole text.

Best of luck, and sorry if this seems very harsh. I'm used to red pen critiques on my own material, and am expected to be harsh when I review other's work. If this is your first attempt then my critique is probably overkill, so sorry about that.

Gruntbaby Sun 08-Oct-17 22:27:58

Useful point I forgot:
To make a character more likeable, show them doing something nice (even if reluctantly) in the first page or so. Then readers will overlook their less warm side for a little and give them a chance.

MytToeHurtsBetty Sun 08-Oct-17 22:36:50

Crikey not even real swears for me!

MyBrilliantDisguise Sun 08-Oct-17 22:47:19

When I first started writing I included swear words - not as many as you've used, though! I noticed, though, that most of the biggest sellers don't have swearing in (in my genre, anyway) - those that do tend to be confined to UK sales (as we're a lot more sweary than eg the US.)

I ended up getting rid of the swearing, or most of it, anyway, and you couldn't actually tell the difference really, so now when I write I avoid it.

I found your main character so unlikable that I wouldn't read on, sorry. She sounded like someone I wouldn't want to sit next to on the bus! I think you lost me when she called her children little fuckers, but also on the first line when she called other children arseholes. If I don't feel something for the main character, I won't read the book. Sorry!

TheMouseInMyPocket Sun 08-Oct-17 22:58:27

She reads like Karen from Eastenders.

BordersMumNow123 Mon 09-Oct-17 11:07:45

Swearing is fine I just read 'a girl is a half-formed thing' which, to me, is excellent. And there is so much swearing, although some might find the style hard.

I do do agree with PP, I think literary fiction in UK is full of swearing. But US not so much.

It really depends on the book. But I think swearing is part of life and more true to life. But I am not a prude with language! I love a bit of precise, well used bad language!

Coffeetasteslikeshit Mon 09-Oct-17 13:23:37

I'm afraid that it sounds too try-hard to my ears. I took an instant dislike to the character due to her calling her kids little fuckers and her DH a twat for no apparent reason. If we had already been introduced to her and realised that she's just joking and that her natural speech is peppered with this sort of swearing, then it might be ok, maybe.

Also, it's buck up his ideas, not pluck up. Sorry if that was just a typo and not an mix-up.

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