Something came up in my latest revision that had me reflecting on my own life a little. It turns out that my heroine had a bit of a potty mouth and my agent felt that it was making her look a little trashy. She also suggested that by swearing so much I was losing the effect of the words. Taking her suggestions into consideration I cut back on the swearing by a lot and realized that just a sprinkle was all I needed to get the point across. My heroine is still kick ass and hard core but maybe not so crass.
During the revision, and the subsequent cutting back of swear words, I couldn’t help but make connections to my life. You see, I have a terrible potty mouth. I can’t say why or where it comes from (my mum would kill me if she knew just how bad I really am) but get me around my friends and I’m dropping the f-bomb all over the place.
Which is why I think it came through in my writing so much.
I’m a big believer that we give words power and that if you make a big deal about a particular word it becomes more powerful than it probably should be. I also believe that swear words in and of themselves are kind of funny…their role I mean. I suppose most people have connected them with subverting authority or gaining power and I know that many people believe that they are a sign of one’s lack of intelligence.
People consider me to be pretty intelligent. I’m highly educated and in a profession that, for the most part, is respected but I can't stop myself when that office door is closed. Does it make me seem trashy? I don't really know...I also don't really care...maybe because I have so many restrictions in my life - you know, don't swear around the kid, don't swear around the boss, that I just lose control when I get some freedom.
What about you all...potty or pretty mouth?