Dirty Talkin’

This week the Fictionistas are talking about bad words.

Now, we all know there are no bad words – it’s the intent behind them that makes them so. But if you’re writing YA, there are words (and deeds) you have to leave on the shelf.

I am not writing YA! And in fact, I have two worlds to talk dirty, misbehave, bring shame to the village, and generally act like a not-lady. In this video, I give my supporting cast a break and talk about the actual topic. (A nice change of pace.)

Swearing in fantasy fiction is much more interesting than I expected, because it’s such an outgrowth of the culture you’re creating. What do they consider dirty? What is not to be spoken about? And what do we think of as raunchy that might not raise an eyebrow on another world? Also, the words have to sound like they come from the same language, and be evocative of not only the place they come from, but the act (or object) they refer to.

I’m not smart enough to create a whole language, like Klingon or Dothraki (I’ve barely mastered English!) but the more vocabulary I come up with, the more I understand the people I’m writing about. And that definitely includes dirty words!


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