My A-Z Challenge this year contains posts about writing adult content in fiction – you will not find any adult fiction within the parameters of the challenge, except for illustration purposes.
I’m a huge believer of truth in fiction. Which doesn’t mean to say I don’t like a completely made-up story but rather that what’s important is the world and the characters within the world of a fictional tale need to stay true to themselves.
For example, a story I’m currently writing takes place within the confines of a city bus, in a real city in the real world in which we all live. Any and every conceivable character could ride on that bus; all shapes, ages, levels of intelligence, all with various degrees of respect. In order to stay true to my setting, I feel I must include characters whom I find distasteful – characters who swear, tell fart jokes, and are generally abrasive and disrespectful.
The same often occurs within the setting of a novel. Especially in dialogue, this can be a challenge when, for example, it becomes necessary to include a character who habitually uses a certain word. Like “fuck.” Everyone has come across someone whose speech regularly includes, “fuck this, fuckin’ fuck that, fuckin’ whatever fuck” throughout every conversation they have. I actually have someone living in my basement like this, so I’m intimately familiar with this behaviour. (No, I can’t just get rid of him. I gave birth to him.) When writing such a character into a novel which you hope will come out as a literary masterpiece, how do you balance such a character’s dialogue? It’s a toughie. Same as with what I call “ummers”–people who say “um” after every third word. There ARE people who do this, it’s true. But try reading it – it’s annoying!
Have you ever come across characters in stories where this sort of dialogue was handled well… or not?