Now I know swearing in romance is a slightly contentious issue, but let’s have a chat about it anyway! Some readers absolutely hate it, and others don’t mind. This is where I stand.

What counts as swearing?

Don’t worry, I’m not going to list all the swear words I know! But let’s be frank, there are some milder ones that don’t really class as swearing anymore. Like it or not it’s a sign of the times. I’m not saying everyone should be effing and jeffing every two minutes, but people do swear in real life and when we write, we want out characters to feel as real as possible.

Of course, whether you include expletives in your writing or mind them as a reader, will depend on the subgenre and period you’re writing/reading. For example, you probably won’t find many in a Regency romance, but there might be a smattering in contemporary.

For modern settings, they’re a part of everyday language and though that doesn’t mean you need to be dropping an f-bomb every two minutes, you might come across one or two.

How much is too much?

Let’s be honest, sometimes only a swear word will do! I firmly believe there a well-placed obscenity can make a scene come to life. It can work for dramatic affect as well as adding a humorous touch too.

I personally don’t slap them in every two minutes but try and use them sparingly and it’s something that works for me and my writing. So far none of my characters have a mouth like a sewer but some do let them slip now and again.

I appreciate not everyone will like it and that’s okay!

So where do you stand on swearing in romance? Love it or hate it?

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