Since I began writing seriously, I have had a fear of fiction. I don't trust myself to make up a story, tell someone's life or perhaps end someone's life and not somehow screw it up. But this fall I am taking a fiction-writing workshop--a requirement for graduation. And tonight I am starting on my main character and the two supporting ones. One of the interesting "rules" that my professor gave is to love your character, but not to cuddle him. At first I had been thinking, 'I'll just write someone like me and it will be easy to understand them.' But that's not brave. This is college--the only time where I will be able to challenge myself and no one can tell me I'm wrong. So then I thought, I'll write about a terrible person who deserves nothing. But my professor reminded me that it will be impossible to write about someone who I don't like. If I try that, I will only end up driving this character further and further into the ground before killing them or giving them a terribly disfiguring disease.
Writing is powerful stuff.
So here is my quick question.
As a Christian, I have a witness. But in my writing, I want to create a character who isn't me. Maybe he's a mercenary or maybe she is an illegal alien trying to make it by any means necessary. She's not me. So should I still not use cuss words, even when I am trying to create a real character? If writing is so powerful, what is powerful about not making your ex-marine character who took shrapnel in Vietnam talk like a softy when some liberal gets him all riled up? Would he say something like, 'gosh darn it you big jerk!'? Probably not.
It's not me saying it...but then again it is--in the end, anyway.
Food for thought. Chew away!