Tuesday, November 22, 2011

In a Man’s World, by Melissa Foster

 Today I have a super special surprise, Melissa Foster is going to be posting here today for her third book launch - Come Back to Me. I'll be reviewing her book next week so I don't want to give too much away, but I will say this, the outlook is positive ;)

Click on the picture to go to the Amazon Page

Take it away Melissa -

Who doesn’t love a macho, handsomecharacter? Add a little emotion and you’ve got a winner—you hope.

Creating believable men issomething that I truly enjoy. Having grown up with six brothers in atestosterone-driven world, all I had to do was pull from memories. Wrap thosememories into my daily life with five sons, and the macho, emotional characteris born.

Here’s a gross generality for you,and feel free to slam me, as I’m a blatantly honest person and I write what Ifeel. Males are visceral and females are emotionally driven (author dodgestomatoes as their thrown in her direction). I’ve learned from growing up (andold) with males, that when they’re upset, they let you know why, in veryclear—and not always tactful—ways.  

I’mhungry. I’m bored. You pissed me off. I’ve overwhelmed. I hate that blue dress,it makes your butt look huge. Women, on the other hand, tend to be covetousof the driving force behind their discord—this lessens, I think, with age, butit’s still there. [Dialogue taking placein the woman’s head] I hope he notices that I’m ignoring him. Doesn’t he seeanger written all over my face? I’m mad, but you should know why I’m mad—Ishouldn’t have to tell you.

Growing up in a male-drivenhousehold helped me to understand the differences between male and females. Ialso think that perhaps I am wired more like a male—as I’m very straightforwardand don’t enjoy drama—cutting to the chase will always get you further in mylittle world then hoping I notice something is awry.

There seems to be a downside todeveloping strong male characters—one that I didn’t see coming. I have noissues with bad language when used at appropriate times. Bad words happen—in myhouse, they’re even commonplace among the males (like how I talk about maleslike they’re a different species?). For some unknown reason, curse words have alife of their own. They convey wrath and despair, hatred and can even be usedas qualifiers for happy events. 

I’ve discovered recently, though, that not allreaders have the same take as I do on bad language. Some expect bad language tobe left out of emotional scenes all together, while others see the visceralside of those scenes and feel they’re completely appropriate. This is thedownside for me—I have to write what my characters feel, and oftentimes, theyfeel something that only a curse word will convey.  I apologize to my readers, because I do carewhat you think and what you enjoy reading, but ultimately I have to be true tomy characters, and saying, “That darn guy,” simply doesn’t cut it when a guy isangry.

Tell me readers, what’s your takeon curse words in books? 


Melissa Foster is a Bestselling Kindle Author and mother to 6. You can find her  Website, Facebook, Twitter, and FB Fanpage by clicking the links. Come Chat at The Women's Nest parat of the  WoMen's Literary Cafe, Where readers and authors unite! (for men & women) 

Visit Melissa's Events Page for details on the next stop on her blog tour.


WilyBCool said...

I believe that life is to short to be stuffy. I am not saying that there is not limits or reasonable levels that should be maintained. There is couth and social grace that should be understood. It's a personal thing and each writer should stay within the bounds of their own standards and even more important, remember who their audience is, they matter most.


Lindsay Edmunds said...

Sometimes curse words are the only right words. However, they are best used sparingly. Too much use and readers simply "bleep" over them. Also, there is fashion in curses like every other thing, and too much can date a book.

Abby Fowers said...

This is awesome! Surrounded by that much testosterone, she certainly has a good idea of MEN! I love it. I grew up with 2 brothers and I only wanted boys when I had kids. I have 1 boy and 2 girls. Glad I got 'em though. Even if the teenage years scare me.

Michael Offutt, Evolved Monkey said...

My take on cursing? If it is appropriate, then you should do it.

Please take a look at this short story:


It won a Nebula award, was nominated for a Hugo, and was a 2010 Locus Award finalist.

It explains perfectly how I feel about cursing through example. Yes, I would like to win a Nebula. I think that would be quite an honor.

Melanie Fowler said...

Sounds like a great book. It's funny because I grew up in a family of all girls. But the funny thing is that we don't like drama very much either.

Patricia Tilton said...

Jennie, fascinating interview with Melissa. Six brothers and five sons -- I believe she has found her niche. I learned so much from this interview. Curse words if used to convey an emotion, feeling, make a point, doesn't offend me. I don't like books/films that are saturated with profanity. It gets boring. - at

Mark Noce said...

Very impressive sounding book, lots of intrigue:)

davwalk said...

I agree with most of the comments above. If the curse words are necessary to make your scene realistic, go ahead. However, I don't think f*** or using God's name with a curse word is ever called for.

Ironic that you prefer to write about men. I prefer to write about women. Maybe that's because I raised a wonderfully loving but very strog daughter.

Cortney Pearson said...

I loved the comparison between when a man is upset and when a woman is. So true!

Thinkhappy said...

Hello all, thanks so much for stopping by and reading my article. I'm so happy you enjoyed it.

Dav, you point out something very important. I grew up a around the GD saying, so it rings aloud in my head when I write angry men, and I am trying to quell that in future books, although from a reality point, it's said, and sometimes it's just about the only thing that fits. I hope, though, you realize it's fiction, and you don't judge the author by that language. My characters curse--not a lot, only when appropriate (boy that sounds funny!), but they don't reflect me:-) My books do sometimes have an F-bomb in them, so you might want to steer clear. It's not used often, but yes, it has been used.

Lindsey, loved the reality behind cursing too much can date a book. So true and I hadn't even thought about that.

Michael, I'll look at your short story. Congrats on your special notes!

Jenny, thank you for hosting me here today. xox

J. A. Bennett said...

Melissa, Thank you for coming!! It's a joy to have you around :)

The Golden Eagle said...

If it's not put in for shock factor, fits the character's personality, and as long as it doesn't cover the page, then I'm not opposed to curse words here and there.

Interesting post!

MRTighe said...

I agree with Melissa that cursing is sometimes appropriate but that it depends on the age of your target audience. I write science fiction with a somewhat military background but keep it appropriate for YA readers. I'm certainly not out to shock or offend anyone, just to keep dialog believable.

Melissa Sugar said...

I believe that in fiction as in life there are times with anything short of a curse word is insufficient to stress the point or convey the emotion. I grew up with five brothers (wonder if that plays a a part in my thinking) LOL?

Congratulations on the book. Hope you both have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Pk Hrezo said...

I have to agree.... men do use curse words more. When I'm writing the male, I usually use a lighter curse word then what some may say, because altho we need to have authentic characters... there are many men who practice NOT using profanity... so there's nothing wrong with getting the point across in a lighter way. But to each his own. MY CP, who hates profanity as much as I do, uses it quite frequently in her male characters and it doesn't bother me a bit.
Excellent analysis of males and females!

Christa said...

I am with you on the curse words. Sometimes, the harshness of the f-word is all you got and it just doesn't sound as good as frick. Great job, ladies.

Thinkhappy said...

Yay, I'm not in the minority here.
Christa, I had to laugh because I once tried to read my scenes using "frick" and "darn it" and my kids roared with laughter.

Melissa - power to the sisters!

Daph said...

I agree. I try not to write curse words in my stories but sometimes, that's what my character wants to say! And I feel I'm being true to them and my readers if I allow them to express themselves THEIR way. I feel bad doing it and my mother is sort of my editor and cringes every time. But at the end of the day, I have to let my characters have their say and not try to force my will on them. Its not authentic any other way. JMO.