Using Slang and Curse words – How Much is Okay?

I’ve seen this topic circulating around the writing community a lot lately: when is it okay to use curse words in your story? And on a related topic: how much current slang is okay?

I believe the short answer is: “it depends.”

By way of a long answer, these are some factors that I think every writer should consider when using slang and/or curse words in their stories:

Intended audience

This is the most important factor, I think.Obviously you wouldn’t put a lot of four-letter words in a children’s book or middle grade chapter book, but intended audience covers more than just children versus adults. Continue reading