Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bad Language To Bad Writing Spiral

As I type away, mashing the keys, misspelling words because my fat sausage fingers can't quite hit one key at a time, I tend to take a break when I feel I have accomplished enough in that one spurt. During these breaks, I sometimes check the cool little features tucked away in Final Draft, such as what percentage of the dialogue thus far belongs to which character? Another I check is the profanity list which keeps a running count of how many curses you have used so far, what they are, and where they occur. I never change any of it because of the list, mind you, but it does make me over analyze my writing. For instance, in one script, my characters uttered fuck 23 times, mother fucker 4 times and shit 40 times. So 67 curses there. And that's my Rom/Com! (it's also a fairly dark one, but that should go without saying) To be fair, the entire screenplay contains over fifteen thousand words, so that's not too bad, is it?

So question: Do you ever feel you're cursing too much in a screenplay? Or do you feel good writing is good writing no matter if it's full of swears, or clean as a whistle? I tend to follow the latter, but I'm just curious.


Anonymous said...

I was worried about too much cursing in my mafia based script because it had kids in it, then I figured, what the fuck, ya know? The kids ain't gonna see my piece of salami movie anyways, unless they hire that chick from Little Miss Sunshine

Writeprocrastinator said...

Another reason why I gave up on screenplays. I don't cuss a lot when I write, but I thought the automatic R-rating for 2 f-bombs or hard drug use, is a bit much.

I don't portray drugs in a positive light at all, but the MPAA is a fairly twisted creature.

JD said...

In film school we were to make a 10 minute short of whatever interested us but: No r rated films. One f bomb is okay, but two makes it an R. It's so stupid. I'd almost rather them say no f bombs. But one being okayt makes me laugh, and then boil over into a blood soaked rage. So anyway, in order to display my displeasure, I loaded up my film with over 30 'fucks'.

I got a standing ovation at the after my film screened in the Universal theater in Orlando.

Of course, I didn't win anything, but still....