Tuesday, October 04, 2005

!*?@& Words


I’m this close (pinching thumb and index finger together) to shoving my requested manuscript in the mail. It’s been a long, tough, haul—punctuated by birthday celebrations, weekend getaways, and a two-week bout with bronchitis.

But I’m almost there!!!!

Now, as a public service to my fellow writers, today I thought I’d offer this handy tip sheet of word substitutions for anyone submitting to a publisher that doesn’t allow the good stuff. Caution: some are contextually sensitive.

Instead of “Shit”…use…“No way” (I refuse to use “shoot”)
Instead of “Bitch”…use…“obnoxious”
Instead of “Crap”…use…“crud” or “stuff”
Instead of “Screw it”…use…“Forget it”
Instead of “Hell”…use… “heck”
Instead of “Damn”…use…“darn” (or delete altogether because who actually says darn?)
Instead of “Bastard”…use… “louse” or “pig”

As for body parts during sex…ha, no problem. The house I’m submitting to doesn’t allow premarital sex, so delete, delete, delete.

So, here’s an example:

Ava surveyed the room littered with Jess’s crap.
Shit. What a bastard.
Well, screw it. He could clean the goddamn mess himself.

Ava surveyed the room littered with Jess’s stuff.
No way. What a pig.
Well, forget it. He could clean up the mess himself.

Voila! Squeaky clean prose! (Although personally, I prefer the original version)

3 comments:

Carol B. said...

I'm with you. The latter is too bland - but I hope all that hard work results in a sale!

John said...

Ava surveyed the room littered with papers, broken pencils, a smashed Gameboy and a open box of, "What?" half eaten three day old pizza, already past the growing mold state.

"Where did that poor excuse for an offspring learn this? Not from me. Well, he can just clean it up himself," she muttered.

Then, with a heavy sigh, she picked up the pizza. The rest she could live with until he cleaned it, but never mold.

"Don't roll over in your grave, Mom,"
she whispered while looking up as she left his bedroom.

randy said...

Hey, give a girl a break. I was at work and in a hurry to post my blog. NEITHER version of that example is in my book.