Swearing in Fantasy Stories

I love fantasy novels. I really do. But there is always this one thing that bothers me when reading some fantasy stories. And maybe after reading this post you’ll notice it too (if you didn’t before).

Most fantasy books have their own fictional world, characters, gods, and after life. It can get pretty complex. Although, when a character gets really angry and decides to swear, they sometimes use the word “hell”. Now, correct me if I’m wrong but should hell really exist in your fantasy land where the underworld is called – for example – Hades? Shouldn’t the characters be really saying, “What in Hades is wrong with you?”

This has always bugged me. If you are driven to create a world where everything is crafted from your imagination and the characters are supposed to feel real when you read their story, then they shouldn’t be saying words that don’t exist in their land. It makes no sense!

If you want to create a believable world where your characters curse, make up words! Don’t use words that aren’t supposed to exist. It just feels weak and unprofessional.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on the matter. Hopefully any writers reading this will remember not to do this!

~ Sandra

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4 thoughts on “Swearing in Fantasy Stories

    • Thank you! I love when others notice this too. And I love that some authors create entirely new systems like you just mentioned. It really takes away from the story when someone is swearing on a god that should not exist in that world. Tad Williams also creates a system in Shadowmarch (one of my favourite fantasy novels).

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  1. Pingback: Fantasy Worlds Worth Visiting | M. Q. Allen

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