My Novel: Should I? Or Shouldn’t I?

The Rose Door is complete. I am shopping it around for an agent and/or publisher.

Elevator Pitch: A college drop-out has to fight a witch and reclaim her rightful place in another world.

In my second novel, I am over 16,000 words into The Anomaly. The Anomaly is a cross-over speculative Christian fiction. Someone defined crossover for me as having a Christian character that directly relates to the plot of the novel, but the beliefs of the Christian character are not necessary to the story. One Christian character is in the story for part of the novel. No Salvation message. No redemption. Any message would be barely a whisper, realistic when a Christian talks to a secular person or when a non-believer lives in a family of believers. My target audience is mostly secular; in fact, you might even call it edgy. It’s my first science fiction novel. The elevator pitch is still being worked out.

Because my novel is edgy and the two main characters are unsaved and rough, I have been struggling how realistic to make it. Characters of this worldview aren’t people appalled by a little swearing. While there’s no redemption story in this novel, let’s just say by the end of the novel they will be headed in the right direction. In this story, I am exploring emotional and physical affairs, how they begin, and how this married couple grew a part. The two people in the story represent the culture. The economy plays a part in this novel, meant to encourage those who struggle. I based this story on a Yahoo article I read a couple of years ago when scientists warned the populace that sunspots or sun storms will disrupt wireless and electronic communications. I wondered what would happen if the atmospheric disruptions caused time displacement as the storms increased in size? People are disappearing little by little.

The main plot is the marriage issues, the affairs, and the second plot running alongside are the power outages, the disappearances, the disruptions in cable and phone services that intensify as we get near the end of the novel. Eventually, it will trap one of the main characters who will discover that the people never disappeared in the first place, but were always there, unseen, sandwiched between past and present.

So while I am shopping around The Rose Door, I am writing The Anomaly. I submitted the first chapter to my Word Weavers group for critique and it went well. One line in the first chapter caused what they called a ‘bump.’ When the husband got angry, his language should reflect his character. Should he say, damn or freakin’? Some well-placed swearing is okay, but only if they serve a purpose and not overwhelm the story. That’s where I am right now. Because it’s a crossover and I have a publisher in mind, would a crossover publisher accept a swear word or two, or should I get creative on the words? Use freakin’ or friggin? What’s your opinion?

© Copyright Nikole Hahn


8 thoughts on “My Novel: Should I? Or Shouldn’t I?”

  1. I have to disagree. I’d say that could distract from the very means of the point your trying to drive. If you are speaking like the world in your book and they know that your are a Christian. Then this could send out the message that its okay to cuss as a Christian. I know you are trying to reach an audience that is non-believers. But either way I don’t think adding those 2 words would matter. If you are going to use those words I would make it evident and use them throughout the book. Not just twice. I don’t think the words are going to change how you reach non-believers. So I would go with a cliche saying, like flippin or feaking, or word it another way and have some sort of favorite saying of the character when he is mad. Or I’ve seen in books, non=Christian books, a Bleepety bleep bleep. If you have to question it, then honestly I think thats your gut/Spirit, saying no. But that’s my take. God can bless the book and make it reach the people it needs w/out them in it. Good luck.


  2. Here’s a relevant article you might want to read, posted on DWT’s a few days ago:
    My own opinion is that if your story is edgy and your character is of the coarser, rougher type, he probably wouldn’t use the words friggin or freakin. By substituting them for the word you’re obviously trying to avoid using, believability will be compromised. Depending on the publisher (again, my opinion) a good solid damn or hell would be more appropriate. Of course, if you’ve crossed completely over, then the actual f-word most likely wouldn’t draw a blink, but you may lose a few of your more prudish readers by choosing to use it. Personally, if the words are well chosen, not used too often, don’t distract from the purpose of the dialogue, and of course if the story is well-written, I’m fine with it.


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