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Grade My Writing: Getting Rid of Profanity

March 22, 2019

(image via wikimedia)

When I read my older writing out loud, I get mad because I hear mistakes that I should have originally caught.

For example, a few years ago I wrote a 60 episode blog serial called “The Literary Girlfriend,” and it was based on stuff that actually happened.  When I finished the series on my blog, I thought I had the foundation for a potential book, but now when I reread it, I hear/see a bunch of scenes that need to be rewritten.

Below is a video where I read one of my former favorite episodes of “The Literary Girlfriend” out loud.  I treat this video like an ideal writer’s group where we’d hand out a copy of the excerpt to everyone and read a passage aloud before receiving feedback.

Reading out loud was more uncomfortable than getting criticism, but it’s an important part of the process.  If you don’t want to hear my voice (I don’t like it either), you can mute the video or read the story here  instead.

The video’s version is slightly different because I got rid of all the profanity in the dialogue.  I didn’t want video of me saying bad words, even if it’s in dialogue.  There are too many people who don’t understand context (or don’t care), and I’m still a little paranoid about things like that.

What do you think?  Is the profanity in the dialogue necessary?  Or does the sanitized version still sound realistic?  I know what I think, but I’m interested in other opinions.

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