Originally Posted by Connor Burke
So what I'm really trying to figure out, is, if I submit this thing to a few writing contests am I going to be frowned upon or judged poorly if I have a "cunt" or two in the script and probably about 25+ "fucks".
It's not the words themselves (that every mature adult has heard umpteen billion times) it's "are they being used in context with the story?"
On the one hand PWT boys from suburbia do talk like that. Hell, I talk like that.
So, if you're trying to create a humorless or dark, almost morbid, comedy then it'll likely be appropriate.
On the other hand, if the language can be domesticated and the story is conveyed just as effectively without all the ceyenne pepper oil in it then do so.
Look at it like this:
Ever had real sex?
Ever see how it's portrayed in film.
Ain't even close to reality.
How about a real fight?
Film isn't about duplicating reality.
It's about stripping away all the distractions, adding valuable realism, directing attention to specific elements while communicating the story - which can be done eight different ways.
Somewhere on youtube is a short about the different ways different directors would direct a scene.
There's the Woody Allen version, the Clint Estwood version, the Coen Brothers, the Michael Bay, etc.
You gotta figure out if the language A) matches and enhances the story, B) provides puerile distraction, C) sophomoric authenticity.
It's the latter two contest readers flag a screenplay for.
Another thing to consider is that if you've watched enough writer/director/producer/actor commentaries in DVD extras & bonus material and have read enough screenplays (not transcripts) compared to the finished product you know every Tom, Dick & Harry is gonna change your dialog.
Foul language is going to be changed by the director & actor.
Almost never is the final edited print a verbatim of the script.
The contest readers likely know this and if they see your writing going through painful contortions to fit in "real & frank" dialect of the characters then they'll flag it.
Just let the characters talk.
If the director wants to sauce it up - they will, and with zero input from the lowly writer.
If the actors want to sauce it up - they'll pose to the director five different ways they could deliver each line, also with zero input from the lowly writer.