“Piss ‘n nettles”
Little curses and habitual ticks can bring a character to life. As an author writing in the Medieval time period, I chose the above expletives for my debut book, HER ONE DESIRE. Let’s start with the first one: GOD’S HOOKS: Derived from the hooks (or nails) used to fasten Christ to the cross. This particular expletive later evolved into “Gadzooks”. Many of these “God’s”expressions were reduced to ‘od’s or odds as in “‘ods toes”.
Of course, part of the fun is making up expletives. I used ‘Piss ‘n nettles’ for one of the secondary characters in HER ONE DESIRE. I tossed words around for days trying to fit ‘John’ with the perfect expression. Not only does a character tend to use a favorite expression, but also favorite sayings, like: “Are ye wowf, man?” Simply from the way it’s written, the reader might be able to guess its meaning. ‘Wowf’ was Scottish slang used to describe someone who might be insane, crazy, mentally ill or deranged.
Along with researching forms of speech, I often mull over a character’s nervous tick before I ever start a book. (Sometimes for days at a time) I like to know as much as possible about a character before I write that first line. The heroine, Lady Lizbeth Ives, in HER ONE DESIRE is a bit skittish.(You would be, too, if you were the daughter to the Lord High Executioner.)’Lizzy’ twists her sleeves and counts when she is nervous or afraid which adds to the humor of the book as well as the tension. In turn, a more3-dimensional character has been created.
Another bit of research I truly enjoy is coming up with creative words for particular body parts. While you might be able to guess what a pillicock is or maybe even a set of cullions, can you guess what a nock is? Or how about a twanger or tewel? I’ll give away a signed copy of HER ONE DESIRE to the person who can reveal the answer at my –
Since I’m in a celebratory mood, I’ll be picking two more commenter’s names at random to win a copy of HER ONE DESIRE. Thanks for joining me today! Now, tell me what’s the most memorable expletive you can recall ever reading? Or, if you’re an author, what curse words did you use for your characters?
If you would like to know a wee bit more about HER ONE DESIRE, here is the back cover blurb:
Astride a stolen horse, encircled by the shackled arms of Broderick Maxwell, a Scottish spy escaping certain death in the Tower of London, Lizbeth Ivesrides to the north, hidden by the merciful darkness. By stealth and by cunning, the daughter of the Lord High Executioner has undone her father’s cruel work, compelled to save the innocent man with her. There is no turning back-they are bound as one in his iron chains. Consumed by mortal fear, driven by passion, they disappear into the night.
A single raven follows them. Is it an omen? Or only the first of those who would capture them? They must ride on. If captured, they will face death together. But if they reach Scotland, he will claim her for his own. forever.
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