https://youtu.be/MZkDG0RCmWs

Hi, I’m Michael Jamin. I’m a professional television writer. A question I hear often is, is it okay to curse in my script? And the answer is F no. That’s just my opinion, okay? It’s not that I’m a prude. I’ve got a filthy mouth. Right? And especially in the comedy writer’s room. I’m dirty. So you can’t offend me with your curses. But when I’m reading it in a script, I find it to be lazy. So instead of crafting original dialogue, you’ll just throw the F-word in or the S-word. Right? It’s it becomes lazy and it becomes a crutch. It doesn’t impress me that you’re using those words. 

If you need it for an impact, let’s say, there are a couple of times in the script, you really need an impactful way and there’s really just no other way to say it, then, okay. Yeah. You can drop the F-bomb. That’s okay. But save it. It’s like that’s your weapon. You got one shot. So save it, make sure it’s worth it. There are times when I write a script and I put it in because I think I need to say a curse here, and then I’ll read it a couple of days later and realize, you know what? I can find another way to say it. I don’t really need to do that. 

Now, you may say, “Well, in my world, my character speaks like that. If they’re on the street, they speak with curses.” Okay. Yeah, I get that. But it becomes noise. It becomes chatter. Remember, your script is a calling card. It’s not like people are actually going to say “We’re going to make this.” I mean, I guess sometimes that happens, but more often than not, your script is a calling card. If I think the only thing that you can do is curse in your script, that’s not a good calling card. It doesn’t show a lot of range. Right? So consider that when you’re writing your scripts. Consider, is there another, more creative way to talk than using a curse word?

For more tips on how to become a television writer or how to learn the processes behind it, you can follow me anywhere social media is sold, especially on Instagram where I have other content @MichaelJaminWriter.

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Michael Jamin, Showrunner, TV Writer, Author

Michael Jamin

For the past 26 years, Michael Jamin has been a professional television writer/showrunner. His credits include King of the Hill, Beavis & Butthead, Wilfred, Maron, Just Shoot Me, Rules of Engagement, Brickleberry, Tacoma FD and many more.

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