Advice Welcome

Blog Me Maybe: May I Tell You Something About Me?

So here's a random fact about me: I like advice.

I should rephrase that. I like WELCOME advice. Haha.

Here's another random fact: I used to hate asking questions. When I was a teen and someone would talk about something I had no clue about, I would keep my mouth shut because I didn't want to admit I had no clue what they were talking about. I hated to feel stupid.

I don't exactly love feeling stupid now, of course, but I've learned to ASK QUESTIONS. I've realized that if I don't ask, I'll never learn. All I have to do is endure a few moments of surprised/strange looks, or perhaps an exclamation of, "you didn't know that?!?!" and then I will get my answer, then I'll KNOW.

So on that note, I'm breaking some rules today. I'm gonna ask a question. I know, I know, that's tomorrow's Blog Me Maybe. But too bad. Cuz I need help!

This question is more along the lines of advice...

I have this Shiny New Idea. I've been brainstorming it for awhile and there are a few different ways I can spin it. The way that seems most natural, and came to me first, involves gangs, drugs, alcohol, and a lot of darker kinds of stuff than I usually write.

I don't have a problem delving into darker themes or writing about something I don't know much about. My problem is this: I don't swear. And I don't swear in my writing. BUT- I worry that writing about gangs, drugs, etc, without the swearing, won't be AUTHENTIC.

***Please note, this is NOT a post on swearing in YA. I don't need opinions on whether swear words should be used or not. My own short opinion is, you're the author- you choose.***

I worry that without the swear words, I won't be able to do the book justice. For example, I've already had a scene in my head where a gang member threatens my female MC. Swear words seem to be the logical thing this gang member would use. But I'm not gonna. Is there a more clever way to express something, to insult, without using words like pooper? Or should I just NOT GO THERE.

I do have a few other ways I could spin this SNI. It's just that this way seemed the most natural- it just FIT. But if I can't do it...

So. Here's where the advice comes in. I would love to hear your opinions on this matter.