The Blood Red Pencil has been blogging about the different opinions of curse words in literature. It has been engaging and each post this week as come from a different angle and received quite a discussion via comments. Here's the latest blog post, which I feel best ties with my opinion of using profanity in writing.
I use it, but sparingly and when appropriate. Duty and Devotion, which will debut next June, uses cursing by the characters. They're soldiers in war and it fits the dynamics of the situation they're facing...death, violence, and hardship.
However, I also include moments of hope, faith, and enlightenment. Again, they're soldiers in war and it fits the dynamics of the situation...loss, perseverance, and miracles (or luck by those not believing in miracles).
My opinion comes down to, is it a word that would be used by that character in that situation? And on the flip side, I decide the dialogue of faith and hope in the same manner. Would the characters be thinking/conversing this way at this moment?
I would like to think I got the right balance. Of course, the readers will be the judge next summer, so we will see.
Good writing all!