Part I — How to write authentic dialects and foreign accents Published April 24, By Arlene Prunkl, freelance editor This is the first in a series of blog posts on techniques for writing realistic dialogue in fiction.
I give you high marks for admiring the music of language, but if you like this kind of writing, buy yourself a French horn and try to blow Shakespeare through it.
Why do I need to pay such extreme attention to his accent? Nor should it, ever. That is, it shoots for the sound of the words rather than the words themselves. When a piece is choked by dialect, the way this example exchange is, you have to work your way back to story through language.
He comes often home. Here the dialect rises out of the words, that is, sound and meaning, rather than mere sound.
British people pay a lot of attention to accents. I need to stretch my legs. Luke, when gone am I Ah know you do. Which leads me to rule 2: Go now and be involved in the world. But do they merit written accents?
It is merely an element within the scene. You know they love that pie.
On my street, the quintessential Bubba lived next door to a gay couple who drank wine on their porch while he washed his truck and played with his amateur radio station. I loved watching the culture collision unfold.
It can imply that those characters are inferior, ignorant, less educated or not at allless intelligent—in other words, it makes a parody of them, which is the very opposite of the original goal of making them realistic and believable.
If you read that out loud, it flows well. Use a combination of all the techniques described here. Add to that the fact that in virtually every part of the English-speaking world, different regions and ethnicities speak English differently, and chances are you have at least one character in your novel who speaks with an accent.
Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny. I suggest you follow it! I also gave her a phrase here or there that was unusual. For instance, a Russian baker might arrange the words in her sentences like this: There is no quicker way to fail, no quicker way to sell yourself short than to write unconvincing dialect.
He had to stand up. Yet New England retirees populated the neighborhood with drought-resistant landscaping, rain barrels, and biodiesel vans parked in the driveways of their antebellum houses.
Contractions are a great tool for conveying accents. Many contemporary writers are also serving as fine examples of how to do dialect well.
Learn how to write accents other ways:How to Give Your Character an Authentic Dialect. By: Guest Column The writer who thinks she is writing dialect because she is clipping the ends off of words and stretching out others is often taking delight more in her own experimentation than in any real sense of story.
rather they lead us to it. The accent is there for the reader, but. If you’re writing dialogue for a character with an accent, you can use creative spelling and punctuation to add flavor to your prose and give your audience a sense of where the characters come from.
To achieve moderation when writing accents, first, do some careful research on your character’s particular accent or dialect.
Check out other books with similar characters. Then choose just half a dozen or so nonstandard spellings and contractions, and use them consistently. How do I write a character with a French accent? Try not to write the accent itself phonetically. This usually just makes it hard to read, and runs the risk of being either insulting, or just not sounding right.
How would you write a character with a southern welsh accent? 15 Responses to “Writing Dialogue In Accents and Dialect” Rebecca on December 16, am. Excellent post! I’m writing a fiction novel, and one of the characters is Frenchman from the 16th century who’s brought back to life in the 21st century.
However, in writing workshops I often see people trying to write Southern accents, as if a character living below the Mason-Dixie line still necessitates a phonetic dialogue guide for readers.
It’s tempting, it’s been done well before, and I’m not saying it shouldn’t be done in and onward.Download