Saturday, July 14, 2012


Dialogue has always been one of my stronger points in fiction writing. (wow, that sounded really conceited...) I like to keep it as organic as possible (within reason, of course), and it's been easy, because my stories tend to take place in modern American settings. Hells yeah, I know how people talk!! So as I delve into writing a fantasy type piece, this is in the back of my mind: how much will I need to differentiate/change the language without the dialogue coming across as stiff and unnatural?

So far, in the rough draft, I'm keeping it informal as usual for most of the characters, just omitting modern day expressions and words. I mean, a girl living in an alternative magical world is unlikely to use the word douchebag. Right? Right. :P I think this will work fine. I suppose I could always tweak things that don't sound good.

Then there will be a point where the girl travels to 'our world'. She may be human, but because she was raised in the magical otherworld, that life is all she knows. So imagine when she steps out into one of our modern day cities. I will then have the opportunity to contrast the dialects and expose her to modern day slang (as well as modern day inventions and conveniences), which will be just a bit confusing to her. Poor, sheltered girl.



  1. That sounds like a plan.
    I'll probably be going with something similar for my next book. I'll read up on some old Scottish words and maybe throw them in, but keep away from accents. I noticed people found it hard going the last time I tried a Scottish accent. (Well, one girl from Dublin liked it, but not everyone's from Dublin!) I suppose I'd be pretty upset if someone wrote down my Australian accent verbatim.
    (And I'm sure there'd be a word very similar to douchebag, if not the same, whatever the world or time... people don't change...!)

  2. Yeah, doing an accent is a tough call. I considered it for Sam's character in LDG, and actually started writing it that way, but it was hard to keep up and I didn't like it. I pictured British readers sitting there going 'WTF--are you for real?'

    And I do the mental eye roll every time someone spells out a Boston accent as 'pahk the cah...' and with those exact words (which everyone frickin' uses to illustrate the Boston accent...and I don't even have a Boston accent, it's just close to home) .

    I think slang, expressions and words/ways of speaking typical to a place or time period are suffiecient. As long as you have some way to differentiate if you're mixing up different types of people.