Thursday, 6 November 2014

Accents



Hey all,

I’m not sure what the weather is doing where all you fine readers live, but I have not seen the sun in weeks. I said this a few posts back that winter was a’comin’, and it has rained and/or been night every day (and night) since. I’m not really one for sunshine, we’ve all seen the picture on my website (I’m pale like a cave spider) but this is getting silly. I’ve had to start taking vitamin D tablets to avoid the inevitable onset of rickets. Darkness: it’s a real problem.

Incidentally, my new book is also taking place in a rather dark world, both figuratively and literally. There’s some really dark stuff that goes down, and not much in the way of sunshine. I feel as if living in a perpetual world of shadows might help me relate to the things the characters are experiencing. Not the horrors of constant paranoia and death, but the whole ‘it’s not sunny very often,’ thing. It can’t hurt, at least.

But, what I really wanted to chat, or perhaps muse about today, is accents. These would be the accents of the characters I’ve written into my book, not the funky little symbols over the top of letters. I always have this fear that when someone picks up my book that they’ll think I’m an idiot if a character talks in an accent. As one is apt to do, I write a lot of the affected speech phonetically, “charmin’,” “wanna,” “Don’t’cha.” You get the idea—but other people might not. It’s probably irrational, as all of the non-character related text is written in perfectly proper English, but still the thought persists that someone might just assume I don’t know how to spell “don’t you.”

I also face the conundrum of figuring out what exactly the grammatical rules are going to be for the way my characters speak before I start writing. I can’t be inconsistent, or else it once again just looks like I don’t know how to spell words. I like a good accent, I really do—hence the different ways that everyone in the Dreamstate books speak. They’re great when I can get them going, but they can be a bit of a pain to set up from the get go (what with and the rules and such). Also, I keep trying to slip back into J’anex’s speech patterns, which are most definitely not what I want in my current book. There’s a little bit of crossover, but he does a lot of things that these people do not, and I wish to keep it this way. Possibly the whole thing would be easier if my brain was a little less lazy and stopped trying to follow the paths that were familiar, rather than correct. Who knows?

-Trevor

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