Date of publication: 2017-09-02 04:27
TEDx speaker, The Feminist on Amy Poehler 8767 s Smart Girls at the Party, Mashable journalist, MOTH Slam winner, comic and host of the monthly Hello Giggles show at UCB, Ruby Karp 8767 s Earth Hates Me: True Confessions From A Teenage Girl , pitched as the handy Lean In for the Rookie generation, on what it 8767 s like to be inside a teen 8767 s mind, how social media impacts a teenager and what all their 8775 angst 8776 is really about, from an actual teenager offering life lessons (Running Press Kids & Teen, October 8, 7567)
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. Diana Gabaldon does this well with believable Scottish brogue in her novel Outlander. Just a few well-chosen words bring her character to life realistically: aye (yes), nae (no), ye (you), dinnae (didn’t), canna (cannot), ’twas (it was), laird (lord). Here is an excerpt:
8. Occasionally, you can leave the dialogue in standard English and simply describe the accent to readers.
→ “Let’s go grab a pizza. Maybe we’ll get the Caesar’s salad too,” Giovanni said in a thick Italian accent.
It 8767 s a good theory. I think that 8767 s true for the Harry Potter books because you can see the characters growing older as you read and what starts out as a fairly innocent series matures into something, well, more mature. Reading the Lunar Chronicles, though, I wouldn 8767 t say it 8767 s the same case. Rather then following the characters over a matter of years we follow them over a matter of months, so there is not the same amount of growth. That 8767 s not to say they don 8767 t grow (because there is great character development) but the maturity level of the writing it 8767 s self stays relatively the same. At least, that 8767 s my opinion.
First let me say that I was born in London and spent fifty years living in southern England, before moving to Canada. Although I have cultivated my accent, I can and do at times use the inner london/cockney dialect. In fact when writing the voice of the publican in 8766 Unwitting Enemy 8767 I found it very difficult to moderate the words spoken without making the man seem a caricature. For example
Aaron, I suggest using social media to put yourself out there. Create an author Page for yourself and then find book bloggers that like to read your genre. As a book blogger and self-published author, I can tell you this will be the best way.
I track word count closely for my non-fiction books. I shoot for 75,555. I use the project tracking tool in Scrivener to give me a real time progress bar as I write. You can set the project total and a session total that resets every night at midnight.
On one project I set the session tracker to 5,555 words a day. After a 5-day sprint I am 6/8 done!
I think The Man in the Brown Suit is closer to your number, Carrie. She tended to write shorter, but clearly she could write long as well. She 8767 s the bestselling mystery writer of all time, though, so I 8767 m not going to argue with her!
Nobody speaks English the way it’s spelled
Everybody who speaks English has an accent to others not in their region or ethnic group. And almost nobody truly pronounces English the way it 8767 s spelled. Even someone with little trace of an English accent might say, “I wan-ned t’ go to th 8767 movie, bud I godda do th 8767 shoppin’ first.” Not even the Queen’s English comes out the way it’s spelled (far from it—think about all those dropped R s). Among some of the most overdone written accents and dialects are “Southernese” from the American South, African American English, British cockney, and Scottish or Irish brogue.
I think that 8767 s definitely half of it. But I also think she was fairly heavily edited early on, and then was slowly given more free reign as her novels became mega-bestsellers.
I’m thinking hard about giving Camp a try, since non-fiction is OK. It 8767 ll be my first time at NaNoWriMo Camp, so feel free to offer suggestions. Any one else planning on camp next month? I know there’s a thread about Camp NaNoWriMo at the Absolute Write NaNoWriMo forum.
I think a good query letter simply upfront in one to three sentences what a book is about in hook sort of fashion where the most salient of information is listed and two or three comparative/competitive bestselling titles may be listed. That’s followed by two body paragraphs, detailing the plot/some of the synopsis without too many spoilers. The last paragraph is best reserved as something of a short author bio, listing relevant writing experience and credentials. It should all fit on one page.
I hate clutter so my space is very orderly. I love writing from my home in NM because I have a breathtaking view out my window. In . I’m in a cubby hole and I really hate it, but right now my life is lived in two places. I generally have music playing, but not vocal music because I was trained as a singer and I start listening to the lyrics rather than writing. I keep a cup of coffee or tea at my elbow and sometimes a small sweet. More because it gives me something to do with my hands when I’m thinking about a sentence or a scene.
So what can you do to avoid falling into this trap with your foreign-accented characters or those who speak in a pronounced dialect? Let’s take a look.
Here’s another example of an overdone accent—this one a Southern black accent from Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Tom’s Aunt Chloe says to him: