Welcome back to another Open Book Blog Hop!
Today’s question is: Can you speak in an accent that isn’t your own? Can any of your characters do this? How do you indicate that in your stories?
And remember to pay a visit to my fellow writers to see what they have come up with. You can find their works here!
My first thoughts on this one were that none of my characters have accents. Firstly, my book is set in a fictionalised world, primarily on the country of Auridia. In that world, I don’t really know what the accents are. Not in the way that I can distinguish accents from different countries, from different regions of a country in some cases.
But then I thought about it some more. It made me realise that some of my characters speak in very specific ways. Selah is quite blunt. She isn’t rude, or coarse in her language. She is intelligent, and articulate, but she doesn’t sugar coat things.
Crow, on the other hand, is something altogether different. When in front of others, he often puts on a show. Exuberant, well-spoken, and highly articulate, he could charm anyone and sell ice to an inuit. Crow has a way of talking around an idea to the point of avoiding it, very much the opposite of Selah. Even in close company, he is polite, and articulate. But when rattled he will swear, shout, become agitated and flustered. He has a definite contrast at times.
Then there’s Reuben. In my mind, he is very much in the mould of a pirate. Slang and colloquialisms abound, his language is harsher, littered with contractions to the point of utter destruction of words. He is deferential to authority, but will stand up for what is right. The way he speaks, though, is very much based on the stereotypes of pirates, though dialled back some.
While my characters may not have out and out accents, they certainly have their own distinct dialects and mannerisms. I’ve read a few books where you would be forgiven for thinking that every character spoke in the Queen’s English. Every word seems to be crisp and clear and properly enunciated. And I’ve got to say, it really bugs me. People in the real world don’t all speak perfectly. We all have our nuances and quirks. When a book offers that through its characters, it is far more relatable.