Reply To: Lesson 3 – Launching a scene

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Allie Pleiter
Participant

Jeanne

You’ve certainly packed a lot of info in there. We know their relationship (father/son) and some of the issues between them. Were this to launch a scene or chapter, we’d be right in the thick of the situation immediately.

Everyone

Here’s a good place to take a small detour about accents. Thick accents or speech patterns are often difficult to read. While it may sound accurate to the character’s speech, you need to pare it down a bit for ease of the reader.  Think of it like spice…just add enough to give flavor. You can maintain much of the same effect with careful word rhythm, syntax, and use of dialect-specific words like “I’m fixing to…” without having to employ a whole lot of apostrophes and dropped n’s that can trip a reader up. My favorite tactic is to listen to an audiobook with characters who speak the language I want to use so that I’ve got the rhythm and in my head as I write. This trick also works well with historical language as well.

My favorite example: I had a character with an impossibly thick southern accent. I described her as drawing out the word Venezuela to have four syllables. Every reader could hear that in his/her head without my having to alter the written word one bit.

Allie Pleiter
Author - Speaker - Coach
www.alliepleiter.com

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