1. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    Flavouring dialogue and narrative with regional dialect/slang...yes or no?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Youniquee, Aug 15, 2012.

    Hey~
    Well, here's the deal:

    My character is a teenager from Dublin, who moves to London. I don't think it would make sense for him to not use Irish slang every now and then. I want to do this to make up for not writing his accent (Which I don't want to do anyway). So, I've been looking at lists of Irish slang, seeing the ones I can slip in naturally.
    Unfortunately, it's harder since I'm not Irish...
    After finishing my first draft, I'll probably ask some Irish teenagers.

    Should I forget it or go with it?

    Thanks in advance :D
     
  2. auntiebetty
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    auntiebetty Active Member

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    It's great if you have access to Irish teenagers. Maybe you can also seek out a writer's group where you can read some of your dialogue, and perchance there you will find an Irish person or two to give you feedback.
    I want to watch this thread because I too have a question about writing dialogue. My characters come from different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds of the USA 1920's, I am going to have to use the slang and maybe even some dialect. My bigger question is how far can I go with the crude language of my hoodlum characters. When they talk to each other about someone they intensely dislike, they don't use slang by itself. They curse and swear. They say things like G.. D.... pious prick and other crude things. How do agents and publishers react to a manuscript with characters using blasphemous talk and foul language.
     
  3. Reptile Hazard
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    Reptile Hazard Member

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    As long as you don't overuse it I think it's fine. If you manage to do it well it would certainly be great to have it.
     
  4. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    I tend to throw mine into the story in moderation. A word here, a word there, just enough to get the point across, and leave the rest alone. Too much of anything get's annoying. One of the worst things to read, and visualize is cockny English. That'll give you a headache.

    Plus use google to find irish slang. Irishabroad.com is one I found in less ten seconds with a general slang listing and then various areas, including Dublin in there.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you'd best be sure it's 100% authentic... and easy enough for the readers to get... also, a little goes a long way... too much and you annoy/lose the readers...
     
  6. webghoul
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    webghoul Member

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    Definitely go with it! The more you make the character specific, the more the details are vivid, the more the readers will indulge to reading on and know more. Just remember to keep everything in moderation though. :) bet you already know that anyway. Good luck to your writing!
     
  7. introspect
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    introspect Member

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    hey

    Go with it. Slang is slang, anyhow. it doesnt really matter.
     
  8. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Webghoul, Introspect,

    Are you guys writing for yourselves or to be published? For yourself: throw as much as you want to into the dialect. If for publishing: remember your readers! Every other word being slang WILL get old and annoy them. Even people who are considered masters, like King or Weber, don't use it constantly. There's a mention of it, a few words thrown out occasionally. More then that, if you get published, your reader is liable to put the book down and have the "Never Again" attitude that kills writers AND normal businesses.

    I'd really consider Mom's advice. She's got quite a bit of experience with the publishing world, and a particular author who sold millions of books. If not, that's your choice, and I'll never say never, but you risk your chances of getting published, even if you do get past the key first three paragraphs...
     
  9. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    Thank you for the replies guys!

    Of course, I'll keep it to a minimum. :D Probably only when he's angry or frustrated.
    My target audience is mainly British readers, so I think I'm going to go with the Irish slang that English people use too or ones that are easy to put into context.

    Captain Kate, maybe I'm misunderstanding, but are you saying my use of slang may put off publishers? Even when kept to a minimum :(?

    Again, thank you!
     
  10. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    No, Youniquee, I was saying to them that the constant use of slang, like they were referring to using it heavier, can make it harder. Thus why Mom said sprinkle it. Wasn't directed at you at all.

    A sprinkle of it gets the point across without annoying the reader, so just use it tactically and you'll be ok.
     
  11. auntiebetty
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    auntiebetty Active Member

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    Thank you all. The advice on slang confirmed what I am doing. The one reply to the question about foul language also confirmed mythinking. I need to throw in a dose or two when it conveys character or intention.
     
  12. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    I see, thanks for clearing that up~

    All your advice has been helpful n_n
     
  13. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    It's taken 5 years of hard work, with 3 yrs of being on a closed sci fi list to reach where I'm at. :)

    Wish I could say it was an easy trip, but is hasn't. Hang in there, you'll reach your goals too.
     
  14. webghoul
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    webghoul Member

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    Hi captainkate. :) nice to see you again here.

    I think I made myself clear on my comment. Go with the slang, but remember to keep everything in moderation. Maybe you misunderstood "the more details you provide", so I just want to stress out that I was referring to adding the usage of slang as an additional detail, not "the more slang words you provide ..". :)

    Having read your comment, I see we're actually on the same page here. :) so chillax, ease out on me pal. :)
     

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