1. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    'Relaxed' Spelling - what's the publishers opinion?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by peachalulu, May 5, 2013.

    My dialogue frequently gets highlighted by spell check - I wig it out with my gonna's, freakin's and sortas.
    Just wondering if publishers grit their teeth over this - or do they accept it as 'authentic' dialogue.
     
  2. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    No idea, but I see that sort of language either in YA or younger type books, or else in books where actual accents and dialects are written in, like in Terry Pratchett's works or in Goodnight Mister Tom. Otherwise, I'm not sure writers generally use it? At least I haven't noticed it anyway.

    Do the "wanna" and "gonna" and "sorta" fit in with your character's voice? Is it very important? Does it show some sort of class background?

    Unless there's a purpose to it, I would limit its use. I use some contractions too, like c'mon and y'know, but not very often. I'd only use "gonna" if I deliberately want my character to come off a certain way, but otherwise I'd stick with "going to".
     
  3. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Good ideas - I should probably use this only for the two characters in my story - the mouthy preteen and the bankrobber but keep the school teacher speaking
    a little more formal.
     
  4. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was told not to use "gonna" because people will read "going to" as "gonna" in certain types of dialogue, and it's distracting to have the phonetical spelling, since it isn't correct. I'm not certain I agree, but I changed my "gonnas" to "going tos."
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If the word with relaxed spelling differs significantly in pronunciation, it's legitimate dialogue. If, however, the difference is solely in teh spelling, leave it out.

    So if a character speaks disdainfully about the insensitivity of Americans, don't spell it "Amerikans" in the dialogue. It may be how he would write it in his manifesto, but in dialogue, it's pointless.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto that...

    peachy...
    don't write all your dialog the way you speak... and if none of your characters are like you, don't write any of it that way... how each one speaks has to be the product of who and what each one is, where from, what kind of personality each one has, and so on...
     

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