1. ithestargazer
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    ithestargazer Active Member

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    The 'Voice' in YA fantasy?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by ithestargazer, Apr 19, 2012.

    Hi everyone,

    I'm curious to find out what people think about dialogue and/or speech patterns in fantasy novels. I've noticed that a lot of fantasy novels tend to steer toward the old 'English' voice with proper, formal speech (very...medieval-esque).

    I've just written a draft of about 40,000 words in a YA fantasy story set between Earth and another world. I'm struggling to distinguish the differences between the different races' speech other than to mention that the inhabitants of this other world (which are human ancestors) have a different accent. I've thought about making their speech slightly more formal to distinguish but I don't want to change their mannerisms too much.

    I'd love some feedback, or to know if anyone else has had a similar problem. Thanks! :)
     
  2. Pink-Angel-1992
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    Pink-Angel-1992 Active Member

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    Is this other world set in the same space as Earth or another dymention? Not knowing what your idea is or much about your story, this is a question that comes to mind. It sounds like the inhabitance of both world came from the same initially, in which case they'd have the same origin, though will have developed along different lines. The culture and how advance they are as a race will propaby affect the way they talk and their mannerisms. If one developed into a more scientific way and the other carried on with strong religious believe that plays an important part in their lives, then the scientific world may talk with larger and compliced words, where as the religious world may talk more about the will of god (or goddess).
     
  3. -oz
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    -oz Active Member

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    Something else that's effective is to put new words into the common language. Languages are made of other languages, so it would make sense that a new race would retain some of their words, especially when "common" is not their first language. An extremely effective book to example this is Richard Adam's Watership Down. While not science fiction, it's a good fantasy book in general that creates its own language (of sorts).

    Just my four cents. Have fun!
     
  4. MissRis
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    MissRis Contributing Member

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    I have this same problem, as I have a similar scenario in my text. What I have done is have 'elders' speak much more formally than the younger generation. When the younger generation speaks to the 'elders' then they speak more formally. But when the younger's speak to each other they speak informally. My MC is a human dragged into this world and she notes how strange the other kids her age speak (i.e. they sort of speak like her, but don't). The younger generation of this other race also don't understand some of the culturally relevant references the MC throws out, like television programs. Hope this is helpful.
     
  5. ithestargazer
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    ithestargazer Active Member

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    Thanks for your advice, everyone. I appreciate it!
     
  6. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    I'd have one group speak US English and the other group speak UK English. Both are modern and both are very different versions of the same language.
     
  7. ithestargazer
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    ithestargazer Active Member

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    That's almost exactly what I had naturally done with the US/UK variations. Thanks for mentioning it, it makes me feel a bit better about the choice :)
     

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