Writing dialogue is officially Super Super Difficult. Not only do you have to create realistic speech patterns – you also have to create DIFFERENT ONES. Whole different speech patterns for different characters based on their personality and background and situation. SUPER DIFFICULT, RIGHT?
I find it so fun to observe the way people speak. During NaNoWriMo I just camped out and eavesdropped on conversations out of ‘research’, and it was fabulous. 😉 Finding out differences in pronunciation and different words people use is so fascinating. Obviously, you’ve got accent & more well known language differences for different countries, but there’s so many subtleties within that. Mostly we’ll just think of a ‘generic’ American accent but there are so many. To be honest, most accents are stereotyped, which kinda sucks because the real subtle differences are so much more awesome.
There are a ton of different accents in the UK, too – just listening to people on the train or at school can produce a variety of different slang and pronunciations. I think this is maybe more true where I am because there are so many influences people can have for their speech pattern, but it sure makes for wonderful listening. I can pick up words very quickly from the company I’m in, or things I’ve read & watched. AND THEN IT ALL CHANGES DEPENDING ON THE PERSON I TALK TO. (The more uncomfortable I am, the more sarcasm and expletives get used.)
It’s really difficult to convey all these nuances in writing. If you listen to someone speak, the direct transcription is often not how you’d think of writing their dialogue. Though accents are rather more difficult – JK Rowling writes them, but it doesn’t work for everyone – even subtle speech patterns can help differ between the way characters speak. Rainbow Rowell gives a lovely example of this when discussing why she changed one of Cath’s lines from the ARC: Cath is careful with what she says, and whilst Reagan might say something that could be painful, Cath wouldn’t do that. I thought that was a neat insight into her narrative voice.
Yep, not only are voices necessary for, you know, actual literary use of vocal cords — IT ALSO COUNTS IN THE NARRATION. *wipes brow* It depends a lot on the perspective you’re writing from, but in many instances the words you use to write your character is important. It’s not always going to be the way you would write. Which is rather difficult considering you’re the one writing it!
Speech patterns are just so complex and fascinating. If you could decode them and pinpoint words back to where they were picked up from; if you could examine someone’s different conversations and confidence — it could map out their life. (That word is from your grandma when she used to come and look after you and that’s one’s from your best friend and this one is the thing you say when you’re nervous. Like that.)
For me, that’s impossibly cool. If a speech pattern fandom exists, I AM DEFINITELY IN IT. Comparing accents and pronunciations gets me so excited, like: do you say scone like Mary Berry? I love Mary, but I’m sorry. SCONE IS TO GONE. Never to bone. And therefore Game of Scones is really a bit of an incorrect title.) Is it dinner, supper, or tea? Trainer, sneakers, gym shoes? *swoons over onto keyboard*
In the spirit of this: I have recorded myself! You can hear my actual voice. Right now. Speaking to you from the
computer ether. I would say I did this because I’d written a bunch of posts on accents already and it would be dumb not to give you can example of mine, but that’s a lie. I’ve been wanting to do this for ages. I just like the sound of my own voice, okay? XD