Game of Scones // Hear Me Speak

speech pattern scones

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

How do you write dialogue? Yes or no to Game of Scones? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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11 thoughts on “Game of Scones // Hear Me Speak

  1. HEY THERE. Your accent is glorious, and your semi-rambling is FABULOUS. If you feel up to it, I would to love to watch any vlogs by you. I actually think the younger royal members have posher accents than the Queen, but HRM can do as she wishes, I suppose. Crafting good dialogue and narration through voice is one of the most difficult parts of writing for me so far. And Celaena must-have-spelled-that-wrong Sardothien is difficult enough to spell, let alone pronounce. Gah.

    • Thank youu! I’m tentatively about doing something like that, but I have been very carefully avoiding it. HOPEFULLY SOMETIME??
      Ha, yeah, that’s probably true. The whole royal family do have very posh accents, though.
      I still can’t spell half the names from Throne of Glass. I know, argh. ALL THESE FANTASY BOOK NAMES, why are they so hard to pronounce? *shakes head*

  2. This is such a cool activity! Your accent is so cool, and I like how you brought up how accents are written in books. At least for me, sometimes it’s hard because books mention when they first introduce a character, “and here is someone with an X accent” but then it never comes up again so you forget—but, sometimes they do cool things like type out the Scottish accent, as in one of my most recent reads. It was super fun! Anyway, thanks for discussing this; it’s really cool!

    • Thank you so much! Yes, if accents aren’t written out I find that I very quickly forget them — and just end up reading it the same as everyone else speaks.
      Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  3. YOUR ACCENT ASKLASFGH. It’s glorious. SO BRITISH. I could listen to you speak all day omg. I think I had a British accent at one point? It’s rubbed off now, and I consider it to be one of greatest failures. But until then, I’ll just watch a LOT of Dan and Phil and Sherlock.

    I pronounce Celeana Sardothien basically the way you do XD I say SCONES, not scones. …..that didn’t really make sense did it? I say Chaol like Kayol. I say trainers. People say I have some sort of mish mash of both a British AND American accent? I blame TV shows for that. Because, y’know. ANYWAYS ENOUGH ABOUT MYSELF.

    P.S I do realize I have been terrible with keeping up with your blog. Ach. *wipes sweaty brow* DON’T KILL ME. Meanwhile, I’ll just stalk you till I’m all caught up. XD

    • Omg thank you so much! (I mean, I don’t really work towards my accent. But THANK YOU ANYWAY.) I am kinda stereotypically British, what with the intense sense of not offending others and TEA. All the tea. Whilst watching Sherlock. 😉
      High five for trainers! (What are these sneakers? It’s not like they’re any easier to sneak in.) I had a bit of an American-y accent after I came back from international school, but it’s faded now. And now I’ve picked up random internet-isms. WHAT CAN YOU DO?
      Ahaha, don’t worry at all! (I try to refrain from murder. Mostly.) (No, really. I’ve been terrible at keeping up with blogs lately.)

  4. I LOVE YOUR ACCENT SO MUCH. IT’S SO FUN TO LISTEN TO. ‘I’m an ‘ah’ person’ XD
    I pronounce Sarah’s last name with my Dutch accent because I’m pretty sure it’s a Dutch last name haha (at least it sounds like one). I pronounce her character names the same way as you do though! ‘This is getting awkward’ hahaha no nothing about this is awkward it’s fun 😀 I saw something about how you should vlog AND YES I AGREE.
    In The Netherlands we usually say ‘gympen’ or just ‘schoenen’ (shoes), sometimes we say ‘sneakers’, which is American influence I guess haha.
    Also love this post. Speech is definitely interesting 😀

    • Eeek, thank you! JOIN THE ‘AH’ CLUB. It’s obviously the best club there is. *nods solemnly*
      Oh yeah, it does sound like it! Eeek, now I’m worried I 100% messed up the pronunciation.
      I end up having a lot of fights with my friends over ToG name pronunciations. It makes it very difficult to have normal book discussions when everyone calls a character something different, haha.
      Wow, cool! I think a lot of American-y words get passed on from TV shows and stuff. IT IS EVERYWHERE ARGH.
      Thank you! Let us overthink speech too much together. 😉

  5. Pingback: The Weekly Hufflepuff #9 | The Writing Hufflepuff

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