Writing What You Don't Know: The Assistants

Discussion in 'Make It So' started by jacktrash, Aug 3, 2016.

  1. hyrax

    hyrax had a handle on my life, but i broke it

    also, what defines a city accent in this setting? sometimes it just comes down to using different slang or not knowing jargon.
     
  2. Misty Pond

    Misty Pond inside the jar of sweet, sweet chaos

    ah...admittedly that's not something I've put much thought into. the setting is just a general fictional sink kind of place I made up in favor of not using a real location, and I don't have any solid idea of where exactly it would be in the world if it existed as a real country or anything. so I was just looking for general pointers, since I haven't developed anything specific to work off

    (worldbuilding isn't my forte. I'm almost purely about characterization...)
     
  3. TheSeer

    TheSeer 37 Bright Visionary Crushes The Doubtful

    You should pick a particular accent. If you don't, you'll end up incorporating random elements from a bunch of accents that aren't yours, which will be really jarring to readers who know any of them well. YouTube is a good source for samples of various accents so you can pick one that matches what you're thinking of. For a US country accent, maybe search for Trae Crowder to start?
     
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  4. hyrax

    hyrax had a handle on my life, but i broke it

    if you're talking about how the speech itself sounds, there aren't really any universal generalizations about what rural accents sound like, other than "different from the area's city accents." like i said, they'll probably have different slang for things, but that's about it. the accent could be subtly different or very different. things like how much contact the rural area has with urban areas, and how easy it is to travel between them, will make a difference.

    i second the suggestion for picking an actual accent-- and for good measure also check out the corresponding urban accent(s), if you're not already familiar with them. you don't have to spell out that you're using a real accent in your story, but it'll give you a reference point for thinking about it.

    general tips for the actual writing: spelling out dialogue phonetically is usually not a good choice, because it has an othering effect. using slang words and the like is good, if it's done accurately. otherwise, just think about how people from different areas perceive rural folks, and let those attitudes show through the dialogue.
     
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  5. Aondeug

    Aondeug 宗教の学生

    If you can find a grammar for your particular dialect you choose maybe give it a look over and get to know the rules. Sadly most of the places I know to find grammars for specific dialects tend to be like. Linguistic papers and texts grammarians write. But I do know that things of that sort exist. Grammar between varieties vary quite a bit, even if in ways that seem minuscule. As do lexicons and so on, which you could again find in like ling articles and the like.
     
  6. jacktrash

    jacktrash absentee sperglord

    even in an imaginary world it helps to have a particular voice in mind so the dialogue flows right. i gave my evil overlord a backwoods minnesota accent because 1) it’s what i myself lapse into when drunk and 2) come on admit it that’s hilarious
     
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  7. paladinkit

    paladinkit brave little paladin

    Hey everyone! I'm trying to do some character development ficlets for one of my ocs, and at some point I will likely need to write about his process of joining the Franciscan order and becoming a Catholic priest. I found an outline of the formation process online but it's pretty bare, and I grew up with friars and priests around but only saw their lives from the perspective of a parishioner. If anyone could point me at personal accounts (of discernment, vocation, formation, etc) for Franciscans, related orders, or similar (communal religious living with a focus on service), that would be incredibly appreciated!
     
  8. ChelG

    ChelG Well-Known Member

    Regarding funetik aksents and othering it would depend on the point of view character, I think. It could work to pick out specific words when your POV character is listening to someone with an unfamiliar accent and point out how different they sound from what the POV character is used to - "he said X, in his accent it came out sounding like Y" is one I've seen done, and stop doing that when the POV character gets familiar with it. On the other hand, excessive accent emphasis rapidly becomes unreadable to most people. (Burr aye, oi grew oop readin' ee wurks of Zurr Brian Jacques. He prepared me well for typing quirks.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019 at 8:43 PM
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  9. ChelG

    ChelG Well-Known Member

    Question; I am a gigantic fan of personality classification systems in fiction and reality - Hogwarts houses, classpects, etc etc. I would quite like to make my own system like that, but I'm not sure where to start. Has anyone else written something similar before?
     
  10. TheSeer

    TheSeer 37 Bright Visionary Crushes The Doubtful

    This is one of the few times in writing that you'll want to be vague. Personalities are very complex and diverse, and the more specific you get, the more likely you are to lock in things that aren't actually universal or make a system that doesn't actually have a place for everyone. "Gryffindors are brave" sounds clear enough, but then it turns out it covers things like Hermione's intellectual integrity, or Neville's ability to function through severe anxiety.

    Symbolism is your friend. It's very evocative without actually locking much down, and the right kind of symbols can mean lots of different things in different situations. Like, the aspect of Breath, what does that mean? Depends. For John I'd say it comes out in his sense of humor and habit of avoidance, while for Tavros it's more referring to his issues with physical mobility. And other readers might reasonably have completely different analyses than me.

    And this might be counterintuitive, but don't make your system symmetric. Avoid classifications that are direct opposites of each other - it seems like a good idea but it tends to feel oversimplified and pat.

    Last, but not least important, situate the system within a fictional setting so that it's clear why the characters care, and why the reader should care. The nature of the setting will also help you figure out the details of the different classifications.
     
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  11. ChelG

    ChelG Well-Known Member

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