Monday, December 2, 2013

Crafting an Accent Comprehensively

So as our series continues lets recognize where it's all going, that is, the creation of a character. We started off building a character that focused primarily on the writing craft. Writing is an art form foremost, so it needs to be emphasized that to some degree the writer must posses an ability to actually write, weave sentences together, and successfully create a word picture for the reader.

We now continue on to the language end of things, beginning first with accents. Accents are important to a character's presentation, not development . This is important to understand. An accent makes the statement that the character is different is some way. It doesn't reflect where the character has gone in life, most of the time.

When considering a good accent the first step begins at deciding what the accent with state about the character. Should a character be poor? Rich? The accent with decide this. More abstractly, a character's speaking style can reflect their humility, fears, or pride. At this point the skill of the writer's control of language is of primary importance for executing this.

Accents above all must be consistent; they should reflect the character's personality evenly throughout the narrative. The best way to insure that your character always misses his 'H's is to set up a chart or graph of all your characters so that you can keep track of which character speaks which dialect. Another way is studying the regional  dialects of whatever place your character comes from. If the story takes place in a fantasy universe, then much care must be taken when developing accents to insure that the accents reflect socio-economic disparity or class conflicts. Otherwise, if these aren't taken into account, your universe will lack the diversity it otherwise could of had.

Remember: immersion is key. Without it, your universe will be stale!

I want ti elaborate in these points next week with an exercise on dialogue. Stay tuned for more!


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