Book quotes and accents

So not only my writing is already fairly awkward and stilted, due to the language barrier, I had the brilliant idea to use actual quotes from the book(s) in the dialogs. Yes, almost exact quotes from a book that was written in 1900. While most of my characters spout modern-ish speech.

I mean, there’s nothing wrong with some nods to the original source here and there, but my first draft was mostly just made out of the original dialogue, and the rest grew around it; not as organically as you’d think, though. This should’ve been the other way around: some quotes from book nicely and subtly incorporated into my own script.

Another weird and awkward thing about my dialogs were the speech patterns, like everyone having their own accent.

You see, good writers do make everyone’s speech unique. Basically, you should be able to tell who’s speaking just from their dialogue. Fair enough, character’s distinctive speaking mannerism is as legit as a distictive expression / posture / gestures / etc. And yes, sometimes it IS accomplished by accents.

However, I’d call accents the lowest hanging fruit in this category. It’s the writing equivalent of giving your character heterochromia when you can’t think of any other way to make them look interesting. It IS used, but definitely not in every case and definitely not for every character.

Unfortunately, I was cursed by Homestuck that’s quite infamous for unreadable typing quirks almost every character possesses. It’s a tough question whether Homestuck needed that or not, but BBR definitely didn’t need it, especially when some accents are so embarrassingly stereotypical that I physically cringe at them at this point.

One could argue that Ferret and Leslie’s pronunciation was somewhat charming and that maaaaybe Jellikins’ hissing would work if toned down a bit, but Bastille’s accent had no reason to exist. Especially since the Witches supposed to grow together and couldn’t have different accents to begin with.

Other stuff like Shawn’s plays on words is a better attempt at a distinctive speech pattern, but the stilted writing and my lack of standards when it comes to awful puns kinda ruined it. The Witches’ puns are ungodly.

Nick’s stuttering is alright. He weirdly reminds me of Odin from Ava’s Demon, even though those two characters have no connection at all.

Here, let me pull the entire original list of their speech patterns:

  • Dolly: mentions imagination and feelings a lot (verbs like imagine, think, feel, remember, etc), “face” puns (???).
  • Shawn: often uses words like “stuff”, “kind of”, “nah”, “yeah”, “exactly”, “perhaps”, “it seems”, “therefore”, mixes up words, gives everyone nicknames (and calling them “lad”, “dude”, “gal”).
  • Leslie: uses “I’m afraid”, “I’m not sure”, “maybe”, “I guess”, “please”, “y’know” a lot, swallows “g” from “ing”, uses American contractions a lot (whadda, catcha, imma, hafta, etc).
  • Quadling: doesn’t use contractions, pompous literary speech, some British-ish accent (favoUr, coloUr, will -> shall).
  • Godween: Says “indeed” a lot, some Scottish-ish accent (???)
  • Ferret: cutesy/condescending nicknames (dear, honey, darling, sweetie, sugar), says “pretty” instead of “quite”, “fly” puns, fricative “r”.
  • Bastille: some German-ish accent (th -> d, w -> v, d -> t), “eye”, “see”, “look” puns.
  • Pepper: “eat” and “hat” puns.
  • Jellikins: sort of hisses: vowels like “y”, “ea”, “eo” turn into “ee”.

And I distinctly remember that Cedric’s dad originally intended to speak like Yoda. What.

Long story short, my weird obssession with applying formulas to things struck again and led to me taking that writing advice literally.


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