Saturday, October 5, 2013

Giving character's a dialect

The book I'm working on right now is called Alabama Skye. Parts of it take place in Scotland in the busy port city of Portree, (pronounced Port-righ) on the Isle of Skye. 

While a large portion of the story unfolds in a small and fictional seaside town on the gulf shores of Alabama, one of my prominent characters has brought to the states with her a thick Scottish brogue. I have gone back and forth between writing her speech the way I hear it in my head; heavily accented and peppered with Scottish terminology, and then backing off of it a bit and writing it lightly so the reader knows she's Scottish but not forcing it quite so hard.

Work space. My ever present Kindle, handwritten notes, my trusty Gaelic dictionary and my Kermit the Frog water bottle. All of it is necessary, trust me.
I would be very interested to know, as writers, and more importantly, readers, what are your thoughts about accents in the books you read?