"Writers aren't exactly people...they're a whole bunch of people trying to be one person." - F. Scott Fitzgerald
Hello everyone!! God willing, Nicholas will be published within the next two months and I'm very excited. The semester is drawing to a close, plans are forming, and I'm at a very exciting crossroads in my life. This November's Round Robin is as follows:
How does wording choice develop a story's character? How do you use and select your words?
When I was very young, a friend commented on my story that everyone sounded the same. This simply isn't true in real life. People can sound similar because of where they grew up, but everyone has their idiosyncrasies. For Nicholas, a novella about a London master thief who helps a crown princes survive until her coronation, I aimed for a fairy-tale vibe. I tweaked the historical timeline a bit and made the vocabulary simple to understand. I myself am not British. My ancestors journeyed from Ireland, Scotland, and England in the days of yore, but whatever slang they possessed was not passed down to me. I wondered if I should attempt to incorporate British slang--but it would have to be slang from the hazy eighteenth century. Because I was shooting for less hardcore historical accuracy and more fairy-tale haziness, I simply had upper class characters speak with a larger vocabulary, and everyone spoke a bit more formally than we do nowadays.
Shubiao's Girls, a paranormal novel to be published in the coming year (!!!), I dealt with Massachusetts college students, an ancient Chinese mouse spirit, a Fallen angel, and a demon who's existed since before the Bible was written. Obviously, they could NOT all talk the same. Or--I guess they could've--but that wouldn't have been a very bright thing for me to choose. Cara, the protagonist, is a third-year business major. Her wording is much more concise and brief than, say, her best friend Hosey. Hosey is an English major and is much more fanciful and long-winded in his speech patterns. That, or at the very least he's more dramatic.
For the novel as a whole, I had a lot more fun with the basic speech pattern. The third person narrator (moi) is a lot more flippant and silly with similes and things than I was with Monet Evanesce, the next novel I'm going to talk about. I wrote this book for pure fun, and to explore mythologies, so examples of a few chapter titles are:
In Monet Evanesce, the soon-to-be-published novel about Polish art forgers and the biggest con ever attempted, two of the main characters are Apollo and Timo Roszak. They're twins, but very different. Apollo is much more reserved and soft spoken while his brother Timo is much more an extrovert. Timo plays the fence to Apollo's forger. The novel's language itself is a bit on the formal side while the characters are often on the snarkier side.
Lastly, Serpents and Flame is the oldest manuscript of my novels queued to be published by MuseItUp. At the same time, the characters are the youngest of any of my stories. The main protagonists range from seventeen to about twenty-two. Therefore, their speech tends to be a lot more casual and exclamatory; they tend to react more emotionally than my older characters, and use a lot more slang.
I really enjoyed writing this post (maybe you can tell by the length), and if you did too and want to know more, follow along the list of authors who're ready to spill the beans on their literary linguistic lyricisms :)
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Marci Baun http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Margaret Fieland http://margaretfieland.wordpress.com
Victoria Chatham http://victoriachatham.blogspot.ca
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Dr. Bob Rich http://wp.me/p3Xihq-OB
Connie Vines http://connievines.blogspot.com/
Judith Copek http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com
A.J. Maguire http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/