My Writers Circle

Writing => The Writers Circle => Topic started by: Skip Slocum on August 03, 2013, 12:33:19 AM

Title: Regional Dialect in Dialogue
Post by: Skip Slocum on August 03, 2013, 12:33:19 AM
Regional Dialect in Dialogue

Last week or maybe it was the week before -- Someone was asking about using regional dialect in their character's dialogue. I cannot find that thread but found this article that hones the point as to why one should avoid this sort of thing. Anyway, for anyone interested, here is another article on sharpening dialogue.

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2Y5ApZ/:YZ@bWXEl:SD.i0IY
Title: Re: Regional Dialect in Dialogue
Post by: Neghe on August 03, 2013, 12:46:23 AM
Never use a regional dialect that you do not know inside and out. However, if you are interested in seeing how to use them in a way that enhances the story rather than drawing the attention of the reader away from the story and onto the verbiage, then read few novels from Elmore leonard and James Lee Burke. Better yet listen to one of their audio books. 
Title: Re: Regional Dialect in Dialogue
Post by: Skip Slocum on August 03, 2013, 12:54:01 AM
This was someone else's question. I posted this to further their studies on the subject. But for the life of me I can't remember who it was.  ;D
Title: Re: Regional Dialect in Dialogue
Post by: 2par on August 03, 2013, 01:13:24 AM
Someone wrote a story using a Scottish dialect. Hard to understand or get through.
Title: Re: Regional Dialect in Dialogue
Post by: Skip Slocum on August 03, 2013, 01:19:23 AM
This was a short but good paper on improving one's dialogue though.  ;D
Title: Re: Regional Dialect in Dialogue
Post by: JewelAS53 on August 03, 2013, 01:28:15 AM
The names Elmore Leonard and James Lee Burke sound like regional diale :D :Dct. i can hear the hillbilly and southern drawl just in their names.... must be pseudonyms... i don't believe in coincidence.
Title: Re: Regional Dialect in Dialogue
Post by: Lin on August 03, 2013, 06:26:18 AM
I've used some regional dialect as seen through the eyes of the main character in my novel.  It isn't on every page and in total it might fill much less than half a page during the whole of the book. I was always careful to write something like ' how she loved his accent'  I ensured it was appropriate and not to overuse it.  Two people hated it and after selling loads of copies, everyone else's comment came back to me that I had got the balance just right when I asked them.  Some of them didn't really notice it at all!   It's a case of not pleasing all of the people all of the time. I also learned during my recent book tour in Cornwall that overall, the general public don't care as long as the writing style doesn't irritate them.  They want a good story that keeps them reading and has a good ending. Too much use of an accent can irritate, but a gentle reminder here and there doesn't do any harm.

Lin







 
Title: Re: Regional Dialect in Dialogue
Post by: Don on August 03, 2013, 08:12:19 AM
Quote
The names Elmore Leonard and James Lee Burke sound like regional dialect.  :D i can hear the hillbilly and southern drawl just in their names.... must be pseudonyms... i don't believe in coincidence.

Both Elmore Leonard (Detroit) and James Lee Burke (Texas) write under their own names. I don't think either Detroit or Texas are noted for their extensive hillbilly populations.

I do think Neghe is correct that we can learn a lot from studying how these authors handle dialect. I'll add Walter Mosley's (California) name to the list. If you want to improve the way you write dialogue, reading these authors is a great place to start.

Don -
Title: Re: Regional Dialect in Dialogue
Post by: Chizzy on August 03, 2013, 10:59:23 AM
It was me who was asking. Thanks for the link.
Title: Re: Regional Dialect in Dialogue
Post by: Skip Slocum on August 03, 2013, 10:59:50 AM
 ;D
Title: Re: Regional Dialect in Dialogue
Post by: Neghe on August 03, 2013, 03:11:34 PM
Elmore James novels


The Bounty Hunters
The Law at Randado
Escape from Five Shadows
Last Stand at Saber River
Hombre
The Big Bounce
The Moonshine War
Valdez is Coming
Forty Lashes Less One
Mr. Majestyk
Fifty-Two Pickup
Swag
Unknown Man No. 89
The Hunted
The Switch
Gunsights
City Primeval
Gold Coast
Split Images
Cat Chaser
Stick
Labrava
Glitz
Bandits
Touch
Freaky Deaky
Killshot
Get Shorty
Maximum Bob
Rum Punch
Pronto
Riding the Rap
Out of Sight
Cuba Libre
Be Cool
Pagan Babies
Tishomingo Blues
Mr. Paradise
A Coyote’s in the House
The Hot Kid
Comfort to the Enemy
Up in Honey’s Room
Road Dogs
Djibouti
Raylan
Dutch Treat
Double Dutch Treat
The Hanging of Willi Martz
Shemane’s Lincoln Zephyr
Is Carl Still the Hot Kid?
Jurgen Schrenk, Escape Artist
Carl and Louly in Love
Gary Marion, Ex-Bull Rider
Joe Tanzi, Fugitive
Tutti and Frankie Bones
Teddy Ritz, White Slaver
Gunnery Sgt. Louise Webster
It’s Up to You, Carl
Jurgen and Otto on the Lam
Shootout at Shemane’s
Are You Going After Jurgen?

Films:

3:10 to Yuma. Dir. Delmer Daves. Columbia Pictures, 1957.

The Tall T. Dir. Budd Boetticher.  Columbia Pictures, 1957.

Hombre. Dir. Martin Ritt.  20th Century Fox, 1967.

The Big Bounce. Dir. Alex March. Warner Bros., 1969.

The Moonshine War. Dir. Richard Quine. Filmway Pictures/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1970.

Valdez is Coming. Dir. Edwin Sherin. United Artists, 1971.

Joe Kidd. Dir. John Sturgis. The Malpaso Company and Universal Pictures. 1972.

Mr. Majestyk. Dir. Richard Fleischer. The Mirisch Company, 1974.

Stick. Dir. Burt Reynolds.  Universal Pictures, 1985.

52 Pickup. Dir. John Frankenheimer.  Cannon Group, 1986.

The Rosary Murders. Dir. Fred Walton.  First Take, Rosary Take One, 1987.

Cat Chaser. Dir. Abel Ferrara. Vestron Pictures, 1989.

Get Shorty. Dir. Barry Sonnenfeld.  MGM / Jersey Films, 1995.

Touch. Dir. Paul Schrader.  Lumiere International/United Artists, 1997.

Jackie Brown. Dir. Quentin Tarantino.  Miramax Films, 1997.

Out of Sight. Dir. Steven Soderbergh.  Universal Pictures and Jersey Films, 1998.

The Big Bounce (II). Dir. George Armitage.  Warner Bros, 2004.

Be Cool, Dir. F. Gary Gray.  MGM, Jersey Films, Double Feature, 2005.

3:10 to Yuma. Dir. James Mangold, Lionsgate, 2007

Killshot. Dir. John Madden.  The Weinstein Company, 2009.

Short Films

The Tonto Woman. Dir. Daniel Barber,  Knucklehead Productions, 2007.

Sparks. Dir. Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  Produced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt , 2008.

TV Movie

Moment of Vengeance. (TV) Dir. Alvin Ganzer.  Meridian Productions / CBS - Schlitz Playhouse of the Stars, 9/28/1956.

High Noon, Part II. (TV) Dir. Jerry Jameson. Charles Fries Productions, 1980.

Desperados. (TV) Dir. Virgil W. Vogel. MacArthur. Universal TV, 1987.

Glitz

Border Shootout. Dir. Chris McIntyre,  Turner Pictures,

Split Images. Dir. Sheldon Larry.  Zev Braun, 1992.

Last Stand at Saber River. Turner Network Television, 1997.

Pronto. (TV) Dir. Jim McBride. Showtime Pictures, 1997.

Elmore Leonard’s Gold Coast.  Dir. Peter Weller Showtime Pictures, 1997.

TV Series

Maximum Bob. Prod. Barry Sonnenfeld. Warner Bros. Television, 1998.

Karen Sisco.  Prod. Bob Brush. ABC Television, Universal Network Television, 2003.

Justified, FX Networks, 2010-2012

Original Screenplays

The Moonshine War. Dir. Richard Quine. Filmway Pictures/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1970.

Joe Kidd. Dir. John Sturgis. The Malpaso Company and Universal Pictures. 1972.

Mr. Majestyk. Dir. Richard Fleischer. The Mirisch Company, 1974.

High Noon, Part II. (TV) Dir. Jerry Jameson. Charles Fries Productions, 1980.

Stick. Dir. Burt Reynolds.  Universal Pictures, 1985.

52 Pickup. Dir. John Frankenheimer.  Cannon Group, 1986.

Desperados. (TV) Dir. Virgil W. Vogel. MacArthur. Universal TV, 1987.

The Rosary Murders. Dir. Fred Walton.  First Take, Rosary Take One, 1987.

Cat Chaser. Dir. Abel Ferrara. Vestron Pictures, 1989.





Title: Re: Regional Dialect in Dialogue
Post by: 510bhan on August 03, 2013, 03:15:40 PM
Crikey! I'd never heard of him though I recognise two or three films. :o
Title: Re: Regional Dialect in Dialogue
Post by: Neghe on August 03, 2013, 03:17:25 PM
James Lee Burke Novels:

LIGHT OF THE WORLD
July, 2013 A Dave Robicheaux novel

   CREOLE BELLE (Dave Robicheaux)
July, 2012

   FEAST DAY OF FOOLS
2011, A Hackberry Holland novel

The sequel to RAIN GODS, featuring Hackberry Holland.
   THE GLASS RAINBOW
2010 (a Dave Robicheaux book)

    RAIN GODS
2009, A Hackberry Holland novel

    SWAN PEAK
July, 2008 (a Robicheaux novel)

   The Tin Roof Blowdown
July, 2007 (Robicheaux)

    JESUS OUT TO SEA
July, 2007

   PEGASUS DESCENDING
July, 2006 (Robicheaux)

   Crusader's Cross
July 2005, A Dave Robicheaux novel

    In the Moon of Red Ponies
June, 2004 Billy Bob Holland novel

    LAST CAR TO ELYSIAN FIELDS
(Robicheaux) Simon & Schuster Fall, 2003

    White Doves at Morning
Simon and Schuster (November 2002)

   Jolie Blon's Bounce
(Robicheaux) Simon & Schuster; June 2002


   Bitterroot
(Billy Bob Holland) Simon & Schuster 2001

    Purple Cane Road
(Robicheaux) Random House Inc; 2000


   Heartwood
(Billy Bob Holland) Doubleday, 1999

    Sunset Limited
(Robicheaux) Doubleday, 1998

    Cimarron Rose
(Billy Bob Holland) Hyperion Press - 1997


   Cadillac Jukebox
(Robicheaux) Hyperion, 1996

    Burning Angel
(Robicheaux) Hyperion, 1995

    Dixie City Jam
(Robicheaux) Hyperion, 1994

    In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead
(Robicheaux) Hyperion, 1993

    A Stained White Radiance
(Robicheaux) Hyperion, 1992

    A Morning for Flamingos
(Robicheaux) 1990

Black Cherry Blues
(Robicheaux) Little Brown, 1989

    Heaven's Prisoners
(Robicheaux) Henry Holt, 1988

    The Neon Rain
(Ist in the Robicheaux series) Henry Holt & Company, 1987

    The Lost Get Back Boogie
LSU Press, 1986

nominated for the Pulitzer Prize
The Convict and Other Stories
LSU Press 1985

    Two for Texas
Pocket Books; NY; 1982

   Lay Down My Sword and Shield
Thomas Y. Crowell & Co; NY; 1971

    To The Bright and Shining Sun
Scribner's, 1970

Half of Paradise
Houghton Mifflin Company, 1965.
Title: Re: Regional Dialect in Dialogue
Post by: 510bhan on August 03, 2013, 03:28:01 PM
How uneducated am I? Didn't recognise a thing. :-[ :-[ :-[
Title: Re: Regional Dialect in Dialogue
Post by: Neghe on August 03, 2013, 03:36:42 PM
See if your local library has one of these James Lee Burke novels.
(downloading to MP3 would be best for proper pronouncing of the New Orleans accent).   

Jolie Blon's Bounce

Crusader's Cross

Pegasus Descending 

The Tin Roof Blowdown
Title: Re: Regional Dialect in Dialogue
Post by: Skip Slocum on August 03, 2013, 03:38:41 PM
Are you Burke?  ;D
Title: Re: Regional Dialect in Dialogue
Post by: Neghe on August 03, 2013, 03:40:40 PM
No.

But I have attended one of his work-shops.
Title: Re: Regional Dialect in Dialogue
Post by: 510bhan on August 05, 2013, 05:23:13 PM
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/elmore-leonard-hospitalized-stroke-599696

The prolific author, 87, is recovering at an undisclosed facility near his Detroit home.


Prolific author and Hollywood favorite Elmore Leonard, 87, has suffered a stroke and is recovering in a Detroit-area hospital.

The author of the books that inspired FX's Justified and the films Hombre, Get Shorty, Out of Sight and Jackie Brown was working on his latest book at the time of the attack a week ago, according to the Detroit News.
Title: Re: Regional Dialect in Dialogue
Post by: cswillson on August 05, 2013, 05:41:54 PM

(downloading to MP3 would be best for proper pronouncing of the New Orleans accent).   


Didn't think they had one.
Title: Re: Regional Dialect in Dialogue
Post by: 2par on August 05, 2013, 07:19:28 PM
Sorry to hear about E. Leonard. Truly a wonderful writer.
Title: Re: Regional Dialect in Dialogue
Post by: Alice, a Country Gal on August 05, 2013, 07:20:41 PM
Didn't think they had one.

Guess you've never listened to a Real Cajan then.  ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NrBSPiN2cw


Or you're telling us you are a Cajan.  ???
Title: Re: Regional Dialect in Dialogue
Post by: Neghe on August 05, 2013, 07:48:35 PM
Sorry to hear about Leonard.

Will Patton reads James Lee Burke:
http://youtu.be/GhWB8zCsfcM


And a classic rock & Roll ditty:
http://youtu.be/3z-GwdaKrn8
Title: Re: Regional Dialect in Dialogue
Post by: cswillson on August 05, 2013, 09:00:17 PM

Or you're telling us you are a Cajan.  ???

Nope, I'm a Grit. But it's 'Cajun'.

I love Nawlins, though. Never miss a chance to go there. Went in May on the City of New Orleans, stayed in a hotel at Tolouse and Dauphine and spent every night on Bourbon. I love NOLA.

BTW, I ran a marina in Florida for a while. A boat made the winter rounds -- South in September, North at Easter -- and its name was CANAJUN.

I asked the captain why it was named that. He said, "Because I am one."
Title: Re: Regional Dialect in Dialogue
Post by: Jo Bannister on August 06, 2013, 11:57:30 AM
I'm with those who think less is more.

I think it's absolutely fine, in fact a bonus, to use characters from all over the place, and to indicate how their speech patterns vary from what we think of as standard norms.  That's all part of life's rich tapestry.  I don't think it's fine to allow those speech patterns to get in the way of clear communication - as even a committed regionalist must admit that they can and do in real life.  When you start thinking of the accent as another character, it's time to rein him in.

Title: Re: Regional Dialect in Dialogue
Post by: Gyppo on August 06, 2013, 12:17:19 PM
When you start thinking of the accent as another character, it's time to rein him in.

I've never consciously thought of it that way, Jo, but I know what you mean and have to agree.

Gyppo