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Writers...a question regarding dialects in dialogue

Do you a) write the actual way the dialect would be written or sound within the dialogue or do you b) just state prior to the dialogue that the character is either Creole, Irish, etc.  One of my characters is a local New Orlenian/Creole woman and I wanted to bring this across.  But what is the appropriate way for a reader to grasp this concept.
Thank you for any guidance and/or clarification. Robin

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I find as a reader, and have been told by many writers it is better to infer the the dialogue as in she/he said, her voice tinged with a thick creole accent, something like that. Some local slang words you can maybe use to add colour to the dialogue. Remember your readers will not be all Creole or whatever language your character speaks. It can turn readers off. Hope this has helped.

Thank you Andrew.  Very true, and I have heard that side, as well as others who have stated the dialogue was written out to give the inflection of the speech.  Some writers have stated it's easier to just infer, but I've also heard readers say they enjoy when a writer takes the time to spell it out.  So, I guess the only thing to do is go with my gut, lol.  Thanks again!

I agree with Andrew. A lot of my work is set in Appalachia and I've discovered that if I write the way people really talk, nobody can read it, so I infer, just dropping a slang word every now and then, just enough to flavor the book.

Thank you Darlene. It's nice to hear from fellow authors.

The great thing about writing in "dialect" is that no one can tell you how to do it.  However, my preference it to write phonetically in the context of what is being said.  Readers are intelligent people. They will get it and have fun while they do.  It is a great way to add depth to any character.

Take, for example, that I decide write like some people do up here in the upper Midwest. It may go something like this:  Mary smiled in response to her grandson's request for more mashed potatoes adding "Youbetchya" as she heaped a second helping onto his plate.

Just my opinion of course.  Although if I wanted to write an entire story with a Bostonian accent, I think I may go wicked insane!

I hope this helps :)



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