Hey all, just hours before it’s a new month and the midweek too! Hope you’re all having a great one so far :)!
The story I’m working on is the first time I’ve actively used Caribbean dialect and slang (from across islands, including mine – Barbados) for supporting characters. Let me back up, I’ve written a piece before that was just under 30k words or so (unpublished, sitting in dust), that was Caribbean Literature and most dialogue was native to our islands and, I recognised that by extension it catered more to a select readership. The epic fantasy, on the other hand, is meant to cater to all kinds of readers and I’m quite aware that some will be a bit lost at some of the dialogue presented. Since I want to shop this particular story to agents and publishers, I’ve wondered if I’ll be told that I need to make the dialect and slang clearer, or change it all together, however, I’ve decided to leave those parts of the story as they are for now.
I’ve read many books full of British and American slang, that basically if you don’t know exactly what’s being spoken about, the reader is just lost. That was one of the reasons I decided to stick to my guns with this one and share more from the Caribbean countries. I’ve made it so that even if the reader doesn’t understand immediately, reading what follows or the context it’s written in, makes it much easier to understand, even if readers are not familiar with how it sounds when spoken.
In The Wardens season 1, Erin uses the phrase ‘oh rassohole’ in one of the books and it’s explained that Zach is pretty shocked when she does, as she doesn’t usually use the word unless things are really bad or she’s freaked out about something. ‘Rasshole’ in Barbadian slang can be used as a vicious curse, as a way to emphasize a point, as jest, or as a filler in regular conversation. It’s multifunctional capabilities are one of the reasons it’s a fantastic word and in this epic (still hashing out the title), I’ll be sharing lots more of our words, elements of dialect and slang, that make me so excited whenever I type them in, cause it means I get to share more of myself and my roots with all of you 🙂.
For writers wondering if you should consider using slang or dialect from your own region, why not? It allows readers a more authentic view and, if you’re like me and have also written about places outside of your hometown, it’s always a great way to come right back home with your writing. It’s just very important to remember to use methods like the few mentioned earlier in the post, to ensure readers are able to follow along with you and don’t get lost trying to make sense of it all.
Happy writing and reading :)!
Please note that Part 2 of So It Begins Chapter 9 of my science fantasy novel AWAKENING (When Worlds End Trilogy) is now available for your reading pleasure here: ’ So It Begins (Pt. 2)’ See you all Friday and I hope you enjoy the latest installment of Awakening. The beginning of Chapter 10: Somebody Save Me, will be posted this Saturday, May 3, 2014 on ‘Jackie Jones on Wattpad.’.
Find out more information about my books for sale and those that are FREE to read on the ‘BOOKS PAGE’