Character Dialects too much Characterization?

Use this forum to discuss the November 2019 Book of the month, "Deadly Waters: The Vietnam Naval War And Its Aftermath", by Randy Miller.
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Re: Character Dialects too much Characterization?

Post by AvidBibliophile »

Ellylion wrote:
02 Dec 2019, 15:15
I think it's a great touch adding dialects because it helps to understand the characters better, to look deeply into their inner world :)
I completely agree!! I'm not very well-traveled myself, so getting to hear even the accents of the east coast words like "bahn" made me giggle. Felt like I took a little weekend adventure across America.

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Post by LyorBoone »

randy6175 wrote:
01 Dec 2019, 01:27
AvidBibliophile wrote:
30 Nov 2019, 20:07
I appreciated the inclusion of the various accents, dialects, and slang terminology used; it gave an authentic coating to the raw dialogue scenes, but yes, there were moments when I had to read a sentence one or two times to get the intended gist of the spoken reply. I liked the lines of Lailani dialect: "Youa comma with me, I taka care a youa nice."
Have to say, it was a rough decision to do the dialog in regional accents. Against all educated advice I went with it anyway. It was important to me to contrast all of the different cultures entwined in the Vietnam War in a distinctive way.
I am curious as to how you came up with the spellings of the altered words. Had you seen the spelling beforehand from some source or pretty much come up with them yourself?
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Post by lwahls2 »

The dialect was something that I enjoyed. It really put me in the book with the characters and I could picture them perfectly. For your example of "fahm," I read like "farm."
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Post by ohlendorfbe »

I really enjoyed the dialects as written in this book. I agree with the author that it emphasized the contrast between different characters. Being an Iowa girl, then having lived in North Carolina for 26 years, I can empathize with those who couldn't understand what was being said at times in the book; but I feel that the different dialects enrich our American experience. I'm certainly glad it was written the way it was!

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Post by Aniza Butt »

It surely creates confusion but it can also help to differentiate the characters.
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Post by AvidBibliophile »

ohlendorfbe wrote:
05 Dec 2019, 11:36
I really enjoyed the dialects as written in this book. I agree with the author that it emphasized the contrast between different characters. Being an Iowa girl, then having lived in North Carolina for 26 years, I can empathize with those who couldn't understand what was being said at times in the book; but I feel that the different dialects enrich our American experience. I'm certainly glad it was written the way it was!
I completely agree, and it wouldn't have been easy to do! It's hard enough to write ordinary dialogue that spellcheck will happily accept, let alone construct entire scenes of conversation that have been so incredibly individualized to certain characters. I bet Iowa and NC were both lovely locales in their own ways! I've never lived anywhere but Texas and Oklahoma, so I found these authentic dialects to be quite enjoyable indeed. :)

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Post by AvidBibliophile »

LyorBoone wrote:
03 Dec 2019, 22:31
I am curious as to how you came up with the spellings of the altered words. Had you seen the spelling beforehand from some source or pretty much come up with them yourself?
That's a great question, and one I wouldn't have thought to ask! It was nice to see the appendix of all the altered words and their translations at the very end of the book. And you know, I've never really pondered the origin of the official dictionary's phonetic spellings before... which ancestral dialect would reign supreme? But regionally-accented phonetic spellings are a whole other entity entirely!

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Post by Akpome1 »

This is why reviews of this sort are necessary. When an author conceives the idea of writing a book, he plans the plots and how he would want to express himself. He may not think of what the reader will feel about that way he has decided to express himself. These words slow down the reader's speed and make the reading boring. Not all readers will continue at such speed. Few of these words would have been alright.

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Post by bb587 »

I thoroughly enjoy written dialects in books. It makes the characters unique and dynamic. Yeah, sometimes they might go too far making it hard for the reader to understand, but most of the time I equate that to real life. My grandmother barely spoke English. Sometimes I would have to stop and think for a minute to figure out what she was trying to say.

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Post by randy6175 »

LyorBoone wrote:
03 Dec 2019, 22:31
randy6175 wrote:
01 Dec 2019, 01:27
AvidBibliophile wrote:
30 Nov 2019, 20:07
I appreciated the inclusion of the various accents, dialects, and slang terminology used; it gave an authentic coating to the raw dialogue scenes, but yes, there were moments when I had to read a sentence one or two times to get the intended gist of the spoken reply. I liked the lines of Lailani dialect: "Youa comma with me, I taka care a youa nice."
Have to say, it was a rough decision to do the dialog in regional accents. Against all educated advice I went with it anyway. It was important to me to contrast all of the different cultures entwined in the Vietnam War in a distinctive way.
I am curious as to how you came up with the spellings of the altered words. Had you seen the spelling beforehand from some source or pretty much come up with them yourself?
Let's just say I was hooked on phonics, but it was beyond difficult, and from my point of view, the best part of the book is when Zack decided to lose his accent!

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Post by Nkoo »

Initially, I found the dialects confusing but with time, I grasped the idea behind them. I think that's part of the book's uniqueness and makeup. It also made the book all the more relatable.

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Post by djr6090 »

randy6175 wrote:
01 Dec 2019, 01:27
AvidBibliophile wrote:
30 Nov 2019, 20:07
I appreciated the inclusion of the various accents, dialects, and slang terminology used; it gave an authentic coating to the raw dialogue scenes, but yes, there were moments when I had to read a sentence one or two times to get the intended gist of the spoken reply. I liked the lines of Lailani dialect: "Youa comma with me, I taka care a youa nice."
Have to say, it was a rough decision to do the dialog in regional accents. Against all educated advice I went with it anyway. It was important to me to contrast all of the different cultures entwined in the Vietnam War in a distinctive way.
Yes, indeed. If you have experienced the accents, you can tell that they are authentic. After the first hitch at sounding them out phoenetically, I found the accents improved the aura of the book. I could hear the characters, as well as picture them and their actions.

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Post by Snowflake »

Lots of mixed comments here! I like the idea of dialects being included and have found them to be enjoyable in many books. The words need to be easily figured out by context and consistency though. Having many dialects might be quite confusing.
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Post by mensah2 »

To make creative spelling better, there must definitely be some rules that govern the way people use words. If this is not done, anyone can just borrow words and use them anyhow to the detriment of the native speakers.

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Post by timur777 »

Hello :)
Thank you for creating this post!
That was something I have noticed about the book. I think it is rather useful than irritating. It helps to distinguish characters and adds a uniqueness to each of them. It helps to connect and to comprehend the personalities of the characters as well.
In overall, I was actually happy that an author has done this. Well done!

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