Monday Writing Prompt – 27 November 2017

27 November 2017

 

The prompt should be included in your story which can be any genre. Word limit is a maximum, there is no minimum.

Stories can be posted directly in the comments, or with a link to the post on your own blog. If you’re using the latter method, please include the title of your story.

Deadline for submission is Friday, 1 December 2017 at midnight, GMT+2. Winning stories will be announced on the following Monday. Bragging rights to the winners.

Have fun!

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Tuesday Editing Tips on a Wednesday – Because what’s a schedule for if not to be broken?*

*And also because I started writing a post about Deep Point of View for yesterday’s post and realised that it was going way deeper (haha) than I’d anticipated and I needed more time to do it justice, so … that will be next week’s post.

This week you get … wait for it … drumroll please

Accents in Dialogue – Points to Consider.

(Shout out to Nthato for asking this question on our writing group and saving my life giving me the idea.)

The Question:

How do you guys feel about writing accents?
Like the typical “German/Swede” who pronounces “th” as “da”.

The Answer:

When writing accent in dialogue, there are first three criteria to consider:
  1. Does it enhance characterisation? Would the character be diminished if they spoke without an accent, or with the accent indicated in dialogue tags instead of speech?
  2. Will it engross the reader in the story? If the accent can be pulled off in speech without jarring the reader out of the story, then by all means, include it.
  3. Does it develop plot? If the accent is essential to the plot – for example, a German character who speaks with an accent at home, but in a volatile situation loses the accent, giving clues to the reader about secrets they may be hiding, the accent should be included.
Once those criteria are met, you then need to determine the following:
  1. Length of the story. In shorter stories, accents can be easily pulled off because there’s less room for dialogue, and readers are less likely to be annoyed by “Da” written instead of “The”.
  2. Is there a way to indicate accent in speech, without writing words differently? For example, the shift of “th” to “da” is actually a lisp. It’s an accent only because it’s created by the home language pronouncing letters and sounds differently in the mouth. In another language, the muscles of the tongue and jaw instinctively form recognised patterns, changing the airflow around certain letters and creating what we hear as an accent.
  3. Can you indicate the accent by changing only certain words, instead of the entire dialogue? In the case of a German accent, it’s more easily recognised by changing “th” to an “s” and “w” to a “v” as in the case of “with” becoming “vis”. This is less likely to jar a reader out of the story as they struggle to pronounce the misspelled English words.
  4. Does changing the spelling of the English word to show an accent, create a word that means something else? In the case of “the” becoming “da”, you have the problem of “da” meaning other things. “Yes” in Russian, for one, and a colloquial expression for father in English for another.
  5. Does the character’s situation require an accent? I’ve met Germans who have only been speaking English for a year, and the only way to tell they’re not native English speakers, is because occasionally they’ll mix up a tense or use the right word, in a different context. Likewise with other languages. It depends on the person, and their ability to hear sounds and mimic accents.
  6. Are you stereotyping a character based on your perception of their accent? This is a hard one to avoid, because stereotypes are easy to fall into in order to create recognisable characters. One way to avoid this is to search for videos of native speakers talking in a second language, and see how they actually feel about using a different language, and what they may have struggled with.

Regardless of what you choose to do with your character’s speech, the most important thing is to remain consistent!

How do you feel about accents in dialogue? Do you include them? Do you have a question about writing/editing that you’d like me to answer in a Tuesday Editing Tips post? Post it in the comments below!

Monday Writing Prompt – 20 November 2017

 

 

20 November 2017

 

The prompt should be included in your story which can be any genre. Word limit is a maximum, there is no minimum.

Stories can be posted directly in the comments, or with a link to the post on your own blog. If you’re using the latter method, please include the title of your story.

Deadline for submission is Friday, 24 November 2017 at midnight, GMT+2. Winning stories will be announced on the following Monday. Bragging rights to the winners.

Have fun!

Jozi Flash 2017 – Meet the Authors – Kim Wainer

Today is the last day of the Author Q&As from the contributors of Jozi Flash 2017. The anthology will be available for free download from December – just in time for Christmas!

Today, last but certainly not least, we’re welcoming Kim Wainer to the anthology! (Don’t believe what she says about her Instagram – it’s pretty awesome.)

bmd

What’s your favourite genre to write and why?

My favourite genre is fantasy, largely because there’s so much leeway. If you write in the real world, you have to follow the real world’s rules, but in fantasy you can decide on your own rules. There are also so many shades of fantasy, from ‘magical realism’ all the way to out-and-out orcs and dragons stuff. I can neither confirm nor deny that I also like it because it allows me to throw a dragon into the story whenever I get stuck.

Have you published anything else?

No. I’ve edited a recipe book that can be bought in actual shops – does that count?

How do you feel about social media and which platform is the one you use most?

Largely, it’s a waste of time, but if you use it right it can be valuable. I do a lot of work on social media as part of my job, so I’ve seen some of what it can do beyond reminding people of other people’s birthdays and enabling benign (mostly?) stalking. The only platform I use for my own personal purposes is Instagram, but don’t let that fool you into thinking I am somehow cool or, indeed, prone to taking selfies. I mostly use it for my attempts at interesting photographs and humble-bragging about the upper end of my baking adventures.

Which of your stories in Jozi Flash 2017 is your favourite?

Personal has one of my favourite lines in it. It’s difficult to pick a favourite, but I did enjoy writing For the Want of a Nail, just because it’s a bit silly.

Who or what inspires your writing?

Inspiration doesn’t have a fixed source for me. An idea can pounce on me at any time – usually when I don’t have anything on hand to write it down with. I find that the good ones tend to stick around in my brain anyway.

Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo and what are you working on?

Of course – and, naturally, I’ve no idea. I’m sure something will turn up before the first. It generally does.

Who is your least favourite book character and why?

Oh dear. Don’t get me started. Let’s just say anyone who always has a solution to any problem, especially if they’ve been lightly garnished with “flaws” that never actually seem to have any negative impact on their life.

Pet peeve as a reader?

Bad grammar and punctuation. Badly-applied commas set my teeth on edge.

Pet peeve as a writer?

When the right word is just on the tip of my tongue, and then it disappears, never to be seen again.

How do you feel about editing?

It’s daunting, but it also seems like something that would be quite satisfying to do. I just have to finish something (just!).

Connect with Kim on Instagram!

 

That’s it for our Author Q&As, but stay tuned, because we’ve arranged a few extra surprises for you while we’re waiting for the release of Jozi Flash 2017

Jozi Flash 2017 – Meet the Authors – Nicola Tapson

Every day for the next two days, I’ll be posting the Author Q&As from the contributors of Jozi Flash 2017. The anthology will be available for free download from December – just in time for Christmas!

Today, please join me in welcoming Nicola Tapson to the anthology! She has the cutest little logo and name for her company – the Inquisitive Hedgehog.

JoziFlashProfile pic

 
What’s your favourite genre to write and why?

My favorite genre to write is romance because I enjoy seeing where my characters go with the story.

Have you published anything else?

I have had a poem published in Reminiscence – a Southern African Poetry Collection – in 2009.

How do you feel about social media and which platform is the one you use most?
I love social media but it can be a time culler if you not careful. I use Instagram the most.

Which of your stories in Jozi Flash 2017 is your favourite?

My favorite story is my fantasy story about Tsohanaoi and Tayanita.

How do you feel about editing?
I think it is very important to ensure that your reader doesn’t get annoyed by typos or incorrectly used words.

Connect with Nicola on InstagramFacebook, or on her blog!

Jozi Flash 2017 – Meet the Authors – Nicolette Stephens

Every day for the next three days, I’ll be posting the Author Q&As from the contributors of Jozi Flash 2017. The anthology will be available for free download from December – just in time for Christmas!

Today, please join me in welcoming … well, myself! Hi, everyone! I’m Nicolette Stephens! 🙂

Me

What’s your favourite genre to write and why?

I love pushing my writing to the limits by playing with every genre. I keep coming back to fantasy, romance, and horror – the last with a bit of dismay as I’m not really an avid reader of the genre.

Have you published anything else?

I published stories in Jozi Flash 2016, but nothing since then.

How do you feel about social media and which platform is the one you use most?

I have a love/hate relationship with social media. Part of me loves the useful interactions with like-minded people. The rest of me is meh. I really enjoy Twitter lately, and I’m loving my blog.

Which of your stories in Jozi Flash 2017 is your favourite?

I love Bucket List. It’s a tragedy, which isn’t my favourite genre, but the bittersweet story stayed with me for a long time after writing it.

Who or what inspires your writing?

Lately I find myself inspired by people. How we interact with the world and each other, the dreams and hopes that we thrive on. The successes and failures of plans that don’t always work out as we’d anticipated. In short, I suppose life inspires me.

Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo and what are you working on?

Yes, I’m attempting plantsing this year. I’m returning to the first book in a fantasy series that I’ve been working on for the last seven years.

How do you feel about editing?

I love editing, particularly when it’s other writers’ stories. There’s a fine line between editing and rewriting, and sometimes I need to step back and ask whether I’m suggesting a change because of the way I would tell the story, or if it’s because I genuinely believe it would make the story better in some way. Depending on my reason, I will either scrap or keep the suggestion, but I always tell people that my edits are only suggestions, and it’s ultimately their choice whether or not to make the change.

Connect with me on TwitterFacebook, or right here, on my blog!

Jozi Flash 2017 – Meet the Authors – Liam Oliver Kai Selby

Every day for the next four days, I’ll be posting the Author Q&As from the contributors of Jozi Flash 2017. The anthology will be available for free download from December – just in time for Christmas!

Today, please join me in welcoming Liam Oliver Kai Selby, the man with many names!

Liam Selby

What’s your favourite genre to write and why?

Fantasy… fantasy by far! I have always been fascinated with the worlds that people can create, using only their imaginations. Through fantasy, I have been able to escape to whole new worlds, filled with new kinds of people and animals, and sometimes even plants. I love writing fantasy because I want people to see the worlds I can create and because I hope to give others the same chance I had to escape the hustle and bustle of the real world and see new worlds.

Have you published anything else?

No, I have not published anything before. Except if you count my school newspaper as a publication.

How do you feel about social media and which platform is the one you use most?

I have mixed views surrounding social media; it has its pros and cons. I mostly just use Twitter and Reddit as my go-to platforms.

Which of your stories in Jozi Flash 2017 is your favourite?

Ahhhhh… That’s a toughy. I would have to say my favourites are my sci-fi, fantasy and comedy stories. I can’t really choose between those, but I definitely had the most fun writing my comedy story!

Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo and what are you working on?

Yes, I am most definitely taking part in NaNoWriMo! Since I learned about it (about 2 years ago) I have tried to participate as much as I can. This year, I am working on a fantasy novel, which is currently titled The Mountaineer.

How do you feel about editing?

I really enjoy editing. Especially when I am editing someone else’s work – I am a freelance editor, after all.

 

Connect with Liam on TwitterFacebook, or on Instagram.