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Thread: Brit -vs- US #2

  1. #1
    Joseph Koppe

    Brit -vs- US #2

    OK....but what if your telling a story with different POV's in first person; can you get away with each character's POV in either Brit, english, Irish or Canadien?

    Hence, an issue I have with a future story I am developing.

  2. #2

    Re: Brit -vs- US #2

    Joseph, as long as the Britishness, Americanish, Irishnesh and Canadian - ish? is organic to the personality of the narrator. In other words, concentrate on letting the personality of each narrator come out in the writing of that section; if you worry about also adding little quirks of nationality that don't do anything other than let the reader know where this person was born, it will just get annoying.

    It's hard to write anything with different POV's - I'm doing it in my WIP, but I'm only using two different characters. More than that, I'm not sure I could succeed in making their voices authentic and organic.

    Did any of this make sense? Think of the character and the personality and they way they speak first; nationality shouldn't really be that much of an issue, unless you're writing a story about the UN or something.

  3. #3
    Joseph Koppe

    Re: Brit -vs- US #2

    It did make sense. I think I can show people where someone is from with a few key phrases and leave it at that.

    I want to write each POV in the dialect from their country.

    The research I am going to start soon is going to be long and difficult, but I welcome any help that anyone has to offer - especially those from Canada,England or Ireland.

    It's the story fo 4 men who have one thing in common - their favorite college professor. He had a tremendous impact on all four men at different times in their life, each crediting their success to him. The professor passes away with no family and their presence is requested by the University to attend his funeral, where they meet for the first time. To their amazement, all four men are left something special in his will, that brings them together for a lifetime.

  4. #4

    Re: Brit -vs- US #2

    Hi Joseph,

    Your idea was done by a best selling author. Feintuch wrote his Children of Hope with each chapter a different voice and using a (self-invented) dialect in several. Personally, I thought he over did it with the dialect. It was a bit tedious to read. The key is to use dialect selectively and to a minimum just to remind the reader.

    Regards, Kaz

  5. #5
    Bob Kellogg

    Re: Brit -vs- US #2

    Joe, I think it's a good idea to use anything you can to differentiate the voices of your characters. But the real topic below was whether to use Brit or Yank spelling. It would seem just a little too cute to spell it "color" when an American is speaking and "colour" when a Brit talks.

    But, IMHO, it's certainly okay to have the Brit say, "She pulled her knickers down" and the Yank say, "She dropped her pants," or some such thing.

    Bob K.

  6. #6
    Roy Abrahams

    Re: Brit -vs- US #2

    Joseph.....I am intrigued with the possibility of a story where a professor leaves "something special" to four unacquainted men. It sounds new and fresh. Best of luck with this one. Looking forward to it being between hard covers sometime in the future.

    Also......need a note on the progress on the reading of "Death and Hilger Divish." Have an opportunity to submit it but don't want to till I know its current status.

    Best regards, Roy

  7. #7
    Pat Cooper

    Re: Brit -vs- US #2


    I was born and raised in England. Have lived in Canada for 30 years. I now spend my winters in Ireland.

    Does that help?



  8. #8
    Joseph Koppe

    Re: Brit -vs- US #2

    GOD SEND!!! Pat, when I begin this story next march I really would love your input on the dialect and translation.

    Thank you.

  9. #9
    Gary Kessler

    Re: Brit -vs- US #2

    Want to make sure no one here is equating dialect with spelling. Two different issues. A publisher won't be happy having the dialogue of British characters use "colour" and U.S. characters use "color." This just begs for inconsistency mistakes not being discovered or being built in during the production process.

    (I had this brouhaha with a couple of British-origin contributors to the U.S.-published WritersNet Anthology. Not being consistent on spelling style in your book is just begging to have the reader only remember how discombobulated and unprofessional the book was when they finish reading it--if they bother to finish reading it.)

    You show the differences in nationality by word usage, not word spelling.

  10. #10
    Picture Book

    Re: Brit -vs- US #2

    I'll help too, Joseph. Know a whole lot about Eire and Wales, lived all life in England & Wales, bar 3 years. Have Irish mother from Co. Roscommon.

    No nothing of Canada yet....

    Pat....send me a chapter or two of your book? Please? And where in Ireland do you spend your winters?

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