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padnar
03-19-2012, 06:44 PM
I am interested in becomimg a better writer . so I joined the contest group .
The competition is western mystery . I have got a question.
While reading western books I found this style
"I don't want you fightin', boy, I've told ye. Y'u air too little 'n' puny, 'n' I want ye to stay home 'n' take keer o' mam 'n' the cattle-ef fightin' does come, I reckon thar won't be triuch."
It would be helpful How to write this style and thanks for all your suggestions

alleycat
03-19-2012, 06:52 PM
I don't think you really want to write in that style, or at least not to that extent (unless you become the next William Faulkner).

If I saw many sentences like that in a book it would be time to read another book.

Wicked
03-19-2012, 07:06 PM
"I don't want you fightin', boy,

This first part is fine. Dropping the 'g' gives it a little flavor. The rest of the sentence is so overdone it makes it uncomfortable to read.

Writing dialect is iffy. If you do it, you have to be consistent. In the first part of the sentence "you" is used, but in the very next part it switches to "ye".

I was born and raised in the west, and have heard some atrocious assaults on the English language, but I've yet to hear an old cow punch say "ye".

alleycat
03-19-2012, 07:07 PM
Ye-ha!

;-)

Wicked
03-19-2012, 07:12 PM
Ye-ha!

;-)


That doesn't count, AC. :tongue :roll:

alleycat
03-19-2012, 07:16 PM
Smile when you say that or you'll be pushing up daisies.

Wicked
03-19-2012, 07:19 PM
Smile when you say that or you'll be pushing up daisies.


I am smiling . . . if a smirk counts.

I'm also rolling my eyes, shaking my head, and letting out a resigned breath. :ROFL:

Bad kitty cat. We're messing up Padnar's thread. You want to toy with me some more, you'll have to take it down to Grandma Susie's house.

"And I'll be there with bells on, ya polecat." <---- This would be a better use of dialect. Not the butchering of words so much as the choice of words.

Jamesaritchie
03-19-2012, 07:49 PM
I am interested in becomimg a better writer . so I joined the contest group .
The competition is western mystery . I have got a question.
While reading western books I found this style
"I don't want you fightin', boy, I've told ye. Y'u air too little 'n' puny, 'n' I want ye to stay home 'n' take keer o' mam 'n' the cattle-ef fightin' does come, I reckon thar won't be triuch."
It would be helpful How to write this style and thanks for all your suggestions

I hope that dialogue is an exaggeration. It's completely unreadable, and you do not want to write in that style.

If the dialogue in the westerns you've read really is that drastic, you're reading the wrong westerns. I've read about a million of them, and had five western novels, along with a bunch of western short stories, published. None I've read, and certainly none I've written, have used that much accent and dialect.

You do want regional accent and dialect to come through, but a little bit goes a long way.

When you read the wrong westerns, don't read a ton of the good ones, or if you don't have a sharp ear for the way western people really speak, the dialogue will be atrocious.

I'm not sure trying to write a western is a good idea for you at this point. It sounds like you haven't been reading westerns for very long. Read Elmore Leonard, Larry McMurtry, Louis L'Amour, and A. B. Guthrie Jr. Read Luke Short, Will Henry, Owen Wister, Willa Cather, and Tony Hillerman.

Read them, and develop an ear for the way they write dialogue. It sounds nothing like the example you gave.

Jonathan Dalar
03-19-2012, 08:20 PM
Starting in a new genre is exactly the wrong time to begin toying with writing dialects. This is a perfect example of "write what you know." If you don't know how to write that dialect, whether grossly exaggerated like that or not, you'll mostly likely fail miserably at it.

In fact, few writers can accurately pull off writing an accent. Most of the time it just doesn't work and causes irritation and disinterest, two reactions you certainly don't want from readers. The few who can pull it off are very talented writers, who are also very, very familiar with the styles they do.

Wicked
03-19-2012, 09:36 PM
"I don't want you fightin', boy, I've told ye. Y'u air too little 'n' puny, 'n' I want ye to stay home 'n' take keer o' mam 'n' the cattle-ef fightin' does come, I reckon thar won't be triuch."
It would be helpful How to write this style and thanks for all your suggestions


I loved reading Zane Grey and Louis La'Amour as a kid, but I don't miss the heavy use of dialect. I don't think reading should be that much work to be enjoyable. :) (but neither of them wrote anything as convoluted as the example above)

The first thing you should probably ask yourself is, where does your character come from?

Stereotype alert: The following are simplified Tropes for example only, but they do lend to how varied and wide the personalities and backgrounds of the people in the West were.
Is he a recent immigrant to the country? He's not going to have a Texas twang. He'll probably still have a heavy accent from his homeland.

Is he a fur trapper who spends most of his time up North? Maybe he swears in French?

A rich rancher's son with a higher education?

Has he spent a lot of time in the Southeast, and appropriated a bit of Spanish in his speech?

Is he a well bred, well spoken, gentleman from the East or the South? He'll likely have fine manners as well as speech.

Or is he a lawless ruffian who has to travel from nowhere to nowhere because he has no manners at all?

If all of the characters sound the same, and talk like they've sustained massive head injuries, there's definitely going to be a problem with believability, not just readability. ;)

Jamesaritchie
03-20-2012, 02:03 AM
I loved reading Zane Grey and Louis La'Amour as a kid, but I don't miss the heavy use of dialect.. ;)

Zane Grey uses some moderately heavy accent and dialect, primarily because of when the novels were written, but nothing to the extent the poster displayed. Louis L'Amour uses very little, and does so just about perfectly.

roseangel
03-20-2012, 05:00 AM
I wouldn't exactly use a story published in 1895 to represent the genre, shouldn't you be checking out more recent westerns?

padnar
03-20-2012, 07:56 AM
Thanks for your great answers . I especially would like to thank Wicked for your tips. I am a member of this competition group here and I am an indian writer .
As I am intersted in improving myself I thought to give it a go. The topic is mystery westerner.
I want to know ,how to make my writing a bit more western. Pl suggest some books and thanks

blacbird
03-20-2012, 08:20 AM
I am interested in becomimg a better writer . so I joined the contest group .
The competition is western mystery . I have got a question.
While reading western books I found this style
"I don't want you fightin', boy, I've told ye. Y'u air too little 'n' puny, 'n' I want ye to stay home 'n' take keer o' mam 'n' the cattle-ef fightin' does come, I reckon thar won't be triuch."
It would be helpful How to write this style and thanks for all your suggestions

Don't. Just don't. In the earliest days of Western novels, this kind of prose was all the rage, but dagone it, it ain't no more.

Go read The Ox-Bow Incident, by Walter Van Tilburg Clark, my nominee for the finest Western novel ever written, and take that as your inspiration.

caw

Jamesaritchie
03-20-2012, 06:47 PM
Thanks for your great answers . I especially would like to thank Wicked for your tips. I am a member of this competition group here and I am an indian writer .
As I am intersted in improving myself I thought to give it a go. The topic is mystery westerner.
I want to know ,how to make my writing a bit more western. Pl suggest some books and thanks

I think the best mystery westerns out there are those by Tony Hillerman.

His protagonists are Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, who are Navajo tribal police.

I'm sure there are other mystery westerns out there, but these are my favorites, and the ones that come into my thoughts first.

Dave Hardy
03-21-2012, 01:48 AM
Doing good Western dialog is tricky. The faux-Appalachian dialect is pretty grating to a lot of people. Droppin' a "G" now and again won't put 'em off too much.

More seriously, I look at how Ambrose Bierce and Mark Twain wrote, and how they wrote dialog that mixed Victorian formality with the common speech of average Americans. Not a whole lot of authors have successfully emulated that. If I had to pick writers that did a good job with that, I'd suggest Thomas Berger's Little Big Man and Charles Portis's True Grit.

As others have noted, the West was full of a great diversity of people, educated folks, country yokels, self-taught people, Easterners, Southerners, Missourians, French Canadians, guys who'd had their tongues cut out, Mexicans, Indians, immigrants from Ireland, Germany, China, and everywhere else. Reducing this oddly cosmopolitan frontier to a hillbilly parody strikes me as a waste of good potential.

TheMist
05-06-2012, 03:31 PM
I can't make out what he is saying! At first it sounds right but then I struggle to read. I would say watch a western movie and listen how they talk and then write that way...