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Old 02-13-2013, 05:31 AM   #1
Arislan
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Stupid problem regarding vampire.

So I wrote the first chapter on my WIP from the perspective of a 200 year old Dutch vampire with a somewhat quirky grasp of the English language. Now I'm told by friends that it's a really bad idea, that this is why Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot was never the narrator in her stories. Because anyone reading his quirky manner of speech will think that is my manner of writing and reject the MS.

I posted the first three sentences on a different thread and it got called awkward. I'm wondering if I should scrap the idea of using his voice as the narration. I also posted the first chapter on SYW but got no bites. This is the link:
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=264222

I did some research into how people used to write way back and his strange grammar seems to fit. When you write vampires who have been out of circulation for a couple centuries, do you just update their manner of speech to conform to modern expectations? I felt that I was adding to the character's appeal by adding to the characterization but it's looking more and more like a mistake. :-/

I'd love to hear from y'all on this.
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:37 AM   #2
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Slow down, Ari. You've been a member here only three days now. Take some time to learn the site and participate in meaningful discussions before asking for help.

It's also considered bad form to start threads, such as you've done here, that include links to other discussions you've created as a form of advertisement, so please try to avoid that by all means in the future.
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:57 AM   #3
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Actually one of the other mods mentioned something somewhere about linking to the SYW forum instead of reposting parts of the WIP so that is why I did it. Thanks for the heads up, I'll avoid doing this again. I've been reading so many discussions. I ended up not finding my answer so I posted my question in here.

I guess it's not vital that they read my WIP excerpt, I just would like to know the answer to the main question.
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:56 AM   #4
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One thing you might consider is the Horror Hounds Weekend Report. It's an existing thread for horror writers to check in every Monday/Tuesday with updates on their weekly progress. SYW links are welcomed and encouraged there.
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:30 AM   #5
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Hi Rhoda, thanks for letting me know, I'll check out the thread.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:35 PM   #6
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well, they might not decide you are an incompetent writer, but they may still decide the work is too eye-bleedingly painful to read. There has been some discussion, and I'm inclined to agree with the theory that Twain could never write Huck Finn now, as a nobody, with the dialogue he had, and not because of the use of the n-word, but because it was too damn awkward to read. If your vampire comes off that way, readers may know you did it for effect, but still decide there is no way they want to wade through 400 pages of it.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:43 PM   #7
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I have to agree with Quicklime. Think of it this way, you'er browsing in your local bookshop, you see a cover that strikes your fancy, and you flip to the first page to see if you like it. If the language is awkward, no matter how valid the reason, most folks are going to shelve that book and look at one of it's neighbors.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:06 AM   #8
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Yeah, Mark Twain wrote stuff like “You wants to keep 'way fum de water as much as you kin, en don't run no resk, 'kase it's down in de bills dat you's gwyne to git hung.” Not easy to go through.

I was more concerned with voice though.

Thanks.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arislan View Post
Yeah, Mark Twain wrote stuff like “You wants to keep 'way fum de water as much as you kin, en don't run no resk, 'kase it's down in de bills dat you's gwyne to git hung.” Not easy to go through.

I was more concerned with voice though.

Thanks.

Well, that WAS voice. and the problem was that voice buried the characters, at least by today's standards. Which seems to be the general crit you got on SYW.
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