The use of dialect to convey accents or regional argot in fiction is one of those issues that seem to polarize writers and readers both. Many of the so-called experts, preaching from behind their pulpits, will slam the gavel at the mere mention of such parlor tricks in prose, and yet, the more I read the more I realize that the books and authors I most admire are the ones who aren’t afraid to splash their pages with apostrophes and hyphens, and ask their readers to do a little more work.
So how does an aspiring author approach such a minefield without losing a proverbial leg? The ready answer would seem to be very carefully, with delicacy, and perhaps a soupçon of skill, or not at all. (more…)