rules for writers

The Minefield of using Dialect in Dialogue

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…)