The Official Writing Challenge
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Good job making an interesting dialect understandable. :)
10/29/07
This was a nice conversation that we got to overhear:) I love how you wrote the grandpa's speech and I love his feisty character. Keep on writing for the Lord!
Laury
10/30/07
Wow! This grandpa sounds just like mine! I have memories of him sitting on the couch watching the news, cursing all the while: "That derned Reagan!" Only worse. Anyway, this was a very entertaining read. Would love to know how it turned out....
10/30/07
Cute story--love grandpa's change of heart.

All-dialogue pieces are tricky. Readers could easily lose track of who's speaking, and dialogue tags or sentences containing narration are often a welcome relief. And some of this dialect didn't ring quite true; at least I couldn't place a region for it. Was there a particular reason you chose to write in dialect? Would the story be just as effective without it? Just a few things to think about.

All that aside, this was a delightful and entertaining read, with good character development.
10/30/07
Grandpa's a fun character for sure! Some of the dialog did seem a bit forced and unnatural, but this was definitely fun. I wanna know what he decided!
10/31/07
I've come back to follow up on my earlier comment--BTW, sorry for stepping on your toes with the earlier one. Got your PM, and it's entirely "my bad"--just not a dialect I was familiar with.

You asked about ways to make dialect more readable. I've written a few dialect pieces (one was even about baptism) and I had someone very wise give me this advice. Choose a few key elements to give your reader a feel for the dialect, and you won't have to give them the whole nine yards. So you can keep standard grammar, but use dialectical idioms--or you can use regional grammar, but don't use phonetic spelling (like goin' or kinda), or you can choose the quirky spelling, but leave off the idioms and poor grammar. OR you can just pick a few key words and phrases that you're going to "change" from standard English, and leave off the rest.

My students are currently reading "Huckleberry Finn", which has 7 different regional accents. It was written by a master, but my kids are really struggling with the dialects. So your readers have less of a chore if you just give them a taste, not the whole buffet.

For the record, this is a really clever entry, and your writing skills are very much in evidence!
Jan: Thank you for the fabulous feedback on how to tone down the dialet. This is probably the most helpful info that I have received regarding writing. Both responses have very helpful insight.

FYI all for any other readers, my relatives in the mountains of the deep south (USA) spoke just like 'grandpa' when I was growing up.

Thank you to each person who commented. I now want to write another regional piece with less dialect. :-)

11/01/07
Welcome to Faithwriters where the lttle yellow boxes help you grow! Loved your story, keep on writing, you've got the knack!