What would be the best option for writing out accents?:

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1 TheMuse10th Feb 2013 11:58:39 AM , Relationship Status: Browsing the selection
So there are a couple of characters in my series that have pronounced accents (There are Fantasy Counterpart Cultures ) The only thing is that there's a variety of ways I could treat this.
  • A. I could just mention in the narrative 'this character had a noticable accent' but that wouldn't work for most of the characters.
  • B. I could use Phonetic Accents for everyone, which would be serious pain to read. But if I limited it to simply the 'exotic' characters, it has hints of Funny Foreigner which has hints of Unfortunate Implications in itself.
  • C. I've also been seriously contemplating trying something that would be Painting the Medium a bit and could be quite complicated.
(I just picked these two accents at random, because they're the easiest to write out on the fly. please don't take this too seriously, this ism't intended to be perfect) Let's say Jill has a Boston accent and James has a Cockney accent. If at this point in the story it was told in Jill's perspective it might look something like this:
  • "Why, 'ello there Jill!" James grinned enourmously. "'aven't seen you in a while, 'ave I?"
  • "Better late that never," I replied
But if it's from Jame's prespective it might be something like
  • "Why, hello there Jill!" I grinned enourmously. "Haven't seen you in a while, have I?"
  • "Bettah late that nevah," Jill replied
  • The only thing with that is it could get extremely confusing if people to pick up what's happening.
Any thoughts or tips on what I should do with this?

edited 10th Feb '13 12:00:54 PM by TheMuse

Mention it in the narrative, keep it at that.

Phonetic accents are problematic for the reasons you listed. As for painting the fourth wall, that'd probably just make things all the more confusing.
Second Hermie's suggestion as above.

Use of the Funetik Aksent is just too hit-and-miss, and you have no guarantee that your reader's mental voice isn't going to sound them out correctly. With that rendering above, Jill may well sound like she's Bostonian...or Chinese.
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Total posts: 3