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Scot up my dialogue?

Dear fellow writers,

I am writing a novel with a Scottish main character, which starts out in Scotland and moves on to different countries. I visited Scotland last summer for a week, and obviously, this is not enough exposure for me to write authentic Scottish dialogue. I have picked up a few books, written by Scottish authors and of course, I can read and watch Scottish bloggers and search for Scottish swear words, but what I'm really hoping for is to find a fellow writer from Scotland who might be willing to "Scottify" my dialogue once I've completed my first draft. My characters are in their late teens/ early twenties, as well as a handful of characters in their mid-forties. 

Would anyone be interested in this task? The genre is paranormal environmental fiction with a romance central to the plot. I expect to have a draft by December or early next year. I would be happy to 'trade' by reading your manuscript as a beta reader or in some other capacity.

Any tips on great examples of authentic Scottish dialogue would also be very helpful :)



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Comments (5)
  • Hi Kristen. Not sure whereabouts in Scotland your characters are from, but Swing Hammer Swing! by Jeff Torrington is great for Glaswegian. The dialogue is packed with Scottish phrasing and colloquialisms.

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    • Hi Chris,

      Fantastic! Thanks for responding. The characters are from the Inverness area. I've made up a town name so I can recreate something that is somewhat recognisable, but not a specific town, otherwise the locals would have my head due to inconsistencies! So if Glaswegian is a totally different dialect than in the North, I'd be in trouble. Only spent one day in Glasgow. I have a few books by Christopher Brookmyre that I haven't started yet, but are set in Scotland. You've brought up a good point. I can't have a girl from the North throwing around Glaswegian slang ;). LOL

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    • It could be that you might want to concentrate on sentence tone and dialogue structure. Just a thought.

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      • I have been thinking along similar lines, wondering not how I should render Scottish speech authentic, but any speech uttered by any of my characters who would have been born in the last thirty years. Why would an ancient old fuddy-duddy former office drone like me populate his story with a twenty-something waitress and a thirty-something former commando? My conclusion, eventually, was not to worry.  A pinch of seasoning would probably be enough: if you don't know what it means, your potential readership probably won't, either. Stephen King drops no more than a dash of Maine slang into his stories, and when he does, he uses what seems to be a popularly understood (across the USA, anyway) range of phrases to help locate the events and/or characters.

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        • Hi Kristin, I thought when I saw your headline that I might be able to help you but, alas, I'm originally from Glasgow and I've never been to Inverness, and don't know any particular vocabulary or slang from there. You're right that the accents are different, though. You'd never mistake a Glasgow accent for an Inverness one. I see you first posted this a month ago, so I hope you've found some help with this.

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