·   · 1 posts
  •  · 24 friends

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 :)



0 0 0 0 0 0
  • 155
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.

    0 0 0 0 0 0
    • 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

      0 0 0 0 0 0
    • It could be that you might want to concentrate on sentence tone and dialogue structure. Just a thought.

      0 0 0 0 0 0
      • 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.

        0 0 0 0 0 0
        • 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.

          0 0 0 0 0 0
          Not logged in users can't 'Comments Post'.
          Featured Posts
          5 Things To Know About Book Publicists
          So, you’re getting published. Your agent has persuaded a publisher to take on your book – job done, right? Wrong (and a good thing too, otherwise this blog post would be woefully short)!   There are a lot of people involved in turning your manuscript into a book – and to make sure that your book sells. One of the departments that you might not know much about is the publicity department.   I’m privileged to have a PR director from Penguin Random House as a mentor, and I’d like to share with you 5 things every author needs to know about book publicists.   1) They help to determine whether your book is brought on-board.   Before purchasing your book, a publishing house will hold an acquisi
          We're in the Mood for Romance
          We at Jericho Writers know how important it is to spend some quality time with your significant other this Valentine’s day…and by significant other, we do of course mean your ever-dependable manuscript. After facing one another across a dimly lit table (it’s surprising how much light laptops can create), you might find that the passion you’ve been holding onto will reignite and boldly take the form of poetic prose.  On the other hand, you may also find yourself staring into the abyss wondering “Can we go the whole hog, or has the time come to start a new chapter?” If that’s the case, then worry not my friends! We have the tools to help you figure out your next best steps. You can check out