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Thursday, October 07, 2010

Seriously, Dude

Sometimes I worry about people thinking my characters sound like me. Yeah, I do sound like some of them at times, but not because I'm making them talk the way I do. It's because--darn them--I pick up their speech patterns. Seriously. And using seriously all the time is one of the things I picked up from one of them. I'm not even sure which one, but I'm stuck with it now.

I never used the word crap until I wrote The Power of Two. I used the actual word that's a substitute for, or if the company I was in called for it, got the message across in a more genteel way. Cai's book came out in 2004, she and her hero, Jake, have been gone for longer than that, and I still use crap. Of course, so did Ryne from In the Midnight Hour, but her book came out in 2007, so you'd think it would wear off by now. It hasn't.

Right now, I lay a lot of blame on Cass's doorstep. She's the heroine in my next Nocturne Bites story. (I don't know the release yet.) I never used the word dude and I prided myself on that. No longer can I claim that distinction. Yep, you guessed it--Cass uses dude and now I do, too. You don't even want to know how many times I think seriously, dude? Sigh.

Other characters, both hero and heroine, have added other words to my way of saying things. Sometimes the usage will fade over time. Sometimes (like with crap it shows no signs of ever leaving me.

I've always been susceptible to picking up language from the people around me. I drawl y'all more easily than I say you guys now and in Minnesota, you guys is pretty common. I also pick up accents without realizing I'm doing it. I'm sure there are people who thought I was making fun of them, but I honestly wasn't.

I don't know if this easy adoption of language and accent is just a me thing or if other writers have it happen to them, too. I've never asked, but it's constant now. Seriously, dude.