English, Scottish, French, Boston, New York, Australian, Spanish, it doesn’t matter. A guy with an accent makes my heart go all wibbley-wobbley. I love the sound of rolling Rs, “Aye” instead of “Yeah,” or “mate” instead of “bro.” To me, an accent plants the promise of far off places and romantic adventures in my head.
I especially have a thing for a Scottish brogue. Can you say Ewan McGregor? Or James McAvoy?
Or how about those Aussies like Chris Hemsworth?
I could go on and on, from country to country, city to city, but I’d like to analyze this a little. When I started formulating this blog post in my head, the immediate question I asked myself was, “Why?” Why do I love guys with accents? It’s not an uncommon thing among people, but I wanted to know why did I specifically find it attractive. So, who was the first guy with an accent I had a crush on? The answer, which is usually the answer to any question when it comes to my formative years, has to do with The Princess Bride.
Cary Elwes has this wonderfully perfect English accent so even when he’s being rude or sarcastic, it comes off as proper and polite. The Dread Pirate Roberts was dashing, mysterious, clever, and undeniably handsome. Because of him, I spent a lot of my life thinking all British men were like this; fairytale heroes who could swoop in at any time to save the day.
Unfortunately, living in small town Louisiana does not afford one the opportunity to meet many guys with foreign accents. A country twang, yes, a French accent, no. (I’m not complaining too much, though. I met the man of my dreams right here in this small town, so…) I did have a Scottish friend once and I didn’t even know he was Scottish until he told me. He said he had learned to turn it off so Americans could understand him better. Don’t do this, fellas! Use that accent to your advantage!
Liking accents so much has led me to want to write a hero with one. Concerning that, the general consensus is not to over do it. Maybe describe the accent once or twice then keep it to regular words, throwing in hints throughout the story, maybe. Phonetically spelling out every word that character might say differently can get distracting for the reader.
How about you? What’s your favorite accent or guy or girl with an accent? Do accents turn you off? Have you had any experience with writing an accent? Are there any authors you know of who’ve done it well? Comment away!
To celebrate the debut of our Entangled Teen blog, we have decided to do a super, fantastic giveaway! Please find details below:
Grand Prize (courtesy of Entangled Teen editor, Heather Howland): One paperback copy of every Entangled Teen book published prior to 10/2/12 + swag from most of our books.* Yes, we’re serious!
Runner-up Prize 1: Signed Copies of Obsidian and Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Runner-up Prize 2: Entangled Teen giant swag pack
*The Grand Prize is eligible to US residents only
The giveaway will run through Friday, 10/5/12, with the winners being announced on
Monday, 10/8/12. There are lots of ways to enter! Good luck!