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ReferenceforWriters is a writing advice, tips, help, and inspiration blog. It has existed for over a year now, a fact I’m truly thrilled about.
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Disclaimer: some posts might be considered triggering for gore and blood (reblogged for medical research purposes), posts on abuse, racism, sexism, and the like, also for research. I tag accordingly, but keep in mind before following anyway.
The problem with writing accents and avoiding dialect is that accents are a part of what dialect is. Accents, for the sake of this, will be called pronunciation. How do you write pronunciation? you write it like it sounds. What’s the problem with this? you draw attention to your character’s ethnicity/nationality. But since it’s a fantasy setting, probably real countries don’t exist, so you don’t have that problem. Yet, second problem: the more you write it like it sounds, the harder it is for us to read it. If your characters are only appearing once or twice in your story, feel free to write it that way, but if they’re main or secondary characters? It’ll be a bit of a torture. This is why if I had to pick between dialect (vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation) and accent (just pronunciation), I’d go for dialect.
However, you still want to make us know they have interesting accents. My advice to you would be watching videos of people speaking english that are from different countries -a french person talking in english, a latin or spanish person speaking in english, etc- and trying to describe it.
Another thing I was thinking about is that since real countries don’t exist, you may create your own regions and places- and their characteristical accents/dialects, which happen to be inspired in real ones.