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MY THOUGHTS ON WRITING FICTIONAL SLANG FOR THE NOVEL

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Everybody is familiar with slang words right? Preferably for me the ones  I remember  from the 90s   like “Whatever!” “, “As if!”  (I loved Clueless growing up, so what! ) “TALK TO THE HAND” see  what  I did there. There are so many from the 90s  that  I  just can’t write  on this post  but  all those phrases  and slangs from the 90s   have  all since  faded away into oblivion  and been  replaced with  new  modern” slang  words  I  simply do not  use like BAE, BASIC, BYE FELICIA,  and  the most cringe worthy ones   I think in my opinion LIT , TEA, and THIRSTY.   It’s  just my opinion   to say the least so  don’t get mad  if you are reading   this  post and you are from this most recent generation.  But  you see  slang words  have defiantly changed  since 1995. The English language is apparently constantly  evolving and the dictionary constantly rewritten as I type .

This leads me to discussing  my thoughts on using fictional slang in  writing  the novel.

Well  since writing my  2nd draft  of my work in progress werewolf novel  During  the Blue Hour , I have been experimenting with fictional slang.   And let me tell  you it is a complicated  tool  to use in your novel . I  have to be very careful you know as to not  put ’90s slang’ in my novel.

You know  how you can  tell when a novel  is written from back in the day or  if the novelist  is an older   writer? ( no offense to older writers)

You can tell based on the slang or phrases the writers  use.  Its not a bad thing. I don’t think.  But I don’t  feel  as writers  we  always  have to be up to date  on the current  general  slang.  That’s what  research is for  but  there can be slips  up on  how we  use the vocabulary    with our characters.   And  that could  lead to  an awkwardness to the  new generation of  readers, right? 

Once again  in  my opinion   ,  I feel   not  so much . Not  all together true.   I mean people continuously read  Pride & Prejudice every day  and do  they feel  an awkwardness  to the vocabulary?  No .   Of course not.

I think  writing  fictional   slang shouldn’t pigeon hole  us as  writers.  Through my experimentation with writing  fictional slang I don’t feel there is a right  or wrong way.  Especially when you are like me writing a  futuristic fantasy  sci-fi.  And that is  for almost  all scifi fantasy  writers  .

I mean you got them  saying a  new  term    ,“scway “  on the  tv show , THE  FLASH.   So   what  does that tell you  as  writers  we can invent new  words and phrase.  

Some writers that did  it well were Anthony Burgess Irvine Walsh and  J. R. R. Tolkien  to name a few. Especially J. R. R. Tolkien who is famous for  making up  whole  languages. 

But as a  fictional writer  you don’t  have to be a linguist to make up slang  and new words. Just experiment.

Some of the slang  in my  work in progress  lexicon  is  :

HUMAN SLANG

  • Gold(cool)
  • Shakey/shakiness(weird)
  • Fap(fake)
  • Piper(is someone  who tells secrets or snitches
  • Polar(beyond cool)
  • Sixty(dated, old, lame)
  • Songlet(amateur, small
  • SandChaser(somebody  who ruins the mood, low  ranking member of society )

WEREWOLF YEARLING SLANG

  • maw-ge (bad, or  angry)
  • kanee(a smartass)
  • Elaphus- ass ., goof
  • Lam(playful, smart, laidback)
  • Flek(change moods , chameleon)
  • Sim(chill, cool, laidback)
  • mux(wimp, crybaby)

And there is more. But I have to do double the slang  because  that is just some of the  mortal slang and werewolf slang . 

I’m still experimenting though  but  I ‘m  going  back and forth  on the different slang .

But  this is what  I try to do:

  • Have  different characters use differing levels of slang.
  • I try to  have a reason for each term.
  • I use slang to indicate a particular context.
  • I use exposition in small doses.
  • I use a few words, but use them in many situations, so the readers can remember them.

I’m one of those writers that  writes while making no apologies to the reader.I’m not going to hold the reader’s hand either as I introduce new words. I’ll definitely try and grow most of the slang from real-world words and through  research  to creating words like a linguist does.   But only to  a certain extent  will I   attempt to naturally explain their meaning as the story progresses.

If you liked this blog post and you want to  see more content involving my work in progress During the Blue Hour Follow , Like , share  . But first  LET’S START A DIALOGUE

WHAT SLANG WORDS DO YOU USE IN YOUR NOVEL?

 I  want to know so let me know in the comments  below.

 You can also interact with the podcast on Gab @duringthebluehour

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