Monday, November 09, 2009

Tomorrow I will look ridiculous

Among the most fundamental rules of writing are these:

Rule 1: Never write in dialect.

Rule 2: If you choose to violate Rule 1, only write in a dialect that you speak yourself, and know well.

Rule 3: If you choose to violate Rule 2, prepare to look ridiculous.

Back in 2002 we had some friends visit from England. The family included a little girl named Jordanne, that I was very taken with. After they left, I decided to write a series of children's stories about a fictional little girl named Jordanne, who is vacationing with her family in Florida. Vacationing with her family... and her pet beagle named Judi (you can analyze that all you want).

So far so good, but this is where I went off the rails: I decided to try to write the stories in English dialect (see Rule 1, above). My only exposure to British accents was the several weeks our friends had been around (see Rule 2, above).

I had outlines in mind for the first four stories in the series, but then I learned something they don't teach you in writing class: Not only does writing in a dialect you don't know make you look ridiculous (see Rule 3, above), it's also really hard work. I slogged through the first two stories, Jordanne and Judi Take a Trip and Jordanne and Judi Visit Goofy, and then I gave up.

Anyway, that was back in 2002. No one has seen the stories since. So why bring it up now? Because I've decided to post the first story, Jordanne and Judi Take a Trip, to this blog tomorrow. And I wanted to warn you. Because while it's short for a story, it's really long for a blog post. We'll see how it goes before I decide whether to post the second story.

Tune in tomorrow...



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