Okay so here’s the question….How do you write accents into a story? I have an awesome story about an American Italian family who are planning a huge Italian wedding in Bologna Italy. Sounds boring? Well factor in some crazy Grandparents, the enigmatic Michael Wright, a mental dog called Smoky, the “Bitches of Eastwick” (who are the sister’s bridesmaids) and the lovely young sales executive Anna, and I reckon you have a story, ripe for the picking.
But herein lies the problem…My main character Anna is surrounded by her Italian grandparents who speak with thick accents. If you add letters to English words to try and make them sound ‘Italian,’ you can come off as sounding stereotypical. For example, “You talka to me.” BLAH!
Being half Italian, I can hear them in my head, but how do I write them without coming off as cheesy or as stereotyping a whole culture?… Some ideas so far has been to write them in ‘normal’ English but remind the reader that they spoke with an accent (I guess you make the accent in your own head). I have also left in the structural errors where they would get the sentence slightly jumbled for example, “You no wanna go there?” Hmm, not sure that is right either?!
So…if you have had experience in this, written an English book with another accent, or have any thoughts on this, I’d love to hear your ideas!