Writing Fantasy: Imaginary Slang 1


You’ve evoked an imaginary world. You want the speech of its denizens to sound human and true…but if you use contemporary slang the Norns sound like Valley Girls. What now?

Here’s a solution:

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…..“It hums so loud, Kat. I can’t not hear it.”
…..“Is—is it death?”
…..“It’s greater than death.”
…..I tried to think of something greater than death, and could not.

……………………………Listening at the Gate

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In dialogue, the speakers use contractions: can’t, it’s. But the in the text of the book proper, the matrix, words are spelled out in full: could not.

Subtle. Simple. And it works.

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