Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Why Do You Sound British?

And by "sound" I only mean in writing because, alas, as much as I would actually love to have a proper British accent, I was raised in America. And my fake British accent is pretty terrible (which doesn't mean my boyfriend doesn't sometimes get to hear me reciting new chapters whilst utilizing it. Poor chap).

The title of this post refers to a note my editor had in reference to the first draft of my book. I was using all sorts of unAmerican phrasing like "going on about" and it made her wonder why I would.

She's right, of course. Like my terrible fake British accent, it doesn't really make sense to have an unnatural or affected writing style. But there are two very good reasons I was "sounding British" without realizing it:

1) I write editorial for an international department where I have to use British spelling/language for everything. This means that now I can't write the word 'favourite' without getting a red squiggly line underneath it.

2) I read a lot of British literature. In fact, almost all my favorite (I had to stop myself from adding that 'u') authors happen to be British. Unsurprisingly, this has seeped into a lot of my own writing.

I'm not sure what it is about British literature, but something about the visuals of rain beating on cobblestones, of the land of Elizabeth Bennet and Sherlock Holmes, just draws me in whenever I want to be whisked away by fiction (which is often). Lately, I've been thinking about setting a book in England to help rid me of my itch in the most proper way. And what are the Brits about, really, if not being proper.

1 comment:

  1. Just remember, there's no 'Pemberley' without 'proper,' or so Mr. Darcy tells me.