As I was riding the streetcar to work (you know the ones in the Docker’s commercial where the guy and girl see each other and then they run out to catch up to each other only to find out that they both did the same thing? Those streetcars. I ride those to work. I heart San Francisco).. anyway, on the way to work I was mentally narrating everything that was happening in that sort of mystical/stilted dialect that fantasy writers sometimes use when their characters talk.
Streetcar driver: “The morning sun is rising over the misty water of the Bay of San Francsico, and the next stop our transporting vehicle will make is Chestnut Street. Those wishing to depart should signal with the bell of stopping.”
Rider: “It is my keenest desire to depart, and I will pull the bell. There. It was my desire and I pulled the bell of stopping.”
Me: “It has been many moons since I departed on Chestnut Street, but I too will depart at Chestnut since the bell of stopping has been pulled and my legs desire movement.”
Streetcar driver: “The stop upon which our wheels rest is Chestnut Street. The gods deem it so.”
Annnnnnnnnd so on.
Can I get a ruling on this? I have to admit that while that type of language is rather common when it comes to fantasy and I by no means wish to disparage it wholesale… well, I personally have a bit of a hard time with it. On the other hand, maybe some people find it transporting to imagine a world where people talk differently and the language serves a purpose, so maybe it’s just me? Should I drop my bias?
Mini you-tell-me for a Tuesday. How do you feel about this type of dialogue (in its proper context)?
Need help with your book? I’m available for manuscript edits, query critiques, and coaching!
For my best advice, check out my online classes, my guide to writing a novel and my guide to publishing a book.
And if you like this post: subscribe to my newsletter!
Art: Conversation in a Park by Thomas Gainsborough