It’s Sunday. I have just spent the past week retrofitting my last novel’s first nine chapters and reconstructed the plot to match. The mechanics of writing is a bitch. Things have to make sense. But no matter what a writer does, some things still won’t resonate with every reader.
Jae’s speech patterns are rather like mine in a lot of ways. He’s more formal than I am but I do default to a lot of Asian speech patterns when writing him. Especially when he’s flustered or angry. Not a pidgin per se but the phrasing is different.
I (and a lot of Asians) tend to say no or yes at the end of a question. Especially if we’re talking to someone we like. It doesn’t matter how many non-Asians I speak to in the course of the day, I still do it. Give me a weekend with friends in K-town and I lose alot of English speaking patterns. Hell, I lose entire words.
So how does that affect my writing?
In the case of Cole and Jae, I’m writing from the “alien” viewpoint. A culturally Caucasian male with an Asian boyfriend. So it’s a flip in my mindset but still approachable since I’m hapa… mixed blood and cultures.
Cole is pretty easy to write. He’s easy-going for the most part and well, has some issues. But he’s healing. Jae on the other hand is more of a mystery because he’s not the POV. And, more importantly, he’s someone totally outside of Cole’s realm of understanding. But it still easier for me to slide into how Jae thinks.
Cole tries and reaches out. That’s the best part of writing him. Writing Cole is fun and interesting. It’s kind of a good way to look into my own culture with fresh eyes. How would someone take this? What have my “American” friends said in this instance? We have a lot of conversations about food and culture in my social group, ranging from easy acceptance to “Hell no, I’m not eating that shit”.
None of it is wrong. It’s all where someone stands in their head. So before I begin writing, I take a step out of my head and into Cole’s.
And try to remember not to put no or yes at a sentence. :::grins::::