Wednesday, April 22, 2015
I know, right?
Have you heard the phrase? Less than a thousand times? "I know, right?" I thought it was so cute when I heard it. So fresh and fun!
I admit to using it, but I still say, "totally" from 1987 so I'm not the best example. But, then? I put it in my New Adult manuscript.
There were other phrases I found to be totes adorbs! Hm, there's another totally adorable one. I'll put it in my manuscript.
There are some others...
Biffles = BFFL = Best Friends for Life; Often used with "totes," as in "We're totes biffles."
Own that = Take responsibility for
Obvi/Obvs = Obviously
Jelly = Jealous
cray-cray = crazy
Some need no explanation:
I have a dear friend who is not capable of agreeing with me unless she says, "I know, right?" I wonder how we ever conversated prior to 2013. I totally lurve her anyway.
But, do these words belong in a manuscript? I thought they did when I began writing the first book in my Southern Brothers series. The New Adult genre is all about transitions and firsts. I researched slang that people in their early twenties would use so my manuscript would be fresh!
That was 2 years ago.
Needless to say, what was "fresh" in 2013 is not now. I've had to go back and remove the majority of the slang. I actually have one character who says several of these things, but it's a bit of a joke that he's out of date or not being himself (no worries, he's a baller in a later book).
I learned that it's important to know how long it will take to publish something. And to write words that will be universal. I think you could use "own it" and be okay. Most of the other ones? They didn't work for me. I didn't think an audience would find them appealing over time. And that's important because you also hope your book will have a few lives. You don't want eliminate a potential second or third life because you've dated the dialogue.
You don't want to be disco in 1985, all sideburns and bell bottoms facing Jordache jeans and neon shirts. You don't want to be a 10 pound, 10 megabyte hard disc for $4000 in times of a 64 gigabyte USB flash drive the size of a pinky for $25. Frankie says, "RELAX!" for a reason, people.
With slang, as with any dialogue, you must write with purpose. Words must be deliberate. You can choose to have slang, but always do it with intent. With the knowledge of what it will do to your book. Another lesson learned.
Are there any of these types of slang words that you like? Any that drive you crazy? What do you think about it when it comes to a book? I'd totes love to hear your thoughts!