I began writing this as an instruction notecard for an online roleplay game set in the world of Harry Potter. It was intended as a guide for players who want to learn how to sound more authentically British in the things they say. However, it struck me that a list like this may be interesting and/or useful to a much wider audience; especially if they are of a stateside alliegance (If I’m wrong in this, bugger off).
This is written especially with American, European or other wordly players in mind! Here are some suggestions for improving the way your character speaks 🙂
You should have worked out by now where your character is from within the British Isles, or Ireland. Where you are from makes a big difference to how your character will speak, beyond the accent. You might find it interesting to explore local slang information on the internet – the less understandable, the better!
That said there are a few general things you will want to include in your character’s vocabulary.
Have you ever read Neil Gaiman’s short story of the twelve months? The idea of personifying the months of the year is by no means one that Gaiman invented, or even a particularly new idea. It’s one that has long existed in folklore. Personally, I like to think of the months in terms of colours, flavours and textures. For me, a month is personified in things I can touch, hear, see, taste and smell.
November is the time of year which is the most sensory to me. November smells of damp earth and clean air, it sounds like fallen leaves crunched underfoot. It tastes like homemade broth. It feels like cold rain; and its colour is particularly significant. November is the only month of the year which is dyed red.