Say What?
Contributor
Written by
Donna Drew Sawyer
October 2015
Contributor
Written by
Donna Drew Sawyer
October 2015

A SheWrites post earlier this week, “How Where You Live Affects Your Speech” by Mandy Campbell Moore started me thinking about the dialect, and the language, I used in my recently published novel, PROVENANCE. The novel spends about a third of the book in Virginia during the early 20th century. It was important to me that my characters’ dialogue be authentic—true to the time and the place—however that was a challenge given the way we were as a society then, and are now. What I struggled with most were the terms and sentiments we no longer use to describe each other, especially the N-word.

The temptation was to err on the side of being politically correct and take the questionable language out of the book. In the end, I did not. As I start to do readings from PROVENANCE, I’m wondering what the reaction will be to the book’s “authentic” language.

 I wrote a post on my blog about the dilemma and my decision. I would love to hear what my fellow SheWrites members think about the topic. You can find my blog post, The Power of the N-Word, here. I know we are an opinionated group of writers so I would appreciate you sharing your thoughts on this topic with me.

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