i thought i’d post some writing tips in honor of nano. i’m going to be talking about stuttering, because that’s something that lots of writers get wrong.
i’ve seen stuttering done like this countless time: “w-w-well, i . . . i m-mean, you k-know . . .” and it bothers me, because that’s not how people actually stutter. not how i stutter, anyway. it might be different for others.
i don’t trip over my words aloud as much i used to, but i still do it all the time when i’m thinking. i’ll just be talking to myself in my head, and then i’ll reach a mental roadblock. that’s what it feels like. i know the word, i know how to say it, but my mind won’t let me. i’ll just trail off instead while i try to force it out. i usually end up having to change the way the sentence is worded so i can avoid the one that my brain isn’t letting me say.
when i’m stuttering out loud, it’s not just because i’m nervous/shy. sometimes i stutter when i’m excited, when i’m angry, when i’m talking about something personal. and like i just mentioned, i’ll reach a roadblock. if i try to say the word, my throat feels tight and i am literally incapable of saying it.
here are some alternative ways to write stuttering, besides the classic way:
– have them repeat some words
– have them trail off and restart their sentence
– show them getting frustrated/embarrassed
– have them begin the sentence one way, then reword it
– have them pronounce a word incorrectly a few times before getting it right
– have them mix up their words: “i played with my cat today” becomes “i played with my today cat.”
i hope this was helpful! if you’d like to add onto this, leave your tips in the comments.