Attack on Titan // Maze Runner crossover.
I always see people say the Maze Runner movie looks like a live action version of the other, and I’m a fan of both, so why not combine them. Based off the Attack on Titan poster image.
Twelve has already stated that he doesn’t care - “she cares so I don’t have to” - and that may be true when it comes to the majority of the population. But Clara’s different. He helps and protects her from injury, not because he thinks she is incompetent, (he actually thinks the opposite, shown by the way he left Clara to receive information in Deep Breath) but because he cares for her. He knows she can handle anything on her own, but he’ll still be where he always is… as long as he’s the Doctor, he will have Clara Oswald’s back.
She’s got ice in her heart, and a kiss on her lips and a vulnerable side that she keeps well hidden.
There is someone that I always wanted to meet.
I’m sorry, moment to make fun of that please!
When was the last time you stood in a grocery store and just listened to everything around you? Depending on where you are, you probably heard all sorts of different things. Especially if you’re in a city, you’ll likely hear all sorts of different accents. You’ll hear mothers tell off their children, you’ll hear friends laughing with each other, you’ll hear one cashier make some snarky comment. You’ll certainly hear your share of Valley Girl impersonations.
And yet, when you crack open a book, chances are all the characters will speak in the same way. Dialogue and speech patterns are some of the hardest things to duplicate in literature. Part of that is because of the lack of actual sound - you can say that somebody has a Russian accent all you want, but your readers can’t hear it. For the same reason, writers duplicate what they’re used to reading - not what they’re used to hearing. For example, if you’re reading a story by an American that uses a lot of weird little British terms, chances are they’ve been reading mostly British fiction.
The main goal for dialogue isn’t to have all your characters be witty, or have them all be shy, or have them all be anything. Your characters’ speech patterns should be as diverse as your characters themselves. With that in mind, here’s some tips and tricks to help change up your character’s speech patterns.
1. Catchphrases and Verbal Tics
Ever notice that one phrase or that one word your friend won’t stop using? For a long time, I couldn’t stop saying “S’all good.” It wasn’t even “It’s all good.” That doesn’t reflect the reality. It was “S’all good.” A friend of mine used “Fair enough” so often that my mum actually tried to get her to replace it with “That would be lovely, thank you.”
These are great ways to characterize people in books and stories, too. Many of these verbal tics are also connected to locality and accent, so they can give a real sense of place. Ending sentences with “eh” is (stereotypically but also real) Canadian; ending them with “yeah?” can be Canadian or British. Even within Britain, Ron’s “bloody hell” and Hermione’s “Honestly!” invoke complete differently accents.
But be careful! While a few well-placed tics can be good, overdoing them can make your dialogue horrible and clunky. Also, don’t have characters share tics unless they’re meant to share a locale, place of origin or something else important. Otherwise the main purpose of tics - to easily identify a character even when not tagged - is lost.
2. Types of Words and Sentences
Building off of the first tip, Ron and Hermione from Harry Potter not only have different verbal tics - they speak completely differently. Hermione, as a precocious bookworm, uses a lot of bigger words and more complex sentences in the first novel than either Harry or Ron. In contrast, Ron is very blunt and to the point. Hermione will preface something with “I can’t believe I didn’t think of this before! I had this checked out for light reading, and guess what I found…” and Ron will just go, “Hey, check this out.”
Take note - Hermione isn’t using 7-syllable words. She’s just talking more, and using different structures. Some people will use more complex words, especially if you’re writing scientists or academics. And it’s just as revealing to character when somebody doesn’t understand that jargon. Cosima and Sarah in Orphan Black are great examples of this, when Cosima starts talking sciencey and Sarah’s just like ‘wot?’.
The trick with this kind of differentiation is to make sure that it doesn’t just make other characters come across as stupid. Harry and Ron aren’t stupid compared to Hermione - their skills are just in completely different things. So while their diction and vocabulary will be worlds apart from hers (and theirs from each other, especially when taking wizarding vs. muggle jargon into account), it shouldn’t come across as ‘caveman meets astronaut’.
My general advice with written accents is not to bother. Sometimes it works out, but more often than not, the result is racist, classist and/or annoying to read. However, sometimes dialect - the specific words and slang, rather than the accent itself - is important to include. And other times, there’s a specific voice you want to evoke.
The easiest way to do this, especially for those who don’t know accents/dialects very well, is simply to describe it.
"This is so disappointing!" she cried in a thick Yorkshire brogue, holding the shoe aloft.
This can be kind of boring though. Apostrophes, like italics, can be used to give the reader an idea of the cadence of somebody’s voice.
"This is so disappointin’!” she cried in a thick Yorkshire brogue, holding the shoe aloft.
What you want to avoid is something like this:
"This es so des-app-oint-n’!” she cried in a thick Yorkshire brogue, holding the shoe aloft.
It’s hard to read and doesn’t add anything particularly special to our understanding of what this woman (for the curious, Minister Mason from Snowpiercer) sounds like. (NB: I know JK Rowling did it for Hagrid. I still find it distasteful.) Dialect, however, means using the words and not necessarily using phonetic spelling. For example, a Yorkshire girl in your story, especially one from a few decades, ago, might use ‘nowt’ for nothing, ‘nay’ for no and ‘thou/thee’ instead of ‘you’. In contrast, someone from the American South may talk about having ‘barbecue’ (instead of the act of barbecuing something), say ‘y’all’ and talk about people ‘a-hootin’ and a-hollerin”. These are really recognizable ways to give your character an accent without spelling it out on the page.
This is a drastically overlooked facet of character development, and has more to do with speech patterns than most people think. What kind of sense of humour does one character have as opposed to another? One person might attempt to tell jokes and fail at it (think Marlin from Finding Nemo), another might insert bad puns into everything, another might just make weird, zany connections, another might be a deadpan snarker who pokes fun at everything. All of these are written in completely opposite ways. Compare:
"H-hey guys, you know what’s black and white and red all over?….Me neither, I forgot. Never mind."
"Pirates versus ninjas. How very original."
"Look! Look at the rainbow! Doesn’t it make you think of vomiting unicorns?…Ed, you’re making the face at me again. Why the face? WHY THE FACE?"
"Have a nice trip! See you next fall!…What? Oh, fine, I’ll go help him up. Still funny!"
Even without the necessary context, all four feel like they’re different people. (For those paying attention and spitting out their drink right now, that’s Envy, Russell, Ling and Ed from 1000 Names because they’re the perfect example of this.) Your sense of humour creeps into everything, and that’s important when creating characters who are easily discernable by speech alone.