The Round Table: Voices in Your Head

round table, discussion, book characters, accents, books


In our last Round Table discussion, I asked if you imagined famous people as book characters while reading. This time I’m curious about accents.

I have a confession…let’s say I’m reading a historical fiction based in Victorian England, I don’t hear a British voice as I read. Nope. The characters may be 100% British in print, but in my head they sound like normal Americans. Even if I read a book set in Scotland it’s rare that I can hear a Scottish accent as I read and that makes me sad because I lived in Scotland for a over a year! One would think I would easily slip into accent as I read, but it doesn’t happen. Even if an author writes words where you can clearly hear the Scottish brogue, I don’t hear it. It’s rare that an author can capture it and I’m not sure why some books achieve that goal and yet others fall flat.

Then there’s the added accent to dialogue when the author hasn’t given an ethnicity. It’s funny how things like that get attached to a character as you read. For example, a few weeks ago I was reading this contemporary romance set in Seattle and for some odd reason, a character sounded French! Out of no where this character developed a French accent and the author never stated he was French, etc. Then there’s another book where the heroine became Italian in my head and it was a historical fiction book set in the Wild West of America. You’re probably thinking that I must have watched something to influence this change and can I honestly say I didn’t.

Do you hear variations of accents as you read? Or do you make an effort to hear an accent?