One of the things I came across with the release of my first medieval scottish romance was the conversations/comments that popped up with regards to the accents and, of course, that all-controversial scottish brogue. Now, I read a lot of historical romance, everything from the dark middle ages through to regency, but I've never really given this much thought. Some books I've loved, some I hated, some were so, so, and to be honest, my memory's not good enough to recall how little or how much accent the characters had and whether that might have somehow figured in my reading experience.
So, I did a little digging into what everyone was saying about everyone else's books and there seems to be a split between love or hate - and very little in between. There are those who swoon at a hero's scottish brogue and those who feel as if their teeth are being scraped with chalk. Some suggestions to "tell" the brogue instead of "show" it
e.g. "I can't say," Rowan said with a husky burr.
As opposed to "I canna say," Rowan said.
“Ye have my word,” Krayne reassured his cousin. “I gave the order before I left Wamphray. No more moonlight riding fer my lads.”
and sometimes my hand's a little heavier...
“That I’d use a woman as fair trade fer my cousin?” he finished. “If ye didna involve yourself in a man’s affairs ta begin with, I wouldna have ta barter ye ta the Jardin.”
When it came to one of my secondary characters, the villian, I used heavy brogue to flavour his character, but his on-page role is sparse and so this kind of intense dialogue brogue occurs in tiny doses, otherwise it would cause quite a headache...
“Spittin’ ’ell, woman!” William swung his beefy frame around, slicing his finger open on the spear’s sharp tip as he did so. “Christ,” he growled, licking at the line of swelling blood as he set a scowling gaze on her. “Have ye no more sense than ta creep up on a mon?”
And, I'm not sure... is the presence of a brogue worse, the same or better than no brogue? Perhaps it doesn't matter? Do your eyes cross over? Do you feel cheated if you read a scottish romance without it?