I have a passing affiliation with grammar and no editor. I will also admit to only having a loose grasp on the rules of writing well. Well versed friends of mine who have edited long submissions that I cared to have meet the criteria of proper english have lamented my love of simply throwing punctuation in when it seems I haven’t ended a sentence in a while. My saving grace is that I usually read my work aloud when ever possible to catch my most egregious mistakes.
That said, I find the hardest writing exercise is to write in the voice of another. Take the post about how my Gramma met my Grampa. By the way I am spelling those words incorrectly on purpose. I also had a Grandma and a Grandpa. The pronunciation is how I could tell them apart when my parents were talking about them. But back to the story told in my Gramma’s voice. I can remember her talking. The way she used “ands” and “was”’s were as much a part of the story as the sound of her clearing her throat, she was a lifelong smoker. I couldn’t figure out a way to get those throat clearings in but I thought about where they would come as I read it aloud.
My Gramma passed away the year I graduated High School but I still remember the way she spoke. It wasn’t an accent perse but more mannerisms of word use that stick in my mind. Like she didn’t have diabetes. She had “The Sugar”. She didn’t say, “the lemonade that we had made earlier.” She said, “the lemonade _what_ we had made earlier.” I think she would occasionally use the word “wernt” instead of the “wasn’t”. Also speaking softly didn’t seem to be a thing. She would always speak at full volume. That may have been because Grampa was going deaf and needed hearing aids though.
I grew up hearing her talk and every so often I’ll see a little bit of her way of talking appear as I write. But to do it consistently and on purpose is a whole other thing. I think one day I’d like to write a story with a character that speaks with her mannerisms in it. I’d include it as a tribute to her. Now that I’m writing again that’s not so much wishful thinking as I’d once thought it would be.