1800 style writing

Hi, I am starting a book and it takes place in the late 1800`s and I was wondering if anyone could give me tips on how to style the language. Thanks in advance!

My advice would be to seek out books written in that time frame and read them! That will give you the best guidance in terms of prose and spoken word, even slang.

6 Likes

Thank you! I have an idea due to some movies, but I don`t want to stray too far.

1 Like

I’ve written a piece set in the 1700’s and one of the places I start is by familiarizing myself with slang. This is a pdf of 19th century slang that you may find helpful: http://mess1.homestead.com/nineteenth_century_slang_dictionary.pdf
Avoid current colloquialisms and just be aware that your modern voice always going to shine through, and it should. So embrace that rather than try to hide it.

4 Likes

Thank you! Just skimming over that it is going to be very helpful

1 Like

Like someone else said, I would just read and watch stuff from that time period. If you have any family members from that time period you could always ask them questions, tell them why you are asking.

2 Likes

I have an example paragraph, is this okay?

“How many times do you think someone will say ‘that house is haunted’ to us?”

A laugh bubbled out my lips at Grover’s words. He was only thirteen years of age and had mastered the skill of cynicism. Almost every word was dripping with it. But he was right. After leaving the inn, citizens would not stop yelling at our carriage.

It was a bit tiresome.

1 Like

Watch movies set in that era. Like in Victorian England or the Wild West

1 Like

Yeah that’s fine!

1 Like

Thank you!

1 Like

Depends on where you’re writing! England or America, I’m guessing, but just those two will be very different.

1 Like

There is a book out there that should help you. It is called “The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes.” It is an anthology of early detective stories. This should give you a feel for the writing style and language many of the authors who lived around the time of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle used.

3 Likes

I just finished reading The Hound of the Baskervilles and I would definitely suggest reading it! I think it gives a good example of how people spoke and wrote back then.

3 Likes

I join all those who suggested reading Doyle’s works! Besides working as your personal research, those are really beautiful books to read :blush::blush:

2 Likes

Hmm the sentence “a laugh bubbled out my lips” sounds very 1980s to me. A laugh escaped my lips would work a lot better

But other than that everything else could pass as period correct.

I also third everything else they’re saying about Conan Doyle. He was a doctor so his writing style is very precise and pointed which embodies Victorian mystery writing

1 Like

There are etiquette books in the public domain, which are really useful. Emily Post is from 1922 but still mostly accurate for late Victorian manners. And here’s an earlier one from 1860.

And yeah, read Victorian authors! Robert Louis Stevenson’s a great prose stylist from the era and easy to read.

1 Like

That entirely depends on what decade of the 1800s.

I would find books written during the decade you’re interested in and imitate that style.

2 Likes

thank you all for replying! i will definitely use these to help :slight_smile: