Writing British Characters!

question

#1

For future story works I want to know everything!! From British slang to the common foods that one eats in the UK. Never been there so I haven’t met anyone who was British :joy: honestly to me I haven’t gotten much background of the character and don’t have a specific area in mind. I know there is a lot of diversity and different areas. Just like a bit of insight on anywhere related!


#2

There’s a lot of diversity in Britain today - so I’d give the character a background to reflect this. This would also mean less research.

So use what you know for the most part.

All the best with your new story.


#3

You have to define which country you want to set your story in or where your characters from. For example, Wales has a very different accent and way of speaking compared to those in England yet on the border between the two countries they speak in similar ways. Also a common thing people tend to mix up is the Scottish and Irish ways of speaking/slang so be sure to not do that!


#4

Depends on who they are, what their background is, their class, etc etc.

What part of the UK are you writing about?


#5

Have no clue! Just open for anywhere related! Having my options open


#6

Well. I’m English, mainly from the southwest region, but I’ve also lived in the midlands near Birmingham and Coventry and I’m familiar with Hampshire and the isle of wight. If you have any questions about those places, I could probably give you a hand.

Do you have any particular questions you want answering?


#7

How would you describe the environment over in the southwest region? Such as the weather and the community? Ways of public transportation? Local restaurants? Common food dishes? Slang?


#8

Watch anything BBC with subtitles on! You can subscribe to BritBox through Amazon Prime and get lost in any of their endless soaps. I watched “EastEnders” for a week while checking in with an old friend from West Yorkshire, just to have something to reference for a laugh, but that was one year ago and I can’t stop watching the damn thing.


#9

Weather in the southwest is warmer than the rest of the country by a couple of degrees c. Summers can get up to 30 ish degrees while winters will go down to -5. Most days in summer are either sunny or overcast with the occasional rain, while winter is most overcast, rainy, with the odd day of blue sky (which are the coldest days).

Transport in the south west is a pain. There’s the south western train line that runs from a town in dorset to london, and another train up to bristol but its very overpriced (like most of the trains in the uk). To get to manchester and the midlands, you have to change at Bournemouth. Public transport is mainly buses in the towns, but cars are the main form of transport.

The culture and community in the South west is a lot slower than the east. People aren’t as focused and busy and if you saw someone you knew in the street, you’d stop to say hi. Fish and chips are popular, especially in the coastal regions, also carveries, pies etc. You’re quite likely to get more local produce down there, especially in local shops as most of the industry is tourism based. As for slang, we have the basic UK slang like ‘twat’ ‘wanker’ ‘cab’ etc, but most of the regional slang is probably location based eg. ‘Pompey’ refers to Portsmouth.


#10

You have to be a lot more specific than. There are different parts of Britain and we see, say, view things differently. However if your characters are from England but more specifically from London I can help with that. I’m a Londoner born and raised :+1:.


#11

If your wanting ‘English’ I’m 3/4 English and live in the north (Yorkshire area). In Yorkshire I’d say people are commonly renown for being friendly to strangers, loud and often proud of where they come from. People in rural Yorkshire are often associated with being ‘farmers’ so think of the film ‘Babe’ or Jospeh for Wuthering Heights.

Yorkshire accent (for a thick accent) wide forget pronouncing ‘t’s! A good example is “going to the fish and chip shop” = "Off t’ chippy"

I can help with other Yorkshire traits and especially accent choices and colloquial dialect if you’d like. (I also studied English Language and did a course on language and dialect and am part Scottish so I know some stuff all about that too!) :blush:


#12

Ah. Well I’m Scottish (I don’t say I’m British) so that’s not England so it’s a bit of a different area to explore. Although there are lots of similarities, there are also things that are not necessarily the same.

First thing. CHAVS. The UK is full of them. They are everywhere. How does one explain a chav?

They are annoying people, sometimes junkies, who wear trackies (Maybe google ‘trackies’ if you don’t know the meaning), often smoke a lot, hang about the streets and parks acting all tough, sometimes the younger ones will be on bikes. They seem to drink lots of Buckfast which is cheap fermented wine and is totally disgusting. Basically, they are always up to no good and try and will likely pick fights with total strangers if they are on their own. I’ve seen them (the teenagers are the worst) throw rocks at bus windows, shine these laser pens through people’s windows, even seen one of them punch a guy in the face before running away. I had a group of them come over to me when I was walking home and one of them tried to run me over on his bike (I just grabbed the handlebars and moved him aside).

Chavs are annoying to everyone who isn’t a chav in the UK. angry muttering.

It’s cold. Pretty much all the time. Tends to be cloudy and a bit windy.

Scottish people are often considered heavy drinkers and wild under the influence. It’s a big joke in Scotland to climb up statues when you’re drunk and put traffic cones on their heads :joy: Scotland I believe has the highest chronic liver disease in the world due to alcohol.

Accents depend on what area you’re from and there are tons of accents.

Scottish food includes haggis which I don’t like and our nations drink is the famous Irn Bru but because of the sugar tax it doesn’t taste as good anymore.

Our nations animal is the unicorn. Not kidding.

We celebrate ‘Guy Fox Night’ also called ‘Bonfire Night’ on the 5th of November which is literally celebrating a man’s failed plot to blow up the British Parliament. Fireworks get set off and stuff.

Idk if this is what you’re looking for but hopefully it helps you understand some of your options!


#13

This thread is a bit helpful for me. I write some British characters. Mainly one from Lymington Hampshire (gosh I hope I spelled that right), and whatnot. I worry sometimes that I am not doing this justice. I’ve never been to England and I only know a bit. Very little, actually. Im about to look up what area Lymington Hampshire is in so I can more accurately ask my own questions too, haha.


#14

I’m from the North West of England, so if you need a hand let me know.


#15

i’m from south east england, just outside of london, so if you have any specific questions let me know and i’ll answer as best i can


#16

I’m not from the UK, but I’ve been living in Scotland close to 4 years now.

And don’t call Scottish people British. Very few actually refer to themselves like that - if you say British, they’re thinking the English. And some get quite offended if you call them British.

Scottish slang differs greatly depending on the dialect. Edinburgh slang is hugely different from Glasgow slang. So, if you’re going to do this authentically, you gotta be specific.

If you’re for a good reference of how to write Scottish, read or watch Trainspotting.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to shoot them at me.


#17

I’m from near Hampshire so I might be able to answer some questions


#18

Here’s a quick slang lesson :joy: I’d recommend this for young East-Londoner type characters but don’t go overboard!
Peng - pretty
Bait - obvious
Clocked - caught
Gassed - hyped
Beef - drama
Roadman - Male chav basically. Uses all the previous words on regular basis.
Wasteman - Someone who does nothing/is useless
Banter - something funny
Knackered - tired

There’s a lot more


#19

That would be great. The character I write about is a male, and he was mainly raised in Lymington Hampshire (he’s a real person, so uh… Fanfiction, hi). Anywho, I just want to make sure I get the region right sometimes.

Slang, foods, and… I think those are really my main questions about his culture and whatnot. It would really help, thank you.


#20

Us Americans use this too… :joy: (thinking about 3OH!3)