Dead Links, I made two conscious choices. I wanted the heroine to be a female African-American, and I wanted her to speak in Ebonics. I wrote earlier about why I chose to use Ebonics, but the gist of it is that I wanted to show how a black woman can be intelligent and still speak in Ebonics. I actually based her dialogue on a friend of mine who's very bright and educated, but grew up in the ghetto, so she's kept those speech patterns. Some people judge her because of that and I think it's unfair. We should judge people by what they say, not how they say it.
Unfortunately, I've discovered most readers haven't seen it that way. They seem to find the Ebonics annoying and unrealistic. After getting three negative reviews based solely on the dialogue (one specifically on the use of the word "ain't"), I've decided the dialogue distracts too much from the reading experience. I've re-written Amanda's dialogue to remove much of the Ebonics, while still keeping her vocal style.
If the dialogue has been keeping you from enjoying Dead Links, now's the time to try it again.
Can Ebonics Be Used By Smart People?
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