So, as you know, I’ve been working on Black Dog novellas recently. The one I’ve just finished — mostly finished — I’m going to go back and change a few details that impact the ending — ANYWAY, it’s from Thaddeus’ point of view.
Now, obviously, Thaddeus is not, for example, Grayson. Or Ethan. He doesn’t speak in the same way at all, which extends to his direct thoughts and, in very close third person, also to the overall style of the story.
Take a look at this:
1. Maybe Thaddeus should of expected that.
2. “You’re pretty sure your circle could of kept me out,” he observed.
3. That would of killed practically any black dog.
Now, previously, when I’ve written from Thaddeus’ point of view, I’ve used that should of / could of / would of locution. This is not a mistake. Regardless of how utterly annoying homonyms have become, this is not a mistake I would ever make. Every now and then someone contacts me and points this sort of thing out as a typo. Which is fine! I appreciate readers pointing out typos! But this is a deliberate choice.
But is it a good choice? Show of hands, please. When you see this in Thaddeus’ pov, does it sound right? I’m considering limiting this to solely dialogue and the most direct thoughts. That is, leaving it for the second example above, but not the first and maybe not the third.
Also, Thaddeus has been part of Dimilioc for just about two and a half years now. (How time flies!) I’m not sure how fast, or whether, speech patterns like this might change, but he’s been listening to people with a significantly more formal style for that long.
It would be relatively easy to alter this. Obviously it’s not practical to search for “of” in a document, but if you search for “ld of ” that takes care of that problem. I can therefore say that this “of” locution occurs eleven times in the story. I might take that back to half as many. Or I could not use “of” this way at all. Thoughts?