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Stammers and stutters. (1 Viewer)

FrancisD

Senior Member
I wonder how to portray stammers and stutters in dialogue.

b-b-but

bbbut

b b but.

buh, buh, but

and so on. Any thoughts?
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
I wonder how to portray stammers and stutters in dialogue.

b-b-but

bbbut

b b but.

buh, buh, but

and so on. Any thoughts?

That's what I'd go with, but I'd only flavour the dialogue with it, just as I would swearing. It could become an annoying read if overdone.
 

BabesJJ

Senior Member
"Me Talk Pretty One Day", by David Sedaris. I love that book and that writer. The book is about him growing up with speech difficulties. It is hilarious. I love his other books also.
 
Last edited:

Foxee

Patron
Patron
Write it as closely as possible to what you hear in your mind, I think. Having worked with a stutterer I probably would write a stutter with the same texture as I remember it so "Buh, buh, but" probably gets the closest.

Also good point about not overdoing it. Kind of like hiccups, the stutter is expected and unexpected at the same time when it happens (at least for the listener). When I talked to my co-worker (who had lived with his stutter his whole life) he was completely unfazed by it, just working through the stutter each time. For me there was a feeling of suspense, as though the hangup in speech made the next thing he was going to say a lot more important.

I would leverage the stutter, put it in where it can be a slight frustration for the reader when (hopefully) there is something important that they want to get to in what the character is saying.

Interesting fact, when my co-worker sang the stutter disappeared completely.
 
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