Should “Slang” Be In Your Novel?

What is slang?

Slang is something that you would say to your best friend. It’s a way of talking that gets your message across quicker and sometimes even ‘cooler’.  Some slang words or phrases include but aren’t limited to:

Finna– about to

Ain’t– isn’t

Gonna– going to

Bro– brother, friend

Cuz– cousin, because

Dope– cool

What’s up– how are you, can also be used as an adjective meaning cool. (ex. That’s what’s up)

Should you have it in your novel?

Okay so now that you have a better idea of what slang is do you think it should be in your writing?

If you are writing a paper for class or for a presentation for your boss then of course you wouldn’t want slang to be inside those pages. But what about your novel?

What if you have a character that speak fluent slang and you want that to be known to your readers? In this case using slang could be appropriate.

But to really decide when or if to use slang you should look at the pros and cons.

What ‘Slang’ brings to your story:

As I mentioned above, slang is something you use verbally when you’re talking to someone you know and are comfortable with. You wouldn’t use slang with a stranger or a new acquaintance or your boss.

So do you think this applies to your characters in their world?

By adding slang to your novel you will be able to create a feeling of connection between character to character and possibly character to reader. You don’t want the character to sound so former that your reader thinks the character is talking to an important official all the time.

One downfall of slang would be sounding too laid back and informal that your reader would have trouble understanding the words your character uses.

So if you use slang too much your readers might get annoyed or confused and neither of that is a good thing.

Your story shouldn’t be too formal but it shouldn’t be too informal and annoying either. A balance of both should keep your readers content.

So what are your thoughts about writing in slang?

I love hearing what you think about writing and what technique you decide to use so please take a moment to share your thoughts about slang in the comments.

Do you know someone who writes in slang?

If you know someone who writes in slang and think they’re find this article useful please share!

Thanks for reading and keep writing,


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About the Author

Shaquanda Dalton

Hello, my name is Shaquanda Dalton and welcome to! I'm from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and graudated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a degree in Creative Writing. I fell in love with writing at the age nine and love it till this day. :)