My current WIP takes place in the south and my characters have a southern drawl. I intend to write dialogue using dropped g’s, but as my MC narrates in 1st person, is it wise to leave the g’s in tact or can I drop them in narration as well?
Here’s an excerpt with dropped g’s in both narration and dialogue:
My elaborately-coiffed next-door neighbor appeared to my left and shouted, “Stevie, hon’—Let it go! I’ll get it.” She held her hand up toward me as she darted across my front lawn. After retrievin’ (1) the ball, she handed it to her 16-year-old son and then walked toward my car.
“Sorry, Cora. I know we should keep to the back yard, but the gardeners are here today, mowin’ (2) the lawn.”
When I read this story out loud to myself (an uber-important element in my editing process), I read it with a southern accent. It’s how I want my readers to imagine the story as they progress through the book. It’s the way Cora speaks. However, I worry this might be annoyin’ to some people, bless their hearts… ;)
If I may be so bold as to use a regular blog reader for an example, let me introduce you to my dear friend Julie M. Weathers.
If you know her in real life, you know she sounds like she's from Texas (which is good, cause she is.)
But if you read her comments, you know that too. And it's not cause she drops her g's when she writes in the first person.
You know it by HOW she tells a great story. And dear godiva, her diction. She's got some of the best phrases going.
If you gave me five anonymous blog comments I could pick Julie out in a heartbeat.
So, the first rule of vernacular is: make sure your character uses diction deftly.
I loathe the idea of marking dropped g's in either dialouge or narration but that's just me. I find it utterly distracting.
As to your question: you're using dropped gs to constantly remind the reader of setting. There are more deft ways to do this: world building, and diction.
One of my favorite novels of all time is set in Georgia and there's not a dropped g on the page. And this time I don't mean Gone With The Wind, I mean Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe.
Here's where you need to trust your reader. Give us a compelling sense of place and character and we'll get that they speak with a Southern accent.