Copywriting that copies speaking - yay or meh?
I've been wondering whether I should write in a way that's more similar to the way I speak.
There are a fair few writers I know who stay faithful to their voice: ums, ahs and whatchamacallits intact. To me, the lovely Sharon Wright is the queen of this approach. I can always hear her in my head whenever I see something she's written.
Reading the work of copywriters with regional accents can be a delight, as they drop colloquialisms and slang all over the place.
Understandably, this approach makes you sound more human.
It's easy to consider Received Pronounciation as something of a foreign language. The Queen's English is not (usually) your Next-Door Neighbour's English. An accent, even in text form, is easier to identify with for a lot of people.
I've also found that people who write as they speak are more likely to write as if what they're describing is happening right now. All of their verbs are in the present tense. Isn't that funny? Where I relay anecdotes and happenings in the past tense (see the first line of this post), they'll put us straight in the moment. It's a subtle difference, but once you notice it you can really see how it changes the text.
To write as you speak, you need to have a really good understanding of how you sound out loud. Perhaps this is where I'm lacking.
I try to avoid listening to recordings of my own voice if I can help it. Don't you? This hasn't stopped me from a couple of brief stints on radio, just from playing it back afterwards.
The last time I heard myself talking, I realised I use 'well', 'so, yeah' and 'y'know' in conversation more than is strictly necessary. If I applied this to my writing, I suspect reaching a suggested word count would suddenly become a breeze.
Then again, sometimes people tell me they think I sound posh. I've never had a strong accent in the sense that someone from, say, Manchester or Birmingham might have. So maybe sticking to RP is more my style. Is there a word for 'enunciating' that applies to type?
I'll be the 'Margot from The Good Life' of the copywriting world, just you see.