Quite a bit of hard yakka on the Red Planet submission this week. My writing partner, who originated the project, has come up with a superbly balanced range of characters that reflect the diversity of an inner-London borough. However, the challenge for this white working-class 40-year-old northerner (albeit living in South London) is getting their voices right. I've got a pretty good ear, but thank the Great Spirit for resources such as Tim Woods' London Slang Dictionary.
Obviously language moves on quickly and mouthfuls of dubious slang are no substitute for conflict, thought-out goals and motivations, emotional engagement and the other components of effective drama. However, a few choice cuts add a taste of authenticity and spice the whole thing up. At the very least, you'll avoid the cardinal sin of interchangable dialogue.
In other news... I bought a pair of slim-fit jeans on Sunday. Granted, they've got a 42-inch waist and came from M&S in Croydon, but it still clearly says 'slim fit' in golden embriodery. We live in an age of wonders!