[Guide] To Write an Applejack · 6:35pm
One of the hardest ponies to write dialogue for is Applejack, but mostly because people don't know how to write Applejack properly. Because her accent is so different from almost the entire cast of the show, people interpret that as her personality, which, in turn, leads to poorly written dialogue as people try to use, and express, her accent.
This is almost entirely unnecessary. Far too often I see certain words substituted where they shouldn't be— most notably "Ah" instead of "I". Fortunately, Applejack really isn't a hard pony to write if you follow a few simple guidelines:
1. Forget about her accent. Nix it entirely. Do away with the "Ah"s, "Yer"s, and other such nonsense. Instead, focus on what Applejack actually says. Is she really saying "Ah", or is she saying "I"? It's the latter. She may say it with an accent, but if the reader is familiar with the pony (and there's a pretty good chance of that if they're reading My Little Pony fanfiction in the first place), they should be more than able to fill in the accent themselves. Applejack says "You're", "Your", "I'm", "I"— not "Yer", "Yer", "Ah'm", "Ah". There are cases in which changing words around is appropriate, such as those ending with "ing". Applejack tends to leave the "g" off of these words, resulting in "changin'" or "keepin'".
2. Word choice is very important. When you watch the show, what sets a pony apart from one another? Sure, we could go on about color, gender, movements, and such, but the most defining part of a pony is his or her personality. This personality is expressed almost entirely in the form of dialogue (yes, expressions are important, too). When you write Applejack, keep her personality in mind and choose words she's likely to know and say. She wouldn't be using words like "hypochondriac" or "endocrinologist".
3. Sentence structure is often overlooked when writing Applejack. Try to picture her saying what you want her to say. Sound it out in your head. Do it again. Does it sound right? Does it sound like Applejack? If not, change the way you're structuring her sentences and double check your word choice. Consider the following two sentences:
"I don't know when I'll be back from Canterlot for certain, but I can guarantee that it'll be no later than next Tuesday."
"I don't rightly know when I'll be comin' back from Canterlot, but I reckon it'll be before next Tuesday."
The first one doesn't sound much like Applejack at all. It sounds more like something Twilight would say, doesn't it? The second example sounds much more like what Applejack would say. A few simple changes can mean a world of difference to your readers.
You could also write the above as: "I reckon I'll be back from Canterlot before next Tuesday, but I just can't say for sure."
While these few tips apply to any pony, Applejack is by far the most abused when it comes to writing her dialogue. If you are writing Applejack, take a few minutes to go over her dialogue and make sure it sounds right. I guarantee you won't regret it.