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[Guide] To Write an Applejack · 6:35pm Oct 4th, 2012

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.

Report KrazyTheFox · 3,131 views ·
Comments ( 27 )

I feel vaguely targetted by #1~ XD
edit: would be too much work to change it all though now >_>

...really, though, it's not just you (and it wasn't you that prompted this little guide; I've been meaning to write it for a few weeks). I read a few fics last night and every single one of them used "Ah"s everywhere. It's not really a huge deal, but it would be nice to try to sway the community from that habit. I don't think I'll be terribly successful at that on my own, though. :rainbowlaugh:

Yeah, I stopped using it in Mood Wings. Just kept doing so for TBW since I started with it.

Back in April I wrote a livejournal post about accents in general, covering a lot of the same things here.

Given that, I hope I write an acceptable Applejack, or I'm really embarrassed. :ajsmug:

In agreement here.

/Feels bad man.

Hm... Those are some good points. I'll keep this in mind. Word choice really is the key.

I actually prefer writing Applejack's lines phonetically, if only because it's pretty fun. I can understand why Mark Twain did that a lot. "Allus" for "always", and other such phonetic stand-ins. At the same time, how slurred it is depends on how fast I want to imply her speech. In the show, she sometimes speaks so fast, it all sounds like it's just one word. (Not as often as Pinkie Pie, of course.)

As do I. :applejackconfused:

Speaking as a southerner, I feel confident in writing "Ah" in place of "I". I can tell you that I often find myself pronouncing it that way more often than not. No, I'll grant you that she does sound more southern midwest than deep south, but I see nothing wrong with the "Ah" replacement. I'll also throw in the occasional "if'n" or "y'all", though I probably stop with the former, since I honestly can't remember ever using it in the show.

Now for a certain OC in my story, I don't mind going full-tilt southern twang, and it's tons of fun. I suppose I could tone back the twang for Applejack, but I'm keeping the "Ah". Now how do you feel about writing "Dahling" for Rarity's dialogue? :raritywink:

I have been looking for days now just to find help with her accent and THIS just saved my whole fiction I started some time ago.
I just couldn't get it right. :ajsleepy:

Thank you for making this. You are awesome

Thanks a lot for posting this, you've help me tons. :pinkiehappy:

It sounds like you just did! Glad it helped! :ajsmug:

This makes writing AJ so much easier. Thank you! :pinkiehappy:

this is so awesome!!!!:rainbowkiss:

I'll keep these thoughts in mind when I write down Applejack. Thanks!:ajsmug:

Thanx for the help. She is a lot easier to write now thanks to you.


Thanks for the tips! Really gonna help considering I can suck at writing dialogue with characters like this! :rainbowlaugh:

I can't thank you enough for this. :pinkiehappy: If I can have a question, are things like 'ain't' correct?

"Ain't" is part of her accent, but in the correct way. When she says "ain't", she's not saying "isn't", she's saying "ain't". It's things where the word she actually says gets misspelled for the sake of portraying an accent—something that's very hard to do right.

I'll just keep this bookmarked.


So what about "Ya" for "You"? Do I use the latter? :rainbowhuh:

You should choose whatever fits at the time. Say what she's saying aloud in her accent (as best you can) and pick whichever sounds closer. For example: "I'm tellin' ya, Rainbow; you should try out this season. Ya never know how things'll turn out."

A good majority of the time it'll be "ya", so if you don't feel compelled to pick and choose, it's generally a safe bet to use it (of course, "you" also works fine, so it's really up to you whichever you use).


Thanks. Now I'm just having problems with archaic language. :raritydespair:


One more thing, I'm guessing this also applies to Apple Bloom?

This is quite useful.

Well done.

I keep Doing Number 1, I think I should Really stop. :twilightblush:

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