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So, one of my WIPs is a Regency story. I'm an American.

So, right now I've been using American spellings, but I'm curious what people think about that. It's a story set in England with English characters. The dialog and word choice is all appropriate to the period. There are not inappropriate Americanisms. The only real language complains I've had were some push back against my period slang (in this case by an English critique partner). What can I say? I've read too much Georgette Heyer.

Now, obviously, I'm not going to use the questionable and oft-variant spelling of the period, but given that it's an English story, do people think British spelling is more appropriate? Does it annoy you to see American spelling in British settings?

I've also toyed with the idea of using American spelling for a US release and British spelling for a UK release.

Any thoughts you have on this would be most appreciated.
 

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I read a lot of Regency, both by American authors, and by British authors.

When the story is written by an American author and first published by an American publishing house, you typically see the American spellings. When the story is written by an American, but first published by a British publishing house (even if you are then reading the American reprinting), you often see the British spellings.

When the story is written by a British author, you see the British spelllings.

Most Regency readers are used to seeing either, and wouldn't blink an eye.
 

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Personally, I'd prefer English spelling, with it being a Regency piece, but whatever the author chooses, I ease into a book after a couple of chapters anyway, so I don't think it matters much. I'm having a similar issue; half my characters are English, half American, and the book starts out in America. I often wonder whether I should change to US spelling in my narrative.

:)
 

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I used the occasional British spelling (proper for the time period) in my colonial Virginia romances.  No one objected. :)
 

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Who is your narrator?  Maybe choose how your narrator would spell.
 

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I don't think it matters much if you can do British spelling correctly. I do expect stories set in England (and Australia) to use British spellings, but it wouldn't bother me if a story had US spellings either. I've read a few of the US version Harry Potters and I don't remember thinking it was strange. However, if you have even the slightest doubt that you might mess it up then I would say don't to it. I would be terrified of screwing it up, I think.
 

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If you are only going to market it to non-Brits then it doesn't matter.

However, here are my thoughts as a Brit author, selling most of my books in US.

If it were just the spelling, that's not a huge problem. The trouble is, it doesn't stop there. There are so many little turns of phrase with slightly different meanings. Having said that, I've read several chapters of books on critique sites by US authors who are writing in a literary style and not even realised they were US.

So, if you're going to write in a very precise literary style AND if you can get a Brit author with similar reputation, preferably writing novels set in the same period, to check it before you publish, then go ahead and write UK English.

But if you've any doubts at all about your ability to do this - and especially if you think you're going to be marketing mostly to non-Brits - then I'd stick with the language you know and which most of your readers are familiar with.

It's much better to get it exactly right in US English than make give away mistakes which will be annoying to Brits.
 
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