March 17th, 2010

Buffy > Edward

Blood Colors In the Snow, Sled Dog Etiquette

I'm writing a short horror story that takes place in a remote north Alaskan wilderness preserve. It's modern day but in the opening scene they are using sledges and dogs as opposed to snow mobiles for the purposes of keeping things quiet. The main character is a grad student tracking a polar bear that is suspected to be injured and/or ill. When the bear is found it's dead and died pretty gruesomely.

Both of these questions relate to the first part of my story and have been stumping me for months. Aside from Google, asking anyone relevant in my life (there are a few) and looking through the tags in this community I haven't exactly found the answers I am looking for.

The first question I have is in colder temperatures does blood stay red and pink longer or does it turn to that rust color after a while like it does in mild or warm temperatures? I want the bear to have died several hours before she finds him and I just need to know if the color will be tipping her off at all.

The second is if both the main character and her partner leave the sleds should they tether the dogs? The dogs are freaked out and so is my main character since they sense that there is something horribly, horribly wrong happening but I'm not sure if people do things like hobble or tether sled dogs when they're still strapped in or if the dogs are expected to behave well enough to stay. I'd like the main character to have to approach on foot (since from her position she can't see the bear's carcass) but I feel like maybe getting close by herself would be stupid. Only if I were in this situation I would be afraid the dogs would bolt if I left them alone.

So... any helpers out there? :D
I put on my robe and wizard hat

Belarusian vs Russian accents; AND first aid for violent homebrew reproductive surgery

Not-so-long time lurker has nonetheless gone through the relevant tags for these questions and hasn't found much.

Background: Well, this is all for a story which takes place in about 2020 or so.  For simplicity's sake, it's modern-day. I don't really think either of these questions have to do too much with the location, but the first one is, uh, in the US and the second one is in a personal home in Ukraine.

What have I searched? Well, for the first one I searched "Belorussian accent" and "Russian accent" and "Belorussian v.s Russian accent" and I looked at the wikipedia articles on Belorussian language and Belorussian grammar, but I...didn't know where to go from there.  And I didn't even know where to start with the second one. I asked my mum (nurse), but she basically told me what I already knew and said that I was going to get arrested if I posted it online.

ALRIGHT. So. Question One.
I have Character M, who is a native English speaker (Canadian, actually), so he doesn't really speak any Eastern European languages, but he has a long-distance lover who actually lives in Russia and has for all of his life, so he has an ear for the accent (speaking English).  He also has a best friend who is Ukrainian and has lived there for all of her life, so he has an ear for that accent as well.

The plot of the story calls for him to come in contact with a Belorussian.

What I want to know is if there are any differences in accent (I know there are subtle differences in language) that could possibly trip the ear of Character M, who as previously stated knows Russian and Ukrainian accents, and whether or not those would be inflection or something that I could replicate in the dialogue.  Is it close enough to Russian and/or Ukrainian that it would in fact be logical for him to deduce that "if it's not Russian, and it's not Ukrainian... 'Excuse me, sir, but by any chance are you Belorussian?'" (Even if it's not, given the nature of the conflict he might make that leap anyway, if he can tell that it's not Russian or Ukrainian.)

If not, it's no big deal. There are definitely other ways for him to have that revelation. I just wanted to make sure that this very smart bloke mightn't figure it out by accent.

EDIT: Thanks so much for all of the great accent input and resources! It sounds like it'd be unlikely he'd be able to guess Belorussian just from accent, so I think I'm going to use a mix of the two and have him notice that the accent is different, but also have the Belorussian drop some hints or something that will lead M to the guess. :)


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Thank you so much in advance!
(I tried to tag it, but if I missed any I apologize.)