Accents and the trouble they cause writers

There really is nothing sexier to me than a brainy Brit.  Giles on Buffy the Vampire Slayer? YES, PLEASE.

I have long wanted to write a story with a brainy Brit, but the major thing that has stopped me is the whole question of accent.  How do write an accent without writing a pidgin English to convey what they’re *supposed* to sound like?  JD Robb (aka Nora Roberts in wearing her murder mystery romance hat) has a male protagonist named Roarke, who has an Irish accent (also way sexy) and has set several stories in Ireland.  She manages to reference things like lyrical quality or a hit of Ireland just often enough to keep you reminded (or the setting does).

But in a 3-4K story, how often can you reference something without it getting repetitive?

Food for thought.

 

Also food for thought–after spending a week in Sydney, I have realized that I’m ambivalent about the Aussie accent, which is surprised me.