1) Mostly I'm opposed to the spelling out of accents in reported speech, especially when the narrative is written in grammatically correct 'standard' English. Often it comes across as poking fun at those people who don't use the same language as the protagonist.
I give a lot more leeway to novels where the narrative is first person and dialect, especially when the story focus is on the outsiders' views of a particular community. I loved The Help and my current audiobook is Small Island.
Having said all that, I have a dilemma.
A very minor character in Searching for Julia is about to get his moment of glory. Linda has retreated to the pub with a very unwelcome visitor, and receives an offer of help from someone who has been mentioned before but hasn't actually had any lines:
"You all right?" Mr Eyre leaned over the bar. "Craig and His Grace are up at farm, but I'm quite capable of throwing him out for you." He nodded towards Keith. "If that's what you want."
Now a lot of writers would drop some of those 'g's and 'h's as well, and some people would either put 'the' back in before 'farm' or puzzle over where the 't' goes. I don't want to do any of that, and I'm almost tempted to capitalise 'Farm' as it's the main farm in the area, as opposed to the smaller tenant farms.
What do people think?
2) I only came across the concept of a dark moment fairly recently. It seems to be more of a romance thing, although I've seen mentions of it in other genres. There seems to be more talk out there of good and bad examples than of whether it's a necessary plot construct and I'm puzzling.
I'm now at the point where all the plot threads come together, and most questions get answered. There are going to be some obstacles, as hinted at in my previous point above, but some of the reveals I thought might be part of a downward spiral are actually potentially uplifting.
So how important is it to drag everyone down in order to give them a potentially happy ending, or at least a satisfactory one? Does it matter when I'm writing a narrative about discovery rather than one that concentrates on one or more relationships? How late in the story does the dark moment need to happen anyway? I let stories unfold in their own good time which means one or more crisis points can happen anywhere once the narrative in underway.