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Vocab and Grammar

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by ArenRax, Apr 23, 2015.

  1. wordwalker

    wordwalker Auror

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    So true. Like any writing, tags are about what something's priorities are. If one moment isn't that interesting except the dialog itself, or how that sets the stage for the Good Stuff coming up, anything more than a simple Said or no tag is distracting. ("Fidgety," well put.)

    Adding to that is the writer's own style, the pattern they're falling into. The more a writer's interested in just the spoken words, the more reason to skip the less useful beats.
     
  2. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    So true. This is the reason I think writers should be avid, if not ravenous, readers.
     
  3. ArenRax

    ArenRax Sage

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    In what context or situation would I use put said at the beggining,middle, or end, and in what situation would I use Yelled,happily, or Jovially and other words?
    This can confuse me as I dislike putting "said" all the time at the end of what someone says.
    And is there a source to get help describing fight scenes?
    I can describe Magic being used in fights but when it is one against one in a sword fight or with blades or a stave I have trouble making the scene readable and not confusing.
     
  4. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    Those are sort of personal questions to answer. I've been known to use all of them. My reasons are for flow.

    Her father's voice boomed through the door. "Get in here! I want an answer."

    "Get in here," her father called through the door. "I want an answer."

    "Get in here! I want an answer," her father yelled, threatening to rattle the door off its hinges with his anger.

    All of those work and they each impart a little bit of different feeling. It'll only depend on what you like and what sort of tone you're setting. It's subtly different, but over the scope of a whole scene, you don't want to constantly use only one format for relaying conversation. Does that help to clarify?

    About sword fighting, I wrote an article (hopefully it helps), in which I compare writing an intimate scene to writing a fight scene. While the advice is how to use fight scene format to engage the reader in a love scene (for those folks who aren't quite comfortable with writing intimacy or portraying adult themes), it's got the right elements in it to show you how to accomplish a fight as well. Basically, I've written my share of both, but I tried to make the task of writing love less daunting.

    Love And Death | Mythic Scribes

    If you want some good examples of fight scenes, check out some of the challenges entries. We have a ton of material up there and the MFMA challenge is a great one because they're all duels between two characters. Hopefully that gets you started at least.
     
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  5. wordwalker

    wordwalker Auror

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    When to put the the tag/beat in the paragraph depends on the rhythm you want. Often the speaker is taking a moment's pause to think between sentences or after part of one (you'll hear it if you say the line aloud), and putting the tag there fits. But like we've said before, be careful putting it more than say a few lines down in the paragraph; waiting so long to know who's speaking irritates the reader unless it's obvious. (And if it is obvious, the only reason to tag that paragraph at all is when it's a beat or supersaid that gives extra information.)

    As to what to tag it with... I think the first step is to keep things varied, between the four options of no tag/ said/ supersaid/ beat. (Some people will say the first step is to never use supersaids and always trust the basic Said. I think that's overstated, because Said *can* be overused if you forget the other options. But it is true that supersaids get overused much faster than the other three.)

    Then, try to think how important the paragraph is compared to the others near it; the more important ones deserve the further oomph of the more descriptive tags (supersaid or beat) and the plainer ones the simpler ones. Though it isn't just about overall importance; one paragraph might need more detailed tags just to clarify its nonverbal side, or less detail to keep the focus just on the words. Or a minor paragraph that's more about buildup or buffer before The Good Stuff might need a beat to slow it down, then as dialog speeds up tags get simpler to pick up the pace--but bang! the key moments still get a beat for emphasis. What you really want is a variety and a combination of tag types that works.
     
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  6. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    I try to use action tags and the word "said" primarily, where "said" is used just to keep the reader grounded in the changing speakers if the pace needs to be faster.

    I don't mind the use of words like "yelled" when I read (unless overdone), but I'm wary of them as a writer.

    I want the dialogue to carry a sense of the moment, emotion intrinsic to the scene, without having to tell the reader that is what's happening. If I catch myself relying on words like "yelled", I'll take a look at the dialogue and rewrite to better convey the emotion on its own, or connect it with a character's action that signifies some sense of emotion.
     
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  7. Trick

    Trick Auror

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    To any Mods reading, Please fix the title of this thread! I'm begging you... on my knees, with tears and snot running down my face from the pain caused by that misplaced letter a... typos like that are my kryptonite. It may kill me.
     
  8. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    Done.

    /10 char
     
  9. Trick

    Trick Auror

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    Air has returned to my lungs, my tears have dried and I feel hale once more. In gratitude for my life I say, three cheers T.A.S.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2015
  10. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    LOL... gonna make you sweat this one a bit.
     
  11. Trick

    Trick Auror

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    With me still recovering from that long lasting typo a, I am less ashamed than I would normally be but still... [​IMG]

    (Of course I could always claim that I had lost my ability to feel precipitation and you returned it with your heroic typo correction but why dig a deeper hole?)
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2015
  12. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    Yeah, I can ignore title typos for a while, but if the thread sticks around a week...it's a bit like when your fingernail gets smashed. It's ugly for a few days, but there comes a moment you know it's time to go. And go it must.
     
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  13. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    You meant hale as in 'hale and hearty", right? No typo there so you're off the proverbial hook. :D
     
  14. Trick

    Trick Auror

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    Actually, it did say hail before, I fixed it ;)

    Accidental edit by TAS: At the risk of derailing further, I'd like to point out for your enjoyment, Trick.... Reaver has my favorite typo of all time on MS when he referred to Steerpike as Steerpile.

    Still makes me laugh.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 29, 2015
    Reaver likes this.
  15. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    Reaver's the king of typos. He keeps hitting the asterisk button when he writes stories. Sometimes whole sentences are riddled with them ;)
     
  16. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    Lol... I just realized I hit "edit" instead of "quote". Sorry for assimilating your post like that, Trick.
     
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  17. Trick

    Trick Auror

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    I nearly blew a mouthful of burrito across my desk when I read that. :D Thank you for sharing it.


    It's a little Borg of you but no harm done.
     
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  18. ArenRax

    ArenRax Sage

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    I don't even know how that typo got there I mean I typed correctly(or thought I did) and I guess I just didn't ever really read it but I'm pretty sure I noticed it like a few days ago but by then I didn't really "think" of anything when I saw it but now I shall forever remember that I can have Moderator fix it.
    Thank you for fixing it!
     
  19. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    I accidentally "borged" one time when I was on my friend's nano account and posted my own personal story woes. Unfortunately there, you can't mod-power the posting.

    Can we coin that as a new word? I think it needs to exist, since there isn't a better way of saying it.

    Borged: (v) borgd: to use another person's account on the internet for one's own personal comments. To accidentally or intentionally represent oneself as another on internet forums.

    haha.
     
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  20. buyjupiter

    buyjupiter Maester

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    There's an alternate way of constructing the dialogue tag, but I wouldn't use it except in extremely rare cases as it's antiquated nowadays:

    "This is a bit of dialogue," said I.

    You see it in more poetry, "Nevermore," quoth the Raven, for example.

    And you still very occasionally see it in dialogue as:

    "Something witty, says I."

    Although this has mainly dropped out of common usage unless a British TV show (I hear it more here than in US shows) wants to make a point of non-London dialect (usually Cornish/Scottish) and/or old person and/or show is set in Dickensian England. I was very young the last time I heard someone use the "says I" construction in person .

    The "says you" construction is still around, but it is being replaced (at least in the US) by "that's what she said" more and more.

    For example:

    "I wouldn't press the red button, it might lead to very bad things," the boy said.

    "Says you," I said, pressing the button.
     
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