Direct Speech

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Tatzme
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Re: Direct Speech

Postby Tatzme » Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:56 am

Thank you all so much, you really helped me out (:

@T.A. Rodgers:
Yeah, the emotion part totally makes sense for me. Writing about how a person feels really drags the reader into the story, in my opinion. I'm still working on how and when to use metaphors to make the text more vivid.

@wdarcy:
English isn't my native language, so I'm sorry if I make some mistakes. Thanks a lot for correcting me; it really helps me to improve my english. I'm wondering why you suggested writing "said" instead of "answered"/"replied"/... Doesn't that get boring after like 10 times?

@ostarella:
What does indenting mean?

Thanks again, have a great day :)

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ostarella
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Re: Direct Speech

Postby ostarella » Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:17 am

[quote="Tatzme"]
@ostarella:
What does indenting mean?[/quote]

It's just starting a sentence or paragraph further from the margin than the rest.

At margin.

----- Indented.

At margin.

The site won't let me just indent to give you an example, so just pretend the ----- doesn't show up :roll:

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wdarcy
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Re: Direct Speech

Postby wdarcy » Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:23 am

Tatzme, "said" is an 'invisible" word. It almost doesn't register on the reader, so it does not get boring. But "replied," "answered," etc. are all too visible, and they stand out. In any case, the prevailing wisdom among writers these days is to use "said" almost always, even when a question is involved. If possible though, use a beat instead of a dialogue tag--in other words, "she nodded," "she smiled," etc. That shows who's talking, but avoids the tag.

--Warren
"Wagner's 'Das Rheingold'" (Oxford 1993). Winner of the Society for Music Theory's Wallace Berry Award, 1995.

"Elements of Sonata Theory" co-authored with James Hepokoski(Oxford 2006). Winner of the Society for Music Theory's Wallace Berry Award, 2008.

plughmann
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Re: Direct Speech

Postby plughmann » Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:14 am

[quote="wdarcy"]Tatzme, "said" is an 'invisible" word. It almost doesn't register on the reader, so it does not get boring. But "replied," "answered," etc. are all too visible, and they stand out. In any case, the prevailing wisdom among writers these days is to use "said" almost always, even when a question is involved. If possible though, use a beat instead of a dialogue tag--in other words, "she nodded," "she smiled," etc. That shows who's talking, but avoids the tag.

--Warren[/quote]


Agree somewhat. I find a lot of 'saids' to be annoying.

Good idea about using a beat to break things up and not use 'said'.

Tatzme
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Re: Direct Speech

Postby Tatzme » Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:32 am

@ostarella:
Oh yeah, thank you again :D I get it now.

@wdarcy:
I agree somewhat, just as plughman, but in some books, I get quite annoyed after twenty pages filled with 200 "said"s. I'll try to strike a balance (:
The part you wrote about avoiding tags is very useful. I'll definitely try that

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wdarcy
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Re: Direct Speech

Postby wdarcy » Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:04 pm

Tatzme: The point is to use dialogue tags as sparingly as possible. But when you do use them, you should almost always use "said." But you should only have to write that 2 or 3 times on a page, if that.

I admit that sometimes I vary it with "he asked," "he replied," etc. But nothing annoys me more than an author who uses as many different dialogue tags as possible: "he expostulated," "he remarked," everything you can think of. Or my favorite:

"I love you!" he ejaculated. :D :D :D

So yes, use beats as often as possible, keep dialogue tags to a minimum, but when you do write them, "said" should be your default.

--Warren
"Wagner's 'Das Rheingold'" (Oxford 1993). Winner of the Society for Music Theory's Wallace Berry Award, 1995.

"Elements of Sonata Theory" co-authored with James Hepokoski(Oxford 2006). Winner of the Society for Music Theory's Wallace Berry Award, 2008.

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ostarella
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Re: Direct Speech

Postby ostarella » Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:25 pm

Yes, if possible use said if you need a tag. I once beta'd for a writer who insisted that "said" was annoying and she used everything but - and I had to quit because I literally ended up laughing more than I was reading. Talk about distracting!

JMO, but I have found that writers who use something other than said do so because they haven't learned how to set up the context of how the character is speaking (that's being charitable, actually - I honestly think many are just being lazy). There are instances where, even within context, you MAY need to add an adverb - is the character speaking angrily or sarcastically, for example. But those are rare.

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wdarcy
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Re: Direct Speech

Postby wdarcy » Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:21 pm

Yes, avoid those adverbs in dialogue tags, or you'll create "Swifties" (named after the series of boys' books about Tom Swift, which are replete with them). "I feel warm," she said heatedly. "Come on, let's go faster!" he said quickly. That sort of thing.

Something I learned from Steven James: In writing dialogue tags, avoid the "ing" and "as" syndrome.

"I don't understand this," he said, scratching his head. Or: "I don't understand this," he said, as he scratched his head.

Instead write this:

He scratched his head. "I don't understand this."

According to Steven, the syndrome is distracting and sophomoric, and it's the default choice of too many writers.

--Warren
"Wagner's 'Das Rheingold'" (Oxford 1993). Winner of the Society for Music Theory's Wallace Berry Award, 1995.

"Elements of Sonata Theory" co-authored with James Hepokoski(Oxford 2006). Winner of the Society for Music Theory's Wallace Berry Award, 2008.

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ostarella
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Re: Direct Speech

Postby ostarella » Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:07 pm

I admit I find myself doing the "ing" thing more frequently than I should. :? But a lot of times, adding any "motion" like "scratching his head" is unnecessary. Not always, of course, but one can find themselves going down another pot-holed road by describing every little action, like narrating a movie for a blind person. There comes a point where one has to let go of the "control button" and let the reader take over.

That's one of the pitfalls of writing - learning how much is enough and how much is too much. :(

T.A.Rodgers
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Re: Direct Speech

Postby T.A.Rodgers » Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:25 pm

I think if you tell a fantastic story that people can't put down, many of the so called over done crutches no longer matter.

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