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#21 corvette1710

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:11 PM

Ok well this was a question I had when I was working on my next match. Well first here's a random example of writing to show you what I'm not sure of writing concerned. This example isn't a part of my next match in case you were wondering. I just came up with it randomly.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
"That book we read was weird," said Fred.


"I agree," said Bob. "I hated the book. In fact, it was the worst book I've ever read."


"I totally agree," said Fred.
---------------------------------------------------------------------

Anyway, is there anything I did wrong concerning quoting and anything else? For example, is it okay to have two sentences in one quote?

Bolding the parts that are incorrect.

Yes, there can be two sentences in one quote.

I also think you used the word "agree" too much in that short section(?) of writing, but this may just be a matter of writing style.

EDIT: It's hard to tell what's bolded with punctuation, give me a moment to further edit and point out the errors.

#22 tomisntblue

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:15 PM

I also think you used the word "agree" too much in that short section(?) of writing, but this may just be a matter of writing style.


It could also, in a larger piece, be simple characterization.

#23 corvette1710

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:17 PM

^That.

#24 Dinsdale Piranha

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 11:00 PM

Ok well this was a question I had when I was working on my next match. Well first here's a random example of writing to show you what I'm not sure of writing concerned. This example isn't a part of my next match in case you were wondering data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAABQAAAAUCAMAAAC6V+0/AAAABGdBTUEAANbY1E9YMgAAAh9QTFRFV0AI////V0AIV0AIV0AIV0AIV0AIV0AIV0AIV0AIV0AIV0AIV0AIV0AIV0AIV0AIV0AIV0AIV0AIV0AIV0AIV0AIV0AIV0AIV0AIV0AIV0AIV0AIV0AIV0AIV0AIW0IIV0AIW0IIW0QJW0IIV0AIV0AIV0AIQzQQa0oJbEwJbVELbk4Kb0wJb1QMcVILc1cMlF8Ll2oNmXEQnn8Vo2gLpGgLpGoMpW8NpXEOp3YQq4MUrH0Rro0Xr4QUsI4XsZAYuXQNwIkSwI0VyIAOyocQyqcdy4QQzosS1Kod1rIf3ZMS3ZUT3a8c3o4Q3rcf4ZER5JUR5ZYS5ZgS5aIW55wT554U6KkZ6qQV6qUW6qYW6qcX66gW7Lsf7a0X7a0Y7a8Z7bEb7rAY7rEY7rMa7rMb77EY77Ma77QZ77cd77oc8bgb8bkb8bob8b4f8cUh8skh87wb870c874d88If88kk89Im9Mwl9cMd9cch9sUe9sYf9scf9sgg9skh9swi9swk98kf98og988k99Mm+c8h+dMk+dYm+9Mi+9Uj+9Yk+9cl+9gl+9kn+9on+9oo+9op+9so/NUj/Ncl/Ngl/Non/Nso/N0o/N0p/dol/d0n/eAp/eEp/twm/t0k/t4l/uAn/uIq/uMp/uMq/uQq/wIA/21n/98m/+Am/+An/+En/+Eo/+Io/+Ip/+Mo/+Mp/+Mq/+Qp/+Qq/+Qr/+Uq/+UrZYWE0gAAACd0Uk5TAAABCQoLHCYnMDY4OjuCg4WHiImKm56fx8jJys3P1Ofp6enq7/DyAdnyKAAAAUJJREFUGNNjYMQCGBgZgICZi09CRUWCj4sZxIMIsgnr2niWlXhYaQmzQQWZOOWMS/unT+trq48xkuNkAguyK7n2z168ZdOiWT1NuU7y7CBBVjH7CQvU1dU3A3FPXYalKAtQkEe/eZb65s0bN27csEa9tThMmxsoKGTXuxAksm7durXzuyoSLASAgjJ+U9eDRVavXr1qcm2KuyRQUCV/yhqwyOqVK1dMqkn2VgAKquZ1q6uDRFauWD5PXT3eCyQo69M6c4U6FLQURblJAwVFbGs75yxbrr506VL19qr0UDNBoCCvXmZjx4y56kuWLFFvyI701+EBOV7cOqe6pX2i+hL1yqzoQFMxVpA3OZQd0wrLKyvVC1LDAx0U2WEBYhgcl5QYGxHiawALEFDQaZq7BAU4m2jAgw4cyPxSampS/PBAxgIAZN1ka/x53bAAAAAASUVORK5CYII= . I just came up with it randomly.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
"That book we read was weird," said Fred.


This is fine, except you need to end the clause inside the quotes with some punctuation. A comma is the most common and is usually the best, but an exclamation point or a question mark can also be used, depending on the content of the sentence.

"I agree," said Bob. "I hated the book. In fact, it was the worse book I ever read."


"I totally agree," said Fred.


I added appropriate punctuation in red. The quotes are fine, but you don't want to leave the quoted section without ending punctuation.

Anyway, is there anything I did wrong concerning quoting and anything else? For example, is it okay to have two sentences in one quote?


You can have as many sentences as you want inside the same quotes. The only place it gets weird is when you have someone speaking uninterrupted over the course of several paragraphs.

"I don't know," Joe said. "It seems to be that we should realign the deflector dish to project a tachyon pulse into the Horsehead Nebula. If that doesn't work, we may have to jostle the oscillation overthruster and boost the flux capacitor to a million percent efficiency.

"It's a shame the ship isn't dimensionally transcendent. I'd love to have the space to store all the Yoyodyne surplus parts we'll ever need. Now, if only I could remember where I put my sonic screwdriver."

--------------------------------------------

The fact that I left the closing quotes off the first paragraph isn't an accident. As long as the same speaker is talking, each new paragraph has opening quotes but only the last one will have closing quotes.

#25 potterpuppetpals

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 01:16 PM

I'm pretty sure some characters less acquainted with Jedi like Gungans and Hutts refer to them as 'Jedis' but yes, I am sure it's 'Jedi' no matter what the context.

#26 Incredible Hulk

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 04:47 PM

thanks for the help guys and I have another question if you don't mind.

---------------------------------
"How was your food?" asked Bob.
------------------------------------------------

When you have a question in quotes like above do you put the question mark in the quotes right?

#27 corvette1710

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 04:52 PM

Yes.

#28 corvette1710

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 01:48 AM

3) "Never use a verb other than 'said' to carry dialog." As an writer you want to stay out of the story as much as possible. Much more than verbs like "grumbled" "exclaimed" "lied" or whatever else you can think of, "said" tends to vanish and keep attention on the characters, not the writer.

This annoyed me a lot in Suzanne Collins' Gregor series. She literally used almost no other word than said, for most of the book; seeing the same word about fifty times per page gets annoying... to me. I don't know about you. :mellow:

#29 sirmethos

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 04:33 PM

Be descriptive.

"Gambit sat down on the couch."

"Gambit dropped himself on the couch in a boneless sprawl."


To use the phrasing that I've seen people around here use a lot. "Show, don't tell."

#30 tomisntblue

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 05:08 AM

This annoyed me a lot in Suzanne Collins' Gregor series. She literally used almost no other word than said, for most of the book; seeing the same word about fifty times per page gets annoying... to me. I don't know about you. data:image/png;base64,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


That's fair. But I think what a lot of writers don't realize is you don't need to put "___ said" or any alternate word for said after every piece of dialogue, especially if there's only two characters talking, good writing will make it obvious who says what after just a few "saids". So I think sticking strictly to using "said" can help early writers to learn when you can just let dialogue speak for itself.

#31 Dinsdale Piranha

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 04:55 PM

thanks for the help guys and I have another question if you don't mind.

---------------------------------
"How was your food?" asked Bob.
------------------------------------------------

When you have a question in quotes like above do you put the question mark in the quotes right?


Right!

The interesting thing about that is that dialogue allows you to put a punctuation mark in the middle of a sentence.

"I'm going down the street," said Tom.

That's all one sentence, so the section in the quotes normally ends in a comma. The sentence isn't over till you see the period. If you make this emphatic, things change a little.

"I'm going down the street!" said Tom.

An exclamation point normally ends a sentence, but in dialogue it becomes an intermediate form of punctuation, like a comma or a semi-colon. The exclamation point comes inside the quotes because it's part of the dialogue, but the sentence still doesn't end until the period.

"Am I going down the street?" said Tom.

This works exactly the same for a question mark as for an exclamation point. The question mark is part of the dialogue, so it's inside the quotes. Placing it outside (a common mistake) tries to make the whole sentence a question, when only the dialogue is a question.

"Am I going down the street," Tom said?

That's wrong. There is no question about whether Tom is saying something. The ? has to go inside the quotes to make sense.

The other thing to remember is that periods play by a different set of rules. Except for a few special cases, the period means the end of the sentence, period. For example, it would be wrong to say:

"I am going down the street." Tom said.

By using two periods you make this into two sentences; or actually one sentence and a sentence fragment.

So the best way to go, as a rule, is comma or exclamation point or question mark in quotes, followed by the speech tag, and then the period.

#32 Dinsdale Piranha

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 03:07 PM

SHIFTING TENSES

 

Some of you may have gotten this comment (DSkillz and I are the main commenters on this.) There are a number of tenses in English, the basic three being past, present and future. There are more but it gets a little complicated and obscure so I'm sticking with these for now.

 

Nobody writes in the future tense (well... almost nobody) and we can pretty much ignore that one for now.

 

Some people like to write in the present tense. Technically there isn't anything wrong with this, but readers and editors don't tend to like it as well as past tense. The present tense can convey a sense of immediacy, making it seem like you're seeing things as they happen, but it also emotionally distances you from the action. Here's a scene written in the present tense. It's the verbs that determine what tense something is in so I'm putting all the present tense verbs in red to illustrate.

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Batman looks up and sees Deadshot on the roof, three stories above him. The assassin is pointing a powerful-looking sniper rifle at him. Reacting instantly, Batman ducks behind a brick chimney. Deadshot fires two shots but they come a split second too late; one digs a hole in the roof where Batman had been standing and the other ricochets off the chimney.

 

Batman realizes that he can't let himself be trapped like this. He tosses out several smoke bombs onto the roof. Deadshot fires a volley of shots into the smoke using a pattern designed to hit someone no matter where they are. He waits several moments as the smoke clears and is surprised to see that there is no sign of Batman.

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

That may feel a little stilted because present tense isn't what we're used to reading, but it's correct. A more common way of doing this would be to write it in the past tense, like this (past tense verbs are in blue):

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

Batman looked up and saw Deadshot on the roof, three stories above him. The assassin was pointing a powerful-looking sniper rifle at him. Reacting instantly, Batman ducked behind a brick chimney. Deadshot fired two shots but they came a split second too late; one dug a hole in the roof where Batman had been standing and the other ricocheted off the chimney.

 

Batman realized that he couldn't let himself be trapped like this. He tossed out several smoke bombs onto the roof. Deadshot fired a volley of shots into the smoke using a pattern designed to hit someone no matter where they are. He waited several moments as the smoke clears and was surprised to see that there was no sign of Batman.

 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
That's very comfortable to read and it's not going to raise an editor's hackles if you submit it for publication. This last example is something that happens a lot with beginning writers. The tenses get mixed and you have something that is the literary equivalent of driving on a road with a lot of bad potholes. An editor, on seeing this, will set the story on fire and mail it back to you, still flaming.
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

Batman looked up and sees Deadshot on the roof, three stories above him. The assassin is pointing a powerful-looking sniper rifle at him. Reacting instantly, Batman ducks behind a brick chimney. Deadshot fired two shots but they come a split second too late; one digs a hole in the roof where Batman had been standing and the other ricocheted off the chimney.

 

Batman realizes that he couldn't let himself be trapped like this. He tosses out several smoke bombs onto the roof. Deadshot fires a volley of shots into the smoke using a pattern designed to hit someone no matter where they are. He waited several moments as the smoke clears and was surprised to see that there is no sign of Batman.



#33 DSkillz

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 05:00 PM

Topic pinned. I may add something more here in a bit.



#34 treacherous

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 06:17 PM

Go back to 2007 and ask the FPL.

#35 Dinsdale Piranha

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 12:03 PM


Ok well this was a question I had when I was working on my next match. Well first here's a random example of writing to show you what I'm not sure of writing concerned. This example isn't a part of my next match in case you were wondering . I just came up with it randomly.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
"That book we read was weird" said Fred.


"I agree" said Bob. "I hated the book. In fact, it was the worse book I ever read."


"I totally agree" said Fred
---------------------------------------------------------------------

Anyway, is there anything I did wrong concerning quoting and anything else? For example, is it okay to have two sentences in one quote?

 

It's pretty good but there's one correction to make. The statements in quotes need ending punctuation. This is usually a comma. It can be an exclamation point or a question mark, depending on the context.

 

-----------------------------------------
"That book we read was weird," said Fred.


"I agree," said Bob. "I hated the book. In fact, it was the worse book I ever read."

 

Your last line is interesting because it shows where a period can and cannot be used in quotes. You can't use a period after "I agree" because that sentence doesn't end there. The period can only come after the speech tag because that's what ends the sentence. This is different in the second block of dialogue, "I hated the book. In fact, it was the worse book I ever read." That block doesn't need a speech tag because you've already established who the speaker is. There's no problem with using a period here.

 

And there's not a problem with having several sentences enclosed in the same quotes.



#36 Dinsdale Piranha

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 07:03 PM

I would change "worse" to "worst" though.

 

If when you're comparing two, and only two things, you use the comparative form of an adjective. If you have two cars, one is faster; if you have two weight lifters, one is stronger, if you have two Stephanie Meyer novels, one is worse.

 

For any number greater than two, you want the superlative form. In a three car race one is the fastest; in a weightlifting championship with 20 contestants, the winner is the strongest; in an evaluation of all the books in a library, Twilight is the worst!



#37 Dinsdale Piranha

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 07:36 PM

Something that I see a lot is thew confusion of "lie" and "lay."

 

"Lie" is when you recline your body on something.

 

"I am going to lie down" is always right. "I am going to lay down" is always wrong.

 

"Lay" is when you place one object on another object. "You can lay the book on the desk."

 

Where it get's really messy is the past tense. The past form of "lay" is "laid" but the past tense of "lie" is lay."

 

So, "I lay down," is right but "I laid down" is wrong.

 

"You can lie down on the couch," she said. I decided that was a good idea and lay down.

 

"You can lay your book on the table," she said. I decided it was a good idea and laid the book down.






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