Login

Lost Password?

Create New Account

Building A Better Story

Goto page Previous  1, 2

View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Sirannon



Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 67
Location: Denmark

PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lossefalme01 wrote:
Quote:
*Watch out for redundant phrases, such as 'climbing up' or 'falling down'. What other direction are you going to climb or fall in? Other offenses are: blue in color, circle around, reason why, never before, young baby, spin around, raining outside, past history, future plan, strangle to death, gather together, etc. The Dicionary for Concise Writing and The Dimwit's Dictionary are good places to find lists of these redundant phrases.


Ah ha! This reminds of something sort of related that I forgot to mention, and that's using the same words to describe things all the time, or at least within a close space of writing. For instance, if two characters are talking to each other, you don't want to write: "Yes, I think you might be right," Gimli replied. And then right after that write: "And we must be careful," Legolas replied. And use the same word right together! Even if the two "replied"s were seperated by a few sentences or even two paragraphs, that's close enough together for the reader to remember the first one, and when they get to the second one it will sound repetitive. This is something to keep in mind not only for dialogue tags but for other semi-descriptive phrases as well, and of course all the things Andreth mentioned above! I fully agree that you should build a BROAD vocabulary and then use it to your advantage to put your readers INTO the world of your fic.


Though keep in mind that certain words like "said" are more or less invisible to the reader, so they can be used a bit more liberaly, than one would otherwise be inclined to. Of course this is always a matter of judgement and not divine commandments, which is why it's hard to perfect.

_________________
"All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom." - Albert Einstein
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Viv
Challenge Admin


Joined: 24 Apr 2003
Posts: 72
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Said ceases to be invisible if it is used in every paragraph. Dialogue tags are better than reader confusion but can be really repetitive and unnecessary. Read it all aloud. You'll notice if you have to many saids.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
ZeeDrippyVessel



Joined: 11 May 2003
Posts: 138
Location: deep south

PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As has been said:

1) Read it outloud. For the previous mentioned reasons as well as word flow. If your tongue stumbles over it, a reader's mind will as well.

2) DO NOT repeat your verbs! If you've used this word once in this chapter, find your thesaurus. It is your friend.

3) Had. IF you can take the word 'had' out of the sentence and it still makes sense... For GOd's sake, take it out!

4) There is nothing that ticks me off more than

".....," he said
".....?" she asked
".....!!!" he exclaimed/yelled/shouted.

Why? Because you told us he/she said it, asked it, exclaimed/yelled/shouted it in the punctuation. Rather than repeat yourself, tell us what they were doing. Playing with their hair, inspecting the calloused pads of their fingertips, were their hands clenched at their sides, the knuckles white with frustration, hissing through gritted teeth...Build that character!

I'm sure there's more so-called wisdom I could impart (not really) but I can't remember it off the top of my head...

_________________
Zee
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger
Robbie
Site Admin


Joined: 22 Jun 2003
Posts: 1098
Location: Sydney, Australia.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't write fanfic, but a good tip of writing that "3) Had. IF you can take the word 'had' out of the sentence and it still makes sense... For GOd's sake, take it out!" is to do the same with "got" and "get". I was first told that tip - in 1979. Remember it well as there was a competition at school to write as many alternative words as possible. I won - we owned a thesaurus at home.

"He got a medal" -> "he received a medal", earned, won, stole, coerced, picked up... the thesaurus contained 90+ words; probably more now.

_________________
Rob
www.crackingegg.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
eiranae
Quiz Admin


Joined: 21 Mar 2006
Posts: 291
Location: Just to the left of barmy.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robbie wrote:
I don't write fanfic, but a good tip of writing that "3) Had. IF you can take the word 'had' out of the sentence and it still makes sense... For GOd's sake, take it out!" is to do the same with "got" and "get". I was first told that tip - in 1979. Remember it well as there was a competition at school to write as many alternative words as possible. I won - we owned a thesaurus at home.

"He got a medal" -> "he received a medal", earned, won, stole, coerced, picked up... the thesaurus contained 90+ words; probably more now.


Don't forget the word very. I love the Mark Twain quote about that word, "Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very'; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be."

After grading tons of freshman comp papers, I could stand to remove that word from the English language.

_________________
'I wish life was not so short,' he thought. 'Languages take such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about.'
J R R Tolkien, The Lost Road
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sulriel



Joined: 06 Jan 2004
Posts: 286
Location: Imladris (or maybe Texas ...)

PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eiranae wrote:


Don't forget the word very. I love the Mark Twain quote about that word, "Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very'; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be."


Love this!! Twisted Evil Twisted Evil

_________________
"May it be a light to you in dark places."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page Previous  1, 2
Page 2 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum