Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

Thread: Learn Writing with Uncle Jim, Volume 1

  1. #7176
    Whore for genre HConn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Inside a cursed painting
    Posts
    814
    Quote Originally Posted by Calliopenjo View Post
    Hi there everyone,

    The one thing I hate is thinking of a title for a story. Is there a magic formula, system, method, etc. for thinking of a title? I'm stuck to be honest and my working title is not too attractive, based on accumulated comments.

    Help?
    If you can't find a title within the story itself, you can always go to one of the sites that host searchable copies of Shakespeare's plays. Search his plays for any occurrence of a word that is prominent in your book. If that doesn't help, try Yeats or T.S. Elliot.

    Good luck.
    Look for CHILD OF FIRE from Del Rey! Read a sample chapter. Hey! it's been named to Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2009 list!

    Book 2 in the Twenty Palaces series: GAME OF CAGES. or check out these sample chapters.

  2. #7177
    Sheriff Bullwinkle the Poet says: RJK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Lewiston, NY
    Posts
    3,417
    Another good source for titles is bible passages This site has a search function. It will find the every passage that contains the keyword you enter.

  3. #7178
    Esteemed thinker Calliopenjo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    In a townhouse over looking the tumble weed fields.
    Posts
    858

    Smile Title of a Story-Thank you

    Thank you for your help. I would have never imagined Shakespeare reaching beyond the grave to lend his hand.

    Wounded I sing, tormented I indite. Victor Herbert (1859-1924)

  4. #7179
    Grateful for the day cooeedownunder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    14,701

    Time capsule

    I can't wait to get to the end of this thread. So I thought I would post, if not for any other reason, than to let Jim know I’m totally enthralled by this thread. I can’t help wondering if he’s at the other end, where ever it ends. I thought about cheating, and just jumping to the end, but that would ruin the journey.

    This thread in itself could make a great story. Am I learning? Well, yeah. I’ve managed to rewrite my first chapter, taking into account plot, theme, characters, pace and well, I can’t keep up with all the things I need to do.

    I’m sitting here in 2004, and have spent the past month getting to page 60. Maybe by the time I’m well, gosh, how long does it take to get to the end of all these posts, I will get to see this post, and I guess by then, I will have another year of reading to do to get to the end. There is a great deal of suggestions, thoughts, and information that I am sure that those who started reading this prior, would have learnt a hell of a lot by the time they get to the end.

    My challenge is to get those two hours of writing in a day in between getting to the end of this thread.
    Last edited by cooeedownunder; 10-09-2008 at 02:43 PM.
    SR

    Help raise awareness for my missing sister, Tracey, by joining her facebook page - A Missing Person

    FACEBOOK Blog Goodreads
    ------------------------------------

    A Woman Transported Kindle

    Unforgivable Kindle

  5. #7180
    Esteemed thinker Calliopenjo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    In a townhouse over looking the tumble weed fields.
    Posts
    858

    Red face Stilted Dialog

    Hi Uncle Jim,

    I get told this a lot "Your dialog is stilted." I finally looked it up and the translation to that is stiff. But if the dialog is supposed to be stiff or stilted (which I'm assuming is the new age lingo) do I change it anyway?

    The dialog is supposed to be very formal. Cannot instead of can't, I am instead I'm and so on. Am I nitpicking by ignoring this and thinking that whoever it is just doesn't understand?

    I don't mean to sound rude, crude, obnoxious, or a know-it-all, but I need to know.


    Wounded I sing, tormented I indite. Victor Herbert (1859-1924)

  6. #7181
    Good thing I like my day job geardrops's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    2,962
    Quote Originally Posted by Calliopenjo View Post
    Hi Uncle Jim,

    I get told this a lot "Your dialog is stilted." I finally looked it up and the translation to that is stiff. But if the dialog is supposed to be stiff or stilted (which I'm assuming is the new age lingo) do I change it anyway?

    The dialog is supposed to be very formal. Cannot instead of can't, I am instead I'm and so on. Am I nitpicking by ignoring this and thinking that whoever it is just doesn't understand?

    I don't mean to sound rude, crude, obnoxious, or a know-it-all, but I need to know.

    I'll tackle this again, since I think I'm one of the folk who called your dialogue stilted.

    Formal dialogue is not necessarily stilted. And stilted dialogue is not necessarily formal.

    Even if people speak very formally, avoiding conjunctions, using five-dollar-words when a ninety-nine-cent-word would have sufficed, etc, they still need to sound natural. When I read your dialogue few pages back--and it may have changed since then--the characters seemed less like real people and more like caricatures of the hoity-toity upper crust.

    Best piece of advice I can give for you is to go where people would speak formally and listen. Take notes.
    The Memory Gatherer - Redstone Science Fiction
    The Automatic City - Broken Time Blues
    Death in the Family - Danse Macabre

    my blog - twitter

  7. #7182
    Coming soon to a nightmare near you Requiescat In Pace
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sleep... Those little slices of Death. How I loathe them. ~E.A. Poe
    Posts
    4,855

    Cool

    Also speak it out loud to yourself. If it doesn't sound real to your own ears, it isn't natural. Even the most proper dialogue should sound real. Dialogue functions to give the most accurate insight into your character. When the reader reads your dialogue he/she should be able to imagine themselves as an eavesdropper listening in on the conversation.
    [FONT=Book Antiqua][COLOR=black]~Steven Michael Sarber[/COLOR]:cool:[/FONT]
    [FONT=Book Antiqua] [/FONT]

    [URL="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Steven-Michael-Sarber-Writer/153188004712049?v=wall"]Fan Page[/URL]

    [CENTER][FONT=Book Antiqua]"When we write we begin to taste the textures of our own mind."~Natalie Goldberg[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [CENTER][FONT=Book Antiqua][/FONT] [/CENTER]
    [CENTER][FONT=Book Antiqua]"I'm alone here, with emptiness, eagles and snow, unfriendliness chilling my body, and taunting with pictures of home."~Deep Purple [I]Pictures of Home[/I][/FONT][/CENTER]

  8. #7183
    Naked Futon Guy allenparker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,258
    Quote Originally Posted by smsarber View Post
    Also speak it out loud to yourself.
    Good advice. I also use the "Read" function on my pdf reader. It reads my work horribly, but I get a better feel for how other people read what I write.
    Save the Tatas: This is important. Please forward the link to everyone you know!
    link Breast cancer sucks!
    My Web Space




  9. #7184
    Where did I put me specs? euclid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Paradise?
    Posts
    1,932

    Reading aloud

    Quote Originally Posted by smsarber View Post
    Also speak it out loud to yourself. If it doesn't sound real to your own ears, it isn't natural. Even the most proper dialogue should sound real. Dialogue functions to give the most accurate insight into your character. When the reader reads your dialogue he/she should be able to imagine themselves as an eavesdropper listening in on the conversation.
    You've got to be kidding! The neighbours already think I'm mad, sitting at this desk all day long. If I start talking to myself, they'll send for the men in white coats.

    My web site http://www.jjtoner.net/
    I'm on Twitter @jjtoner_YA



  10. #7185
    Coming soon to a nightmare near you Requiescat In Pace
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sleep... Those little slices of Death. How I loathe them. ~E.A. Poe
    Posts
    4,855

    Cool

    "We all go a little mad sometimes..." Anthony Perkins, "Psycho"
    [FONT=Book Antiqua][COLOR=black]~Steven Michael Sarber[/COLOR]:cool:[/FONT]
    [FONT=Book Antiqua] [/FONT]

    [URL="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Steven-Michael-Sarber-Writer/153188004712049?v=wall"]Fan Page[/URL]

    [CENTER][FONT=Book Antiqua]"When we write we begin to taste the textures of our own mind."~Natalie Goldberg[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [CENTER][FONT=Book Antiqua][/FONT] [/CENTER]
    [CENTER][FONT=Book Antiqua]"I'm alone here, with emptiness, eagles and snow, unfriendliness chilling my body, and taunting with pictures of home."~Deep Purple [I]Pictures of Home[/I][/FONT][/CENTER]

  11. #7186
    Coming soon to a nightmare near you Requiescat In Pace
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sleep... Those little slices of Death. How I loathe them. ~E.A. Poe
    Posts
    4,855

    Cool

    Here's an example that doesn't even have to be read aloud to see the problems. Imagine the characters as seniors at a posh, expensive boarding school:

    April saw it was Mike calling. She took a breath, pushed send, and put the phone to her ear.
    "Hello, Mike."
    "April, I just heard that you are thinking of withdrawing from school. I believe that would be a very bad mistake."
    "But I cannot handle the teasing any longer. I have to leave."
    **
    Okay, pretty terrible. But let's see if I can make it more convincing:

    April looked at her phone. It was Mike, calling, no doubt, to convince her to stay. She pushed send and put the phone to her ear.
    "Hi, Mike."
    "Hi, uh, I think we need to talk, April."
    "I'm not going to change my mind."
    "Think about it. If you quit school your parents will kill you! Or at least lock you up for the next year. We've only got four months to go until graduation. Besides, you don't want Piper and Maggie to win, do you?"
    "But they tease me all the time, just cause I'm not as pretty, or as popular."
    "So what? Let them tease. They're just jealous because you have a family that actually cares about you. And you have friends. All they have are sidekicks."
    "Friends like you, Mike?"
    "Yeah, friends like me."
    **

    Maybe not the best dialogue ever written, but instead of stiff it has life. And not because it has more detail, but because it sounds like something teenagers would say.

    That's all the pearly nuggets I have for now.
    [FONT=Book Antiqua][COLOR=black]~Steven Michael Sarber[/COLOR]:cool:[/FONT]
    [FONT=Book Antiqua] [/FONT]

    [URL="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Steven-Michael-Sarber-Writer/153188004712049?v=wall"]Fan Page[/URL]

    [CENTER][FONT=Book Antiqua]"When we write we begin to taste the textures of our own mind."~Natalie Goldberg[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [CENTER][FONT=Book Antiqua][/FONT] [/CENTER]
    [CENTER][FONT=Book Antiqua]"I'm alone here, with emptiness, eagles and snow, unfriendliness chilling my body, and taunting with pictures of home."~Deep Purple [I]Pictures of Home[/I][/FONT][/CENTER]

  12. #7187
    Where did I put me specs? euclid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Paradise?
    Posts
    1,932
    Her 'phone rang. It was Mike. She put the instrument to her ear.
    "April?"
    "Yeah, Mike."
    "What're you doin'?"
    "Packing."
    "You can't leave."
    "I can't take any more, Mike."
    "They're idiots. Just ignore them."
    "That's easy for you to say."
    "You can stick it out to graduation. It's just a few months."
    "No, I can't. I've thought about it and I just can't."
    "But you can't leave."
    "Why not?"
    "Who else laughs at my jokes?"
    Last edited by euclid; 10-09-2008 at 09:15 PM. Reason: typo
    My web site http://www.jjtoner.net/
    I'm on Twitter @jjtoner_YA



  13. #7188
    Coming soon to a nightmare near you Requiescat In Pace
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sleep... Those little slices of Death. How I loathe them. ~E.A. Poe
    Posts
    4,855

    Cool

    Showin' me up, huh? Good job!
    [FONT=Book Antiqua][COLOR=black]~Steven Michael Sarber[/COLOR]:cool:[/FONT]
    [FONT=Book Antiqua] [/FONT]

    [URL="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Steven-Michael-Sarber-Writer/153188004712049?v=wall"]Fan Page[/URL]

    [CENTER][FONT=Book Antiqua]"When we write we begin to taste the textures of our own mind."~Natalie Goldberg[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [CENTER][FONT=Book Antiqua][/FONT] [/CENTER]
    [CENTER][FONT=Book Antiqua]"I'm alone here, with emptiness, eagles and snow, unfriendliness chilling my body, and taunting with pictures of home."~Deep Purple [I]Pictures of Home[/I][/FONT][/CENTER]

  14. #7189
    I create people Telstar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Italy
    Posts
    492
    Quote Originally Posted by euclid View Post
    Her 'phone rang. It was Mike. She put the instrument to her ear.
    "April?"
    "Yeah, Mike."
    "What're you doin'?"
    "Packing."
    "You can't leave."
    "I can't take any more, Mike."
    "They're idiots. Just ignore them."
    "That's easy for you to say."
    "You can stick it out to graduation. It's just a few months."
    "No, I can't. I've thought about it and I just can't."
    "But you can't leave."
    "Why not?"
    "Who else laughs at my jokes?"
    Just add a couple of notations and it would be perfect.
    "Story is life, with the dull part taken out." -A. Hitchcock

    [please note that English is not my first language]

  15. #7190
    AW's Resident Commie bsolah's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    5,380
    Quote Originally Posted by euclid View Post
    Her 'phone rang. It was Mike. She put the instrument to her ear.
    "April?"
    "Yeah, Mike."
    "What're you doin'?"
    "Packing."
    "You can't leave."
    "I can't take any more, Mike."
    "They're idiots. Just ignore them."
    "That's easy for you to say."
    "You can stick it out to graduation. It's just a few months."
    "No, I can't. I've thought about it and I just can't."
    "But you can't leave."
    "Why not?"
    "Who else laughs at my jokes?"
    Sure, it's good dialogue but not for what the purpose we're talking about. You can't distinguish these people as formal speaking yuppies from any old teenager.

  16. #7191
    Coming soon to a nightmare near you Requiescat In Pace
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sleep... Those little slices of Death. How I loathe them. ~E.A. Poe
    Posts
    4,855

    Cool

    That was why I wrote mine the way I did. Of course it wasn't a perfect example, but fitting to serve its purpose.
    [FONT=Book Antiqua][COLOR=black]~Steven Michael Sarber[/COLOR]:cool:[/FONT]
    [FONT=Book Antiqua] [/FONT]

    [URL="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Steven-Michael-Sarber-Writer/153188004712049?v=wall"]Fan Page[/URL]

    [CENTER][FONT=Book Antiqua]"When we write we begin to taste the textures of our own mind."~Natalie Goldberg[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [CENTER][FONT=Book Antiqua][/FONT] [/CENTER]
    [CENTER][FONT=Book Antiqua]"I'm alone here, with emptiness, eagles and snow, unfriendliness chilling my body, and taunting with pictures of home."~Deep Purple [I]Pictures of Home[/I][/FONT][/CENTER]

  17. #7192
    Coming soon to a nightmare near you Requiescat In Pace
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sleep... Those little slices of Death. How I loathe them. ~E.A. Poe
    Posts
    4,855

    Cool

    Hey Uncle Jim, do you remember the book I was working on a year and a half ago, "The Silvertone"? It's set in New Hampshire, and you gave me some tips on it. I'm doing a complete rewrite of it, and was wondering if there is a place I can find out a more accurate depiction of a New England-style dialect. I mean, if it was a book set in Tennessee I might use wording like "Y'all", or "dagummit". Or maybe average American style speach is fitting. I've never been anywhere in New England, so I just don't know.
    [FONT=Book Antiqua][COLOR=black]~Steven Michael Sarber[/COLOR]:cool:[/FONT]
    [FONT=Book Antiqua] [/FONT]

    [URL="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Steven-Michael-Sarber-Writer/153188004712049?v=wall"]Fan Page[/URL]

    [CENTER][FONT=Book Antiqua]"When we write we begin to taste the textures of our own mind."~Natalie Goldberg[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [CENTER][FONT=Book Antiqua][/FONT] [/CENTER]
    [CENTER][FONT=Book Antiqua]"I'm alone here, with emptiness, eagles and snow, unfriendliness chilling my body, and taunting with pictures of home."~Deep Purple [I]Pictures of Home[/I][/FONT][/CENTER]

  18. #7193
    Elf Queen Yeshanu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Up a Tree
    Posts
    6,756
    I'd suggest that you advertise on the boards for a beta reader who comes from New England, and ask that person to comment on the reality of the dialogue. You might also look up a few movies set in New England, and analyze them for dialogue.

  19. #7194
    Coming soon to a nightmare near you Requiescat In Pace
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sleep... Those little slices of Death. How I loathe them. ~E.A. Poe
    Posts
    4,855

    Cool

    Good idea, Yeshanu. I've never considered using a Beta before, mainly because I can't afford to pay someone. But it's something for consideration. I want to write the best fiction I can, I don't want my readers to feel cheated.
    [FONT=Book Antiqua][COLOR=black]~Steven Michael Sarber[/COLOR]:cool:[/FONT]
    [FONT=Book Antiqua] [/FONT]

    [URL="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Steven-Michael-Sarber-Writer/153188004712049?v=wall"]Fan Page[/URL]

    [CENTER][FONT=Book Antiqua]"When we write we begin to taste the textures of our own mind."~Natalie Goldberg[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [CENTER][FONT=Book Antiqua][/FONT] [/CENTER]
    [CENTER][FONT=Book Antiqua]"I'm alone here, with emptiness, eagles and snow, unfriendliness chilling my body, and taunting with pictures of home."~Deep Purple [I]Pictures of Home[/I][/FONT][/CENTER]

  20. #7195
    Elf Queen Yeshanu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Up a Tree
    Posts
    6,756
    PAY for a beta?

    Read the faqs, then post here. This board has everything!
    Last edited by Yeshanu; 10-11-2008 at 08:44 AM. Reason: Fixed link--sorry about the cake, folks. That's mine. :)

  21. #7196
    Coming soon to a nightmare near you Requiescat In Pace
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sleep... Those little slices of Death. How I loathe them. ~E.A. Poe
    Posts
    4,855

    Cool

    I guess I was mis-informed! Thank you!
    [FONT=Book Antiqua][COLOR=black]~Steven Michael Sarber[/COLOR]:cool:[/FONT]
    [FONT=Book Antiqua] [/FONT]

    [URL="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Steven-Michael-Sarber-Writer/153188004712049?v=wall"]Fan Page[/URL]

    [CENTER][FONT=Book Antiqua]"When we write we begin to taste the textures of our own mind."~Natalie Goldberg[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [CENTER][FONT=Book Antiqua][/FONT] [/CENTER]
    [CENTER][FONT=Book Antiqua]"I'm alone here, with emptiness, eagles and snow, unfriendliness chilling my body, and taunting with pictures of home."~Deep Purple [I]Pictures of Home[/I][/FONT][/CENTER]

  22. #7197
    Good thing I like my day job geardrops's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    2,962
    Quote Originally Posted by Yeshanu View Post
    PAY for a beta?

    Read the faqs, then post here. This board has everything!
    Damnit! Why'd you spoil it, Yeshanu? We coulda gotten paid!

    The Memory Gatherer - Redstone Science Fiction
    The Automatic City - Broken Time Blues
    Death in the Family - Danse Macabre

    my blog - twitter

  23. #7198
    Esteemed thinker Calliopenjo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    In a townhouse over looking the tumble weed fields.
    Posts
    858

    Red face Curious question

    Hi guys,

    If I posted something here, not that i haven't done so before, about 2500 words worth would you give me an honest opinion? I went to SYW and posted there and I realize that authors are busy, sorry rambling, anyway, I seem to get only one view point over there. Wanted to know before making myself look like an idiot.

    Wounded I sing, tormented I indite. Victor Herbert (1859-1924)

  24. #7199
    Elf Queen Yeshanu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Up a Tree
    Posts
    6,756
    Sorry about the link, folks. I didn't realized I'd linked to my birthday cake.

    It's fixed now.

    Calliopenjo, have you tried asking for crits in the SYW Starbucks thread? That often gets a few replies.

  25. #7200
    Coming soon to a nightmare near you Requiescat In Pace
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sleep... Those little slices of Death. How I loathe them. ~E.A. Poe
    Posts
    4,855

    Cool

    Thanks again. I should have looked in the Beta forum a long time ago. I have no idea what I was thinking of, but it seems like somewhere, when I first joined these boards, I read of someone paying Beta. So I never thought to look for one.
    [FONT=Book Antiqua][COLOR=black]~Steven Michael Sarber[/COLOR]:cool:[/FONT]
    [FONT=Book Antiqua] [/FONT]

    [URL="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Steven-Michael-Sarber-Writer/153188004712049?v=wall"]Fan Page[/URL]

    [CENTER][FONT=Book Antiqua]"When we write we begin to taste the textures of our own mind."~Natalie Goldberg[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [CENTER][FONT=Book Antiqua][/FONT] [/CENTER]
    [CENTER][FONT=Book Antiqua]"I'm alone here, with emptiness, eagles and snow, unfriendliness chilling my body, and taunting with pictures of home."~Deep Purple [I]Pictures of Home[/I][/FONT][/CENTER]

Page 288 of 398 FirstFirst ... 38188213238263278282283284285286287288289290291292293294298313338363388 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Custom Search