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Thread: Learn Writing with Uncle Jim, Volume 1

  1. #9776
    Part of the Scenery Neversage's Avatar
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    Yes! I just had one of those moments where the words just flow so naturally that it's like you are reading a book that is already written as you write it.

    One of the reasons Never writes is because reality often bores him.

  2. #9777
    Where did I put me specs? euclid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neversage View Post
    Yes! I just had one of those moments where the words just flow so naturally that it's like you are reading a book that is already written as you write it.
    Don't be too surprised - or disappointed - if that same passage finishes up on the cutting room floor!
    My web site http://www.jjtoner.net/
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  3. #9778
    Where did I put me specs? euclid's Avatar
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    Can't remember which book, but I found this in a passage of dialogue:

    "..."

    Any opinions about this sort of thing? I would have said:

    I said nothing or
    I gave no reply or something.
    My web site http://www.jjtoner.net/
    I'm on Twitter @jjtoner_YA



  4. #9779
    Not as sweet as you think Aggy B.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by euclid View Post
    Can't remember which book, but I found this in a passage of dialogue:

    "..."

    Any opinions about this sort of thing? I would have said:

    I said nothing or
    I gave no reply or something.
    I wouldn't have done it like that, but it's possible the author meant it to be an indication of a sigh or something else that was verbal but not a word. I just write it out. "Huu," or "Egh," when my characters make noises but some people are anti-"sound effect".

    Also. It might be a typo. Perhaps something was meant to be inserted there and never got put in. Maybe. *shrugs*
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  5. #9780
    Revisions, revisions, revisions SilverPhoenix's Avatar
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    I guess it was a style thing. It's common in anime/manga/comics. I think I saw it once in a really teen-y book.

    I'm not a fan of sound-effects. Reading 'Egh' would probably make me laugh.

  6. #9781
    Part of the Scenery Neversage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by euclid View Post
    Can't remember which book, but I found this in a passage of dialogue:

    "..."

    Any opinions about this sort of thing? I would have said:

    I said nothing or
    I gave no reply or something.
    I usually just put something like:
    Frank stared at Jim, wanting to speak, but unable to make any words.

    One of the reasons Never writes is because reality often bores him.

  7. #9782
    AW = Procrastination. cscarlet's Avatar
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    I use "..." all the time.

    Though, I also recognize that I use it because I am a highly uneducated writer. Call it part of my word vomit.

    I was taught years ago that "..." can indicate a lengthier pause, or voice trailing off, or when a train of thought is broken by the narrator to switch to something else, or when someone is "cut off" during speaking. I was also told that it should be used when you don't want to take away from the other words on the page. I think maybe my creative writing teacher was on crack. Regardless, I listened too carefully and became hopelessly addicted.

    Now it automatically pops in whenever I write. I know it's bad form, so I usually edit them all out. You will see them a ton though in my first drafts... I just can't seem to help throwing them in

    ETA: I'm anal so I looked it up. For additional information, read ye: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellipsis
    Last edited by cscarlet; 08-14-2009 at 09:12 PM.

  8. #9783
    Aspiring Tree-Killer jinap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by euclid View Post
    Can't remember which book, but I found this in a passage of dialogue:

    "..."

    Any opinions about this sort of thing? I would have said:

    I said nothing or
    I gave no reply or something.
    Maybe it's for comic effect? I've seen this before and it makes me think of the *crickets chirp* where the silence is highlighted for comic effect.

    OFF/NEW TOPIC: I just discovered some stories I wrote in high school and read through them... and they were good. Surprisingly so. In fact, better than some of my more recent writing attempts and I know the reason why: back then I read and wrote a lot more. I'm rusty.

    It's both heartening (hey, I've got the goods!) and disheartening (oh, how I need to get back into writing regularly!) because the difference is really obvious.

    I know most people look back at their old attempts and laugh at how bad they were and see how much they've improved since then, but have you ever experienced the opposite? After being away from writing for a while, do you ever look back and see that your writing then is better than your writing now?

  9. #9784
    Bad grammar make me [sic] mommyjo2's Avatar
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    "..."

    I've seen this a lot in Manga when the character is at a loss for words.
    To write, or not to write, that is the procastination.

    NaNoWriMo: 492/50,000 SIGH

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  10. #9785
    Sheriff Bullwinkle the Poet says: RJK's Avatar
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    I would have interpreted it as a lengthy pause, but agree, there are many ways to express it better.

  11. #9786
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    There may be many ways to express it, but none of them are "wrong" so long as you're consistent and the reader isn't confused.

    As to older writing being better, that's one of the reasons I suggest you age your current effort in a desk drawer for a few months before editing it. You'd be surprised how much leaving it aside for a bit improves the writing.

  12. #9787
    Absolute sagebrush Ken Schneider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mommyjo2 View Post
    "..."

    I've seen this a lot in Manga when the character is at a loss for words.

    Yeah, and some of those quote marks have words in between them, and still don't say anything.
    J.D. Salinger told The New York Times in 1974. "Publishing is a terrible invasion of my privacy. I like to write. I love to write. But I write just for myself and my own pleasure."

  13. #9788
    Where did I put me specs? euclid's Avatar
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    I'm reading FRANCIS CLIFFORD (1917-1975). If you're writing/reading thrillers, I couldn't recommend anyone better. Fantastic. Simple, strong plots, great prose.
    My web site http://www.jjtoner.net/
    I'm on Twitter @jjtoner_YA



  14. #9789
    Where did I put me specs? euclid's Avatar
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    I have some stuff I wrote at age 13 or so. All I can say is:

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



  15. #9790
    Aspiring Tree-Killer jinap's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice Uncle Jim - it's easier for me to just go ahead and keep writing, knowing that I can always come back to polish my work.

    Quote Originally Posted by euclid View Post
    I have some stuff I wrote at age 13 or so. All I can say is:

    "..."
    Don't get me wrong, my old writing is not genius by any means, but it's far better than I thought and doesn't suffer from some of the mistakes I'm making now.

    It's strange: back when I didn't know about POV or other technical aspects of writing, I intuitively stuck to the rules (lots of reading I guess) whereas now that I am older and supposedly wiser, I find myself making simple mistakes that I didn't make back then.

    I clearly have lots of work to do, but I'm actually excited about it.

  16. #9791
    Esteemed thinker Calliopenjo's Avatar
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    Question

    Hi everyone,

    I'm looking for an opinion.

    If you read in a story that a healer's assistant pulled out a black vial, what thoughts would come up?

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

  17. #9792
    Tam, na Koncu Drevoreda Ruth2's Avatar
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    Pulled a black vial out of what?

    Death, sickness, some serious healing mojo, nefarious skullduggery... ink.

  18. #9793
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calliopenjo View Post

    If you read in a story that a healer's assistant pulled out a black vial, what thoughts would come up?

    The thoughts that you, as the author, wanted to come up.

  19. #9794
    Absolute sagebrush Ken Schneider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calliopenjo View Post
    Hi everyone,

    I'm looking for an opinion.

    If you read in a story that a healer's assistant pulled out a black vial, what thoughts would come up?
    Assistant took a glass vial of dark liquid from h/h pocket?

    A black vial would mean that the vial was colored dark to hide what was inside.
    J.D. Salinger told The New York Times in 1974. "Publishing is a terrible invasion of my privacy. I like to write. I love to write. But I write just for myself and my own pleasure."

  20. #9795
    Esteemed thinker Calliopenjo's Avatar
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    Smile

    Thanks guys. I appreciate your opinion.

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

  21. #9796
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Or, it was black because whatever was inside is light-sensitive. Or, it was black because they were all out of red vials at the store that morning. Or, it was black because black vials are a trademark of Frank Black's Soothing Syrup (one for man, two for beast, good for what ails you!) Or, it was black because that's the color-code for 5 dram vials. (10 dram vials are light blue; 15 dram vials are green.) Or, it was black because it was a sample (not for resale).

    Better to ask why it's a vial rather than a phial.

  22. #9797
    Absolute sagebrush Ken Schneider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald View Post
    Better to ask why it's a vial rather than a phial.
    Because we're not Latins or Greeks.
    J.D. Salinger told The New York Times in 1974. "Publishing is a terrible invasion of my privacy. I like to write. I love to write. But I write just for myself and my own pleasure."

  23. #9798
    Esteemed thinker Calliopenjo's Avatar
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    Smile

    I used the black vial as a way to mark the tonic inside as being used for death.

    Tobin took out from the shelf: three green vials of herbs used for infection, four brown vials of herbs used for internal parasites, and one red vial of herbs used for pain. The last one was the Black Vial. The dark container held a tonic to help patients pass from the living to the dead. After placing the vials on a tray, he gathered material to cut.

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

  24. #9799
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    "The Black Vial?" Master Filbin asked.

    "Yes. It seems needful."

    "Waste of perfectly good Fly-spite." The master picked up a pillow and waggled it at his assistant. "If all you want to do is kill the daft bugger, this works just as well. Cheaper and faster, and no awkward explanations if someone sees you carrying it."

  25. #9800
    Esteemed thinker Calliopenjo's Avatar
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    Cool

    That's a good one. Thanks Uncle Jim.

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

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