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Old 10-08-2008, 02:44 AM   #7176
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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.
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Old 10-08-2008, 02:59 AM   #7177
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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.
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Old 10-08-2008, 06:34 AM   #7178
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Smile Title of a Story-Thank you

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Old 10-08-2008, 04:21 PM   #7179
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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.
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Old 10-09-2008, 04:12 AM   #7180
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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.

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Old 10-09-2008, 04:19 AM   #7181
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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.
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Old 10-09-2008, 04:39 AM   #7182
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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.
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Old 10-09-2008, 06:39 PM   #7183
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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.
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Old 10-09-2008, 08:13 PM   #7184
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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.

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Old 10-09-2008, 08:32 PM   #7185
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Old 10-09-2008, 09:04 PM   #7186
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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.
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Old 10-09-2008, 09:39 PM   #7187
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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?"
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Old 10-09-2008, 09:58 PM   #7188
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Old 10-09-2008, 11:02 PM   #7189
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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.
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Old 10-10-2008, 03:34 AM   #7190
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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.
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Old 10-10-2008, 05:02 AM   #7191
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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.
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Old 10-10-2008, 10:37 AM   #7192
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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.
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Old 10-10-2008, 07:02 PM   #7193
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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.
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Old 10-10-2008, 08:33 PM   #7194
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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.
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Old 10-10-2008, 09:36 PM   #7195
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PAY for a beta?

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Old 10-10-2008, 10:09 PM   #7196
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Cool

I guess I was mis-informed! Thank you!
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Old 10-10-2008, 10:40 PM   #7197
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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!

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Old 10-11-2008, 06:49 AM   #7198
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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.
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Old 10-11-2008, 09:47 AM   #7199
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Yeshanu is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsYeshanu is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsYeshanu is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsYeshanu is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsYeshanu is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsYeshanu is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsYeshanu is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsYeshanu is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsYeshanu is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsYeshanu is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsYeshanu is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
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.
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Old 10-11-2008, 08:20 PM   #7200
smsarber
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smsarber is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentssmsarber is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentssmsarber is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentssmsarber is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentssmsarber is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentssmsarber is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentssmsarber is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentssmsarber is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentssmsarber is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentssmsarber is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentssmsarber is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
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.
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