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Lobby 2. Welcome Main Community Discussion Board topic #90781
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Subject: "RE: Ten fun writing fiction rules" Previous topic | Next topic
Mesg #90824 "RE: Ten fun writing fiction rules"
Author RavenCorbie     Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to send message via AOL IM
Author Info Member since Oct 17th 2005
7824 posts
Date Wed May-09-12 12:42 AM
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In response to In response to 5

Hmmm...

One of these caught my notice: snarled.

Why? Because in the last Dresden Files book I read, I remember thinking, "Gosh, why does he have to <i>snarl</i> everything?"

Which means that I agree . . . it did take me out of the story, but only because that one word was used SO frequently. I actually didn't notice all the snarling until it really became obsessive. To be honest, I also notice all other words that an author repeats over and over again. I know I do it with "manage to" -- my characters are ALWAYS managing to do something, sometimes multiple times per page. It's not a Verb-of-Speaking (to riff off a common Russian issue with Verbs-of-Motion), but still a problem.

I think the key is here, though (from the article you linked to):

"You can use said bookisms once in a while. Think of them as those little silver candies you use for decorating cookies. If you put dozens of them on one cookie, the cookie looks silly and is hard to eat. Like the silver candies, use these phrases carefully and use them only on special occasions. Characters can occasionally shout or murmur something."

I think this is what Erin and I are saying. We agree that there's a problem if they're overused; we don't agree that they should NEVER be used. It's a problem if you're just trying to be "cute" or artsy and use synonyms because you think "said" is boring. But sometimes, the synonym brings in the POV flavor or a specific nuance that you really can't get from the words. This is especially true when the MANNER of speaking is opposite or different from the direct meaning of the words. And that is an excellent way of portraying subtext, and a subtle form of conflict.

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Ten fun writing fiction rules [View all] , Weird Jim, Sat May-05-12 01:25 PM
  RE: Ten fun writing fiction rules, Chaos, May 07th 2012, #1
RE: Ten fun writing fiction rules, Weird Jim, May 07th 2012, #2
RE: Ten fun writing fiction rules, Erin_M_H, May 07th 2012, #3
      RE: Ten fun writing fiction rules, RavenCorbie, May 07th 2012, #4
      RE: Ten fun writing fiction rules, Weird Jim, May 08th 2012, #5
      RE: Ten fun writing fiction rules, Erin_M_H, May 08th 2012, #6
      RE: Ten fun writing fiction rules, RavenCorbie, May 09th 2012 #9
      RE: Ten fun writing fiction rules, bonniers, May 08th 2012, #7
           RE: Ten fun writing fiction rules, Erin_M_H, May 08th 2012, #8
RE: Ten fun writing fiction rules, CatrinP, May 09th 2012, #10
RE: Ten fun writing fiction rules, Weird Jim, May 11th 2012, #11
Hissing, RavenCorbie, May 11th 2012, #12
      RE: Hissing, MarFisk, May 14th 2012, #14
RE: Ten fun writing fiction rules, godpantsminus, May 12th 2012, #13
RE: Ten fun writing fiction rules, mpv.muthu, Aug 11th 2012, #15
RE: Ten fun writing fiction rules, Laevus, Aug 13th 2012, #16
      RE: Ten fun writing fiction rules, Weird Jim, Aug 13th 2012, #17
           RE: Ten fun writing fiction rules, Laevus, Aug 13th 2012, #18

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