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sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


Ironic Twist posted:

“it’s”

i will murder u with my mind

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Azza Bamboo
Apr 7, 2018

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2020

On the subject of it's, what's wrong with it's as a shortening of it has?

No one says "it has been a while." I feel like there's an emerging use case for this.

It's been in our speech for some time.

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

Azza Bamboo posted:

On the subject of it's, what's wrong with it's as a shortening of it has?

No one says "it has been a while." I feel like there's an emerging use case for this.

It's been in our speech for some time.
Has anyone said otherwise? This is the first I've heard of anything "wrong" with it or that it's "emerging" usage.

ketchup vs catsup
Nov 30, 2006



Azza Bamboo posted:

On the subject of it's, what's wrong with it's as a shortening of it has?

No one says "it has been a while." I feel like there's an emerging use case for this.

It's been in our speech for some time.

nothing, I use it like that all the time

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


Azza Bamboo posted:

On the subject of it's, what's wrong with it's as a shortening of it has?

No one says "it has been a while." I feel like there's an emerging use case for this.

It's been in our speech for some time.

'it's is only short for it is' is something i say a lot, lol. it's just a concise formulation, it's obv includes 'it has' as well.

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007

JUST POSTING WHILE JERKIN' MY GHERKIN SITTIN' IN A PERKINS!

BEATS SELLING MERKINS.


Fun Shoe

EDIT: this post was a crime

Azza Bamboo
Apr 7, 2018

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2020

You mean going back to pre Elizabethan times when English words could be spellt any way that made the right sound?

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

It's a standard contraction. What are you talking about? (Or was that a response to the deleted post?)

Azza Bamboo
Apr 7, 2018

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2020

The deleted post.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



Also to answer the actual question from the last page, the plural of it is "they". English only has the one plural third-person pronoun (aside from the demonstrative ones like these/those.)

Safety Biscuits
Oct 21, 2010



Ironic Twist posted:

“it’s”

Don't do this to non-native speakers, thanks.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


This thread is a safe space for grammatical dad jokes

Wallet
Jun 19, 2006



Azza Bamboo posted:

On the subject of it's, what's wrong with it's as a shortening of it has?

No one says "it has been a while." I feel like there's an emerging use case for this.

It's been in our speech for some time.

I can't tell if this is a weird joke about people questioning extremely long standing usages or not.

Merriam-Webster posted:

Definition of it's
: it is : it has

DJ Dizzy
Feb 11, 2009

Real men don't use bolters.

Merriam-Webster is liberal propaganda.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh


Safety Biscuits posted:

Don't do this to non-native speakers, thanks.

I apologize.

Kaiser Mazoku
Mar 24, 2011

Didn't you see it!? Couldn't you see my "spirit"!?

Is it normal to feel like you "have" to hit a minimum word limit for each chapter? I feel weird if I haven't passed that 2000 mark.

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

Kaiser Mazoku posted:

Is it normal to feel like you "have" to hit a minimum word limit for each chapter? I feel weird if I haven't passed that 2000 mark.
Just write a big block of text and put chapter divisions every 2,000 words. It worked for Erofeev.

ketchup vs catsup
Nov 30, 2006



Kaiser Mazoku posted:

Is it normal to feel like you "have" to hit a minimum word limit for each chapter? I feel weird if I haven't passed that 2000 mark.

I was at the library over the weekend and thumbed through ~5 james patterson novels. Not a single one had a chapter longer than 4 full pages, ~800-1000 words.

Communist Bear
Oct 7, 2008



Just wanted to say thank you very much for the constructive feedback from the judges in the Thunderdome thread. The feedback was definitely fair and I struggled to fit in what I wanted to write versus having to explain everything within a limit of a thousand words. This was my first time trying this and i'm glad it was taken positively.

REMEMBER SPONGE MONKEYS
Oct 3, 2003

What do you think it means, bitch?


I need to get in on that stuff to help keep my brain from melting any further. Have to figure out how to get a doc from my work computer to my phone app though.

oot
Jun 28, 2019



I got some feedback on a story I'm writing that the third chapter was "jarring" and "hard to follow" because the PoV shifted from the main character to someone else. The reviewer said it should have just kept the PoV on the main character, because they appear in the chapter anyway, but I thought it would be more interesting to have this one through the eyes of his dad and it keeps from revealing some things that were happening to the main character internally that have another whole chapter exploring them later.

I'm a little skeptical of the critique because it seemed like they were saying the very act of switching PoVs was bad, not anything about how I did it. What does everyone here think about it in general? Do you ever find PoV changes to be excessive or disorienting? Is there any way to make them smoother I don't know about?

General Battuta
Feb 7, 2011

This is how you communicate with a fellow intelligence: you hurt it, you keep on hurting it, until you can distinguish the posts from the screams.

Generally readers find POV changes disruptive and confusing (especially early in the book) and you have to make them pay off quick. They feel like they're starting over again just when they got invested in the last POV.

Also if it's not a full length novel with a wordcount >40k or something, you should probably just have a single POV.

Safety Biscuits
Oct 21, 2010



If only one chapter is from a different POV, it is strange. You could make a pattern of deviating from your protagonist, so every third chapter is from the POV of dad or a different character, to alleviate that. Maybe keep them shorter.

On the other hand, I don't see the "pay off" for the reader.

oot
Jun 28, 2019



Safety Biscuits posted:

If only one chapter is from a different POV, it is strange. You could make a pattern of deviating from your protagonist, so every third chapter is from the POV of dad or a different character, to alleviate that. Maybe keep them shorter.

On the other hand, I don't see the "pay off" for the reader.

There is a pattern to it. In the first few chapters almost every POV is different, because I want to show the events leading up to the main conflict from different perspectives to create a sense of dread and context. Then after the conflict is established it mostly sticks to the protagonist's POV with occasional switches when it would benefit the themes, mood or pacing by showing something the protagonist couldn't know.

General Battuta
Feb 7, 2011

This is how you communicate with a fellow intelligence: you hurt it, you keep on hurting it, until you can distinguish the posts from the screams.

There's always 'writing well enough to break the rules' but I think in most cases rapid POV swaps towards the start are untenable and should be avoided. And if it's not a full length novel you should almost never have multiple POVs at all.

flerp
Feb 25, 2014

CAPITALIST PIG
CRAVES ONLY THE BEST POETS
HIS WRATH WILL BE HARSH


oot posted:

There is a pattern to it. In the first few chapters almost every POV is different, because I want to show the events leading up to the main conflict from different perspectives to create a sense of dread and context. Then after the conflict is established it mostly sticks to the protagonist's POV with occasional switches when it would benefit the themes, mood or pacing by showing something the protagonist couldn't know.

why is it that the third chapter is the one getting the ire then? was the third chapter the first time you did the PoV switches? did they have any comments about the other PoV switches?

oot
Jun 28, 2019



flerp posted:

why is it that the third chapter is the one getting the ire then? was the third chapter the first time you did the PoV switches? did they have any comments about the other PoV switches?

Dunno. First three chapters (or first four if you count the prologue) are all from different PoVs.

MockingQuantum
Jan 20, 2012




Gun Saliva

Speaking as a reader, I guess I don't find POV switches disorienting as much as just annoying and gimmicky. I don't know for a fact that there's more books in recent years doing multiple POVs, but I feel like I've read more of them lately and with rare exceptions it tends to just pull me out of the story and remind me that I'm reading a book (which is not inherently a bad thing, except in this case it's clearly not the intent and doesn't benefit the book). Also as others have kind of said, if your reader doesn't relate to one of the POVs, or does relate heavily to the "main" POV, you risk them getting frustrated that the focus is getting repeatedly pulled away from that main character or to a character they don't care about, which (for me) is sometimes enough to just ditch a book and move on to something else.

I can't say it's happened a lot, and it's not as much of an issue in a book that isn't heavily centered around a main character or driven by their role in the story being told, but I think I see it in the same light as a lot of less-traditional storytelling methods that run the risk of being a gimmick: if the story can be told without the gimmick, it's probably worth trying to tell it without it. I could see a situation where you're telling the story from a wide range of perspectives to build dread either feeling very tedious and repetitive, or totally gripping, or anywhere in between.

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010


I can only think of a couple of examples where there is a main POV who isn't the only one around. Ensemble works like GRRM or Turtledove, sure, but far fewer with a main character at all.

And in all of them we start with the main character exclusively for a very long chunk of the book, and just go to the others in short vignettes (American Gods) or at the mid point (Richard Stark's Parker books follow a strict structure; the third of four acts is either from the antagonist point of view or a series of chapters from various other characters.

Thoren
May 28, 2008


oot posted:

I got some feedback on a story I'm writing that the third chapter was "jarring" and "hard to follow" because the PoV shifted from the main character to someone else. The reviewer said it should have just kept the PoV on the main character, because they appear in the chapter anyway, but I thought it would be more interesting to have this one through the eyes of his dad and it keeps from revealing some things that were happening to the main character internally that have another whole chapter exploring them later.

I'm a little skeptical of the critique because it seemed like they were saying the very act of switching PoVs was bad, not anything about how I did it. What does everyone here think about it in general? Do you ever find PoV changes to be excessive or disorienting? Is there any way to make them smoother I don't know about?

I understand that you are trying to pace out the learning curve of your novel, what does the story gain otherwise?

The main issue here is that you have both POV characters in the same physical space/setting. This is difficult to pull off with a straightforward 1st/3rd limited narrator.

You really have to flex your writerly muscles to keep your reader going because that sort of shift will almost always guarantee a break in flow/immersion UNLESS the format has already been established throughout the novel, or is some kind of meta narrative.

This is my own taste, but I find the most reliable way is to appeal to your reader's curiosity immediately. And I mean in the first sentence of the new chapter. There has to be some kind of information that challenges some other memorable notion you presented in the last chapter or two.

It's one of the easiest ways to grease the mental wheels. But definitely not the only one.

magic cactus
Aug 3, 2019

We lied. We are not at war. There is no enemy. This is a rescue operation

I have a question:

I've noticed in my writing that I tend to have a lot of paragraphs like this:

quote:

It was over in minutes. When they had confirmed the old woman no longer had a sign of life they shut off the engine and placed the key face up on the dashboard, taking any photos and mementos, emptying out the ashtray and shattering the mirrors and lights in accordance with the traditions of old. This done, they took a bottle of bleach from the laundry room and poured it into the engine to ensure that the car died with its driver. They took the spare cans of gasoline in the garage and set about dousing the house with it, piling all photographs and reminders into a makeshift pyre in the center of the living room. When they were finished they threw a match into it and watched the house consume itself from a safe distance.
.

Which is the classic telling instead of showing style. My question is, I know these things are first-drafty as all hell and usually come out in editing, but whatever I do, these drat things sneak back in. Is there some way to catch these as they form? (outside of "write more" obviously). For instance this is kind of a load bearing scene in my current draft (the main character is part of an automobile based nomadic cult of sorts and his family are burning down his paternal grandmother's home after she dies because they believe a permanent dwelling place is a kind of sin), but none of this really gets conveyed (outside of the phrase "in accordance with the traditions of old"), and the next scene is the father basically doing an expodump as the house burns.

I guess to clarify, are there some questions that I might ask myself to go "deeper" into a scene? Part of the problem is that I really struggle with characterization. Most of my characters feel "flat" compared to what I have pictured in my head, so as a result I kind of just picture the scene with some vague person going through the motions of the scene in my head which results in these kinds of "paint-by-numbers" scenes in my stories.

ketchup vs catsup
Nov 30, 2006



Take each sentence/clause in that paragraph and make it a distinct series of actions that have feeling. Feeling coming from the emotions the characters experience as they perform those actions.

Have someone hesitate as they place the key, noting that she always liked to keep it around her neck, something like that.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


That's not telling v showing, imo. Reads fine to me, it's a bit formal and cool which suits the events: it's like a procedures manual. As suggested above, you could drop in a bit of errant emotion to spice it up.

magic cactus
Aug 3, 2019

We lied. We are not at war. There is no enemy. This is a rescue operation

sebmojo posted:

That's not telling v showing, imo. Reads fine to me, it's a bit formal and cool which suits the events: it's like a procedures manual. As suggested above, you could drop in a bit of errant emotion to spice it up.

I suppose I chose a poor example from my own work considering this is the one scene where this style actually kind of works, but the emotion thing is a good idea. Thanks for the advice!

Wallet
Jun 19, 2006



magic cactus posted:

I've noticed in my writing that I tend to have a lot of paragraphs like this:
There's nothing inherently wrong with it, but I think there are lots of opportunities to do more showing if you want to. When I'm trying to keep track of this kind of thing I try to think about what questions I'm answering or leaving open based on how abstract/specific my description is.

Obviously I don't know what other context the reader has at this point but for example:

magic cactus posted:

in accordance with the traditions of old.
Is the kind of thing you can carry without outright saying it by expanding on how this tradition is enacted. You already get at this a little bit with them "plac[ing] the key face up on the dashboard," though I'm not sure which side of a car key is the face. Do they have some kind of particular ritual for breaking the mirrors and lights? Is there a particular kind of tool they use? Does each mourner break a single light in some kind of procession or does one person break them all or do they just do it as efficiently as possible? Do they move around the car in any particular order or pattern? Do they leave the shattered lights and mirrors in place or do they lay them on the ground or something? You can ask similar questions about any of the steps, and you can add additional texture with more detail if you want to.

You can also develop your characters by getting into the way they perform these actions. Are they just piling everything in the living room as quickly as they can, like a well-oiled machine that has done this a hundred times before, or are they lingering over the momentos before they stack them gently on a pire? If this is an important moment for a particular character, are they the one who throws the match or do they let someone else do it?

Just my 2¢

Safety Biscuits
Oct 21, 2010



magic cactus posted:

I have a question:

I've noticed in my writing that I tend to have a lot of paragraphs like this:

It was over in minutes. When they had confirmed the old woman no longer had a sign of life they shut off the engine and placed the key face up on the dashboard, taking any photos and mementos, emptying out the ashtray and shattering the mirrors and lights in accordance with the traditions of old. This done, they took a bottle of bleach from the laundry room and poured it into the engine to ensure that the car died with its driver. They took the spare cans of gasoline in the garage and set about dousing the house with it, piling all photographs and reminders into a makeshift pyre in the center of the living room. When they were finished they threw a match into it and watched the house consume itself from a safe distance.

Which is the classic telling instead of showing style. My question is, I know these things are first-drafty as all hell and usually come out in editing, but whatever I do, these drat things sneak back in. Is there some way to catch these as they form? (outside of "write more" obviously). For instance this is kind of a load bearing scene in my current draft (the main character is part of an automobile based nomadic cult of sorts and his family are burning down his paternal grandmother's home after she dies because they believe a permanent dwelling place is a kind of sin), but none of this really gets conveyed (outside of the phrase "in accordance with the traditions of old"), and the next scene is the father basically doing an expodump as the house burns.

I guess to clarify, are there some questions that I might ask myself to go "deeper" into a scene? Part of the problem is that I really struggle with characterization. Most of my characters feel "flat" compared to what I have pictured in my head, so as a result I kind of just picture the scene with some vague person going through the motions of the scene in my head which results in these kinds of "paint-by-numbers" scenes in my stories.

Feeling that your writing is "flat" and "by-numbers" doesn't mean you're showing rather than telling. The only "telling" here is at the start; anyway, it's fine to skip or summarise boring stuff; in another story, "They burned grandma's house to the ground and drove off." might be better.

General advice: cut vague or unnecessary words and making sure the rest are specific and interesting. Of course the bleach is in the laundry room. What are the "reminders" mementos of?

Try imagining exactly what's happening, as if you're watching a film and reading the characters' minds. First, think about the mood you want to create for the reader. Then, concentrate on exactly what the house is like: the surrounding scenery, where the kitchen is, the colour of the carpets. Then concentrate on what the characters do, what they're thinking and feeling, and what this says about their personalities and their relations to each other. (There's no emotions here at all, and they've just seen their mum/grandma die - no wonder it feels thin.) Make sure you include all the details you want, then write the scene and fillet it for the good bits. Here's a couple of questions this paragraph raises that make it seem vague: where is grandma when she dies? You imply she's in the car. Where is she when the house burns down? Why is the car running when she's dead? Why do they use all her spare petrol to burn the place, rather than taking some of it? I like to save this for a second draft so I don't get bogged down.

When you have specific information you want to convey, use details and trust the reader to pick up on stuff. As Wallet says, you're already doing this: the characters destroy grandma's personal effects and car, stay to watch the house burn, and put the key down "face-up", plus you use "pyre" to imply a ceremony. You could explain why they're doing this before this scene ("They drove past towns of the damned, their souls chained to their houses"), as they drive to the house ("We'll need to make sure your grandma is freed from sin after she goes," said Dad) or in this paragraph ("They stayed to watch the fire consume the house and the sin blow away with the smoke"). Or more than one, of course. I wouldn't dwell on the details, though, because it'll make the reader wonder how a nomadic car cult actually works, which will probably distract their attention from the actual story...

In general: think about why is this a load-bearing scene, and make sure you tell the reader why. If you don't it'll just be something happening.

magic cactus
Aug 3, 2019

We lied. We are not at war. There is no enemy. This is a rescue operation

Wallet posted:

Just my 2¢


Safety Biscuits posted:

General advice:

This is excellent advice, and having gone over my latest draft asking the questions you guys recommended I ask myself really has helped me see what is missing from my writing (in this draft at least).

Thank you very much!

take the moon
Feb 12, 2011




im scared to read this thread im sure im doing none of this poo poo

*follows thread title advice*

Doctor Zero
Sep 21, 2002

Would you like a jelly baby?
It's been in my pocket through 4 regenerations,
but it's still good.

I think the most important thing to remember is that any “rule” can be broken, but you really have to know the rules before you can effectively (and intentionally) break them.

Same goes for advice.

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take the moon
Feb 12, 2011




if you could rate your dialog on a scale from 1-10 where 1 is realistic af and 10 carries real weight what would you pick and how does that work for you

if you say u do both...…..

but seriously i'm struggling trying to choose my approach at this juncture

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