Yay! I got 10/10!!!
I love semicolons!
Wow, handy tip...I have never understood the use of a semicolon so I have just used a colon.
*glares at school's*
I admit that I am quite stupid when it comes to english, but I don't recall ever having had a thorough lesson in grammar, i don't even know what a verb, adverb or noun is...(although i was taught it in Primary School)...it was never hammered into me.
I've always been a bit confused about where I should use a comma and where a semi-colon would be more appropriate. I haven't had as much trouble with the colon/semi-colon difference but that link still makes me feel a bit more confident about my semi-colon usage, so thank you very much for that, good Bunne!
I got 80 % I think I got the first and second wrong. Silly me! And I'm doing board English :P
Ah, my beloved Bunly Advice thread! I wondered where it had buried itself.
*dusts it off*
So... Anyone out there need any help with anything? :D
Character names? Is there any advice on that? Character names and titles really stuff me up :(
If you have time Bunne...theres is something i have always had trouble with (and i dont know how easy it will be to answer)
But when writing a large conversation between two or more people...how do you add a "he/she said" comment without being repetetive and mundane.
"I whish I could tell you, honestly I do, but i made my promise long ago and i intend on keeping it" Taarn sighed.
Quickly, Maron crossed the floor to where he was standing.
"Who did you make that promise to Taarn?"
"I cant tell you" He stated flatly.
"Please...I need to know...something, anything!"
"Stop asking! I have already told you I cant say anything more...what else do you want from me?" He hissed into her ear.
(Thats not the best example...but do you see how i have kind of let the converasation down with the basic "he/she said" parts. Thats what i want to fix)
Ah, that's a nice question, Ariadne. :D
Firstly, don't be afraid to use "said". Many people will advise writers to steer clear of the word, but there's no reason for that. The good thing about "said" is that it's more or less an invisible word. Its main role is just to let you know who's saying something and it's often the quickest way to do so.
That being said, it's still a good idea to vary things a little, as you've done in your example. Mixing "said" up with words that indicate how something's being spoken (ie. whispered, yelled) or using actions (ie. he turned away from her, she continued chopping onions as she talked) are good ways to bring your dialogue to life.
Another thing to be careful of in your dialogue is formatting. For example:
"I cant tell you" He stated flatly
This should be written as:
"I can't tell you," he stated flatly.
I think your example is not as bad as you fear. You could try playing around with where you put your "said"s, if you wanted. Here's an example of how you could do it:
"I wish I could tell you, honestly I do, but I made my promise long ago." Taarn sighed, thinking back to times past. "And I intend on keeping it."
Quickly, Maron crossed the floor to where he was standing. "Who did you make that promise to Taarn?"
"I can't tell you," he stated flatly.<-- beware of over-using adverbs - sometimes they can distract from your verbs, instead of strengthening them. Don't avoid them entirely, though. They can still be quite useful.
"Please... I need to know... Something, anything!"
"Stop asking!" he hissed into her ear. "I have already told you I can't say anything more... What else do you want from me?"
All I've done is re-arranged a few of your "saids". Remember you can break dialogue up for more tension or to emphasise a pause.
I hope that answers your question. Feel free to ask anything else whenever you want. :D
That was a huge help.
[act]pats double post monster lovingly[/act]
Bune, I hope you dont mind me borrowing your thread for this post, i figure here is a good place for it.
I was reading through a book about writing good english and came a across a section on words people often confuse in writing. I just thought I would post a few up here.
Adverse means contrary or hostile and is not used of people: (E.G. adverse weather, adverse oppinion.)
Averse means disinclined, and is usually followed by the preposition "to": She was averse to finishing her homework.
Aesthetic means relating primarily to concepts of beauty.
Ascetic means self-denying, unintersted in material comfort.
These two cause confusion not only in writing but also when your learning about the Nervous system ;)
Affect is a verb that means to influence or cause a change in.
Her bad cold affected her singing.
Effect as a verb means to bring about. As a noun means a result, a consequence.
Verb: [b]He effected a return to profit by slashing the company's costs[/b]
Noun: The effect of heat.
To allude to something means you do not mention it directly.
Elude means to evade, to avoid capture.
Appraise means to estimate the value or quality.
Apprise means to inform.
I will add more at a later date.
Ahh where would my grammar and such be without this lovley thread of bunley advice?
Just to add to this thread something that I don't think anyone has mentioned...
Every publisher and newspaper/magazine in Australia has their own style guide that they follow. For example, do you use singular or double quotes for speech? There is no correct rule to follow, it depends on the style of the publication.
Having worked as a journalist for six years, I learned a huge amount about correct grammar, sentence construction etc. In particular, passive and active voice (and it is very, very important in writing to understand the difference between the two, especially in journalism, where you almost never begin an article in passive voice unless you're trying to hide or don't know who is doing the action).
Anyway, as a journalist, we had a strict style guide to follow where I worked, at Australian Associate Press (AAP) so that there would be consistency amongst all the stories that we sent out. I worked as a sub-editor for a time and we had to know off the top of our head things like whether "share market" was one word or two, and the fact that you called him Prime Minister John Howard but referred to him as "the prime minister said..." (in lower case).
I'm now the editor of a magazine and we have a different style guide (we have "share market" as two words but the Sydney Morning Herald has it as one word). It depends on your readership, how formal or informal the tone needs to be etc.
News Ltd and Fairfax have their own extremely comprehensive style guides that address all these sorts of grammar things. Each book publisher has their own style guide as well.
There are some things that they all have in common, for example having the punctuation inside the quote marks, but other aspects can vary widely.
So if you pick up a book from a shelf and want to copy its grammar/style, be aware that another publisher might do things differently. So single quote marks or double quote marks? It's entirely up to you. If your work does get published, it will be edited to the appropriate style. If you look through lots of books, you will probably notice that the current trend in Australia is for singular quote marks, but that doesn't mean that double are wrong.
*props open some windows to let some fresh air in*
Hmm, I think I may have let this thread gather a little too much dust...
After spending most of the last year heavily engaged in beta-ing, I've been feeling the urge to actually do some writing of my own again so it seemed like the perfect time to return to Writersmerge.
So, anyone need some advice? Grammar? Style? Writing in general? Those questions you'd love to ask that you think might be silly, but actually aren't? Then feel free to ask them here! :D
Is it better to use singular quotation marks or double? I use double, but my mother was reading over my manuscript and said I should use singular. I'm not sure
If it's part of the question, then it definitely needs to be there. Otherwise, it'd just be sitting there, all lonely-like. Arrrrrr.
Where arrrrrrre they hiding their turnips? I feel that I really need to know. :D
The Serial Comma: forgotten but not gone.
I did a search and didn't find anything about this previously, so I thought I'd hijack Bunne's thread in order to present my argument for keeping the serial comma.
For those who don't know, the serial comma is the one that comes at the end of a list:
Smoothies come in mango, stawberry, and bannana flavour.
The most recent trend, especially in journalism, where every pixle counts, is to omit the poor serial comma, but this, in my oppinion, is a big mistake.
Take the previous example. Without the serial comma, it reads:
Smoothies come in mango, strawberry and banana flavour.
You don't read it the same way, do you? You assume that strawberry and banana is one item in the list; a combined flavour, and then suddenly you're at the end of the sentence and you realize that it was actually two items, not one.
What's more, when you read it aloud, you are likely to pause after each item, but you don't after strawberry and plow right on to banana, lowering the pitch of your voice at the end of banana in preparation for the next item of the list, only to find that you've reached the end, and now the pitch of your voice is all off and you have to go back and read it again to make the sentence sound correct.
The serial comma is a sadly neglected bit of punctuation that I encourage all of you to consider picking up again: the option is yours, the grammar police will not hunt you down for either using it or omiting it, but it makes things so much clearer when it is used.
Thank you for letting me rant. I now return Bunne's thread to it's rightful owner.
*Steps down from soapbox*
|:| *dpm* |:|
Please excuse the double post, but I have a question.
I've recently been reading a lot of stuff with oddly conjugated verbs. In particular:
Learnt instead of learned,
Lent instead of leaned,
Smelt instead of smelled.
Lent and smelt really stood out becuase I consider them to be completely different verbs (as in the past tense of "to lend" and something that a blacksmith does, respectively) and I was wondering if these were regional alternatives? Are both acceptable? I tried looking it up, but my grammar books and dictionaries were less than helpful on the matter, so I thought I'd bring the querry here.
Smelled and leaned are american english while smelt and lent are british, so either is correct. Just depends on personal tatse I guess . . . I know I look at smelled like it's a foriegn word XD Not what I was taight but it varies
It's the same with burn, dream, dwell, lean, leap, spell, and spill. :)
I tend to use them both ways depending on what I'm writing. Mostly I use smelled or learned though as it was what I was taught as a kid.
That's absolutely right - the words have the same meaning. The difference in usage is based purely on your location or what you were taught. I like to use dreamt, slept, etc. mostly because I like the look of the words when they're written that way. :D
*wanders into Writersmerge* You know, I don't think I've ever posted in here. Been reading this thread a bit though, very interesting!
So, I'm trying to write an extended abstract and I have a sentence I cannot make work no matter how I try to rewrite it or alter its punctuation! This is the current punctuation idea, but I don't think it's working. My tutor got all angry about people using ; wrong and said if she saw it used wrongly she'd penalise hugely so now I'm all double-guessing myself! (Although the subject's about climate change, not punctuation...) Here's the sentence, it's horrible:
There are many differences in decision-making as well: California is governed by the policies of the US Government but not the other way, as also happens with the States of Australia, and Denmark is a member of the EU, not to mention different political systems of government.
Look at it in all its not-really-making-sense glory :P *throws something at it*
If anyone has a suggestion I'd be most appreciative! One that used less words might be good too ;)