Punctuating Dialogue: A GuideStandard Punctuation: DialoguePunctuating Dialogue: A Guide8 years ago in Editorial More Like This
Sometimes we read dialogue so often, punctuated in so many different ways, that we either forget what we've learned (if that was anything memorable to begin with) or we rely on instinct to guide us. A common example of this can be seen in the opening dialogue of darksouldream's piece, Bobby:
No, replied Cindy `I think his sister Becky is staying with her, but she keeps muttering about parents out living children. The doctors been keeping her pretty sedated.
Most Americans will cringe at this. Why? Well, double quotation marks are the more acceptable usage (the "traditional convention") in American Standard English. However, in British Standard English, both the double quotation mark and single quotation mark are used. What's the rule? Stylis
Edge of Thorns - Pt 2Part 2Edge of Thorns - Pt 25 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
As much as I hate to admit it, the more time I waste getting to the police station, the less of a chance I have to get my car back. I should have just called from the newspaper's office, but it's too late for that now. I guess I'll just have to suck it up and go with him.
Gives me more time to figure out why he makes me uneasy, at least.
"Well... I guess that makes sense," Nathan said, rubbing the back of his head. "Just around the corner, you say?"
Alton nodded, smiling eagerly. He shifted the books he was carrying to his other arm and motioned for Nathan to follow him, starting down the sidewalk. "Actually, it's one store down from the shop at the intersection up ahead, but that's close enough. Mind if I ask your name?"
"No, not at all!" he lied, jogging to catch up with him, cringing that he now had to tell him. "It's Nathan."
"Nathan..." Alton hummed and chuckled a bit, looking over his shoulder towards him. "I'm sorry for your unfortunate, uh, welcome to Virtu
Wrath of the Grammar NaziIn favor of avoiding parallel structure debates (misplaced modifiers, ahh!) and a general crusade against passive voice, WordCount is offering a list of common "pet peeves" to satisfy the punctuation junkie in all of you.Wrath of the Grammar Nazi8 years ago in Editorial More Like This
Please understand that this list is by no means exhaustive, nor is it original, but it warrants saying from time to time. Nothing in here is meant to insult you, all rules can be broken, and there are always exceptions. One should also note that rules about comma usage and "the dash" differ from place to place and country to country, but this list falls back on Oxford's guide to style (because we all need a place to start).
1. Apostrophes are not there to make words look pretty. They do have an actual purpose (namely to indicate contractions or possession);
2. Semicolons connect two related thoughts while simultaneously separating two complete thoughts (or objects in a list);
3. "A lot" and "all right" are not words. They are
Writing Tutorial: Dialogue"An Amateur-Editor's Note on How to Paragraph Dialogue, and Other Dialogue-Related Crime Avoidance Techniques" by DailennaWriting Tutorial: Dialogue8 years ago in General Non-Fiction More Like This
On my daily walk about the internet I often come across some horrible piece of writing at which I'm forced to stop reading and take a few deep breaths to calm myself before either sending a note to the writer, or fleeing in terror. These pieces of writing are usually just an accumulation of terrible spelling, grammar, syntax, and too much or too little plot, description, dialogue or action. Yes, there are stories that may have a lean towards dialogue or action and still look absolutely wonderful – in fact, these are the stories usually best written, because the author has learnt how to use their skills and mediums to produce the best result from a usually disastrous content – but the bundles of words I'm referring to have not had the same care and talent poured into them.
It could be the case that small children and people who don't have English as a
Edge of Thorns - Pt 29Part 29Edge of Thorns - Pt 294 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
I should probably skip the obvious one for now, though I am curious...
"What are you going to say to Micah?"
The angel stopped humming, stopped walking, and turned to Nathan with a tilt of his head. "Why? Isn't it obvious?" He crossed his arms and closed his eyes. "I don't approve of their relationship, more specifically how Micah treats Alton. I intend to encourage Alton to leave him, and I want Micah to let him go." He opened his eyes, sighing as he smiled sadly. "I know neither of them will listen though."
Nathan shook his head. "I still don't understand," he said. "Aren't Michael and Lucifer supposed to be bitter enemies? I mean, I can understand why they fight; that much makes perfect sense. But how...?"
"... Did bitter enemies become intimate lovers?" Gabriel finished for him, then laughed. "Because they aren't just enemies, Nathan. They counter each other, but they also compliment each other." When all he got was another baffled stare, he explained.
How to Read Science Fiction"The science-fictional world is not only one different in time or place from our own, but one whose chief interest is precisely the difference that such difference makes."How to Read Science Fiction7 years ago in Academic Essays More Like This
Carl Freedman, Critical Theory and Science Fiction
At its heart, the central tenet of science fiction is the question: "What if?" Despite or perhaps due to its wide-ranging themes, the genre provides the perfect platform for exploring that most fundamental of ideas: the human condition.
The main difference between science fiction and related genres (such as fantasy) is that sci-fi deals with the possible if not always the plausible. But the basics of storytelling remain the same, regardless of category: the author must establish the status quo, introduce the characters, and provide a conflict to be resolved.
The freedom of science fiction is in broadening the author's options, often with the intended goal of highlighting a current social concern (e.g., controvers
The Mary Sue Litmus TestHolepunch's Mary Sue Litmus Test:The Mary Sue Litmus Test5 years ago in Articles & Interviews More Like This
Ah, the Mary Sue. We can't cobble together a truly comprehensive description of what they are, exactly, but we can agree on one thing: an annoying, 'perfect' character who, through a general lack of flaws and character development, is excruciating to sit through and often makes us gnash our teeth, tear our hair, and reach for the back button. This nefarious creature can be measured and detected, so let's all grab our magnifying glasses and get classifying.
This is a subjective subject; a trait that drives one person right up the wall might fail to get any reaction from another. As you go through the list, count up the points. Each trait will register from 1-5 points, with 1 being a mild thing and 5 being a serious infraction. If a trait is not addressed at all in the story the character comes from, or is totally unknown, just ignore it. And don't worry about racking up pointsthe de-Suifier part of the test ought to restore some balance to
Roderick's ElegyMadeline, oh my dreamy Madeline,Roderick's Elegy7 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
My madness and my despair.
Why did they bury you that day?
Cold was your skin, colder your stare.
Madeline, I weep now as I recall;
And I speak of you, Madeline.
They say I am truly going insane,
That my nostalgia is my sin.
Madeline, do you remember when
We went to a picnic in the park?
You didnt break that wooden pony,
Madeline, you broke my heart.
I said I didnt want your duty,
Madeline, did you understand?
I had made of you a paper queen,
In my castle built of sand.
Madeline, we danced and you were glad,
How beautifully you laugh!
One and two and three now turn!
Madeline, rejoice on my behalf
They say now, heh, that you are dead,
My Madeline? Liars! Its a trick!
Hah! Did you think you can make me drink?
Not even if beaten by a stick!
If she will do it, so will I!
Madeline, didnt you hate milk?
And they laid her in a slender coffin;
In white flowers and black silk.
Madeline is sleeping, her
Rants: Mary-sues and how to make a decent OCRants: Mary-sues and how to make a decent OC4 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
Well, I figured that since Spongebob- Proof Of Spandy was so popular that I would do something that's different but also the same. I've written a little mini rant/opinions on an issue that isn't nearly as annoying as it used to be but it's still suck around for a quite a while everywhere I've been (Ex. DevArt, Fanfiction Net, LiveJournal). So, hope you can all enjoy and leave whatever comments you feel necessary. I would love to hear your opinions.
First I shall address Mary-Sues. Here's the five bad points of a Mary-Sue:
The name is only a slight problem. As in, it's not really one to be too concerned about but it is something that could give a good character a bad image. A name such as 'Melony Butterfly Lily DeeDee Silver Jay Hannah Rose, Melony Rose for short' is not going to give anyone a pretty image of your character and people will get tired just by trying to sa
Lucifer+Dante playing chessDante : ...may I ask you a question, Lucifer?Lucifer+Dante playing chess9 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Lucifer : Yes?
D *moves Rook* : Why?
L : Why what?
D : You know, why did it happen?
L *moves Pawn* : I am still lost, why did what happen?
D : ...your fall
L : Mind your manners Dante. I did not fall. I simply left, on my own accord for that matter. There is as vast contrast between both statments as their is a distance between the heavens and earth.
D *moves Pawn* : I'm sorry.
L *moves Bishop* : It's fine.
D *moves Knight* : Why did you walk away from it all? From God?
L *moves King* : 'Cause he's a prick.
D : ...
L : Is something wrong, Dante?
D : That was not the response I quite had in mind.
L : What did you have in mind then?
D : Something more...enlightening I supose.
L *sighs and moves Pawn* : That's exactly what's wrong with you mortals. You talk far too much and expect to be talked to equally as much. Precisly why I hate philosphers. They are equally as revolting as 2nd hand used car salesmen who insists on showcasing the fine work
Twilight EssayTwilight is not as important as you think it is.Twilight Essay7 years ago in Academic Essays More Like This
You know, I could say that and be done with this rant right now. However, its me and well, I actually like to prove my point. I have facts, unlike most who only rant about nonesense. Lets talk about the major problems: Mary Sueness, Cliches, and Grammatical Errors.
Bella is a Mary Sue
No shes not!! Youre wrong!! Youre just jealous cause you arent pretty like her!!11!!!one
Hmm you know, that might work if I didnt know what else to say or have anything to back me up. Lets just see what the dictionary has to say, shall we? (Please note though that the definition of a Mary Sue does vary and has become "muddied".)
A Mary Sue (sometimes just Sue), in literary criticism and particularly in fanfiction, is a fictional character with overly idealized and hackneyed mannerisms, lacking noteworthy flaws, and primarily functioning as wish-fulfillment fantasies for thei
The Art of Refining ProseThe Art of Refining Prose8 years ago in General Non-Fiction More Like This
The Art of Refining Prose
Many writers dread the editing process. Not only does it delay the showcase of prose, it can seem a tedious and painstaking task. Often, editing is more time-consuming than the initial writing and consequently, it is either ignored altogether or briefly indulged. This is a great shame. Sincere editing not only proves a pleasurable experience but invaluable to prose, as this is a wonderful opportunity to buff, polish and tighten the impact of one's writing.
Some might argue that editing is not only unnecessary, but detrimental to the raw concept of ones inspiration. The answer to this is simple: select a prose that hasnt been edited and compare against one that has. Its soon evident that a well-edited piece is not only easier to read, but communicates the authors ideas with greater clarity. Few Bestsellers hit the shelves having skipped the editing office. And unless the author has behind them years upon years of writi
CrayonsLife is like a box of crayons.Crayons8 years ago in Philosophical More Like This
At birth, you're given a great big box of them to share and add color to your life.
Some colors get used more than others.
Sometimes, a crayon gets broken. A Bright color gets snapped in half and tossed in the garbage can, never to be returned. Sometimes you keep coloring. Sometimes you can't. That color was important.
Sometimes a crayon is gained, shared between two people. That color might be just perfect, and works great! Other times it's a different shade, but it will make do.
But, there is always one color left in the box.
It's normally unused until death. It's used to frame the picture. To add the final border to the coloring board of life.
Some people use it. They color onto other's pictures with it. Sometimes their own.
They use it to scribble out portions of the picture. Sometimes the portion isn't that important.
Sometimes it is.
Sometimes there are multiple blacks in the box when you open it for the day.. Sometimes there's only one, or i
Giving Prose Visual AppealAnyone who's spent any time reading text on a computer screen can tell you that things such as font, spacing, formatting, and size all play a role in how well a text is received. Often times people make comments that disregard the importance of formatting a text. What these people fail to realize is that many people find it difficult to read certain things, not because they're lazy, old, or uncool, but because they have vision problems that prevent them from digesting entire blocks of text with no clear paragraph breaks or focusing on more than a line or two of bold/italic writing. In fact, even people with 20/20 vision have a difficult time maintaining focus if text is improperly formatted. That's why we have proper formatting guidelines to begin with! With that in mind, WordCount is offering this quick guide to making your prose more appealing to the general public.Giving Prose Visual Appeal8 years ago in Editorial More Like This
Quick Reference List
1. Do not use subs
A How To on Writing FanfictionA How To on Writing Fanfiction8 years ago in Academic Essays More Like This
1. Intelligence is required. No matter how interesting or humorous a plot you may have, it is always better to read a well-written, intelligible fiction than a thrown-together piece of junk riddled with spelling/grammatical mistakes.
2. Plot is important. There are such things as PWP's (see PWP section), but other than that, plot is what really makes a story. What is happening is what makes the reader go on and want to read more.
3. Creativity is a must. No one wants to read the same thing that they have seen from 50 other writers. Try to be original, and if you see an idea you really like, improvise it a little without copying it outright.
4. Every element in the story matters. From the plot to the series to what happens to the characters, everything ties together to make the story what it is.
OVERALL WRITING SKILLS
Some writers are just naturally gifted and have a way with words. Others struggle with how to make complex senten
Ms Mary SueMy name's Ms Mary Sue,Ms Mary Sue8 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
You could say I'm somewhat better than you.
My hair is just like flowing gold,
But of course, I'd rather have mould.
My eyes are of the brightest blue,
Because I'm Ms. Mary Sue.
I'm generous, kind, and sickly sweet,
I know all my txt tlk, slang and 1337,
But I speak perfectly, don't you know,
I'd rather die than utter 'Yo'.
All the bishounen bill and coo,
Because I'm Ms. Mary Sue.
Wait wait wait! Don't yell and flame!
It really would be such a shame,
To annoy someone with über powers,
Who could turn you all into a vase of flowers!
But of course I can't hate, not even you!
Because I'm Ms Mary Sue.
Uh-oh, oh dear, what's this!
The Mary Sue hater's bliss!
The ugly, hateful Anti-Sue,
Why don't the crowd all yell and boo?
I think they re-wrote me! This CANNOT BE TRUE!
It is the death of a Mary-
Write Better: Read MoreWe didn't believe it, either, but you really can learn a lot from reading a book! If you've ever wanted some worthwhile advice from someone other than your high school English teacher, this is the place to look. The authors below are experts in their fields, well-respected and admired by accomplished writers from all over the world, and we're bringing you a list of their most prized and collectively-effective books. (Tried-and-tested by our worthy administrators, no less!)Write Better: Read More8 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
So what're you waiting for? Learn how to make every word count!
Reading Resource List for the Aspiring Writer
Writing Reminders: Tools, Tips, and Techniques (Jim Burke)
Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer (Roy Peter Clark)
Writing without Teachers (Peter Elbow)
Writing With Power: Techniques for Mastering the Writing Process (Peter Elbow)
Sailor Earth Who?Sailor Earth Who?Sailor Earth Who?9 years ago in Fan Fiction More Like This
((While this fanfiction is not descriptive in anyway or has anything pornographic in it, it is intended for an older and mature audience.))
It was a scorching hot summer day; no different from any of the other hot ones Tokyo had been getting this year. A young girl of the age sixteen was awake on her cool bedroom floor. Her name was Tsukino Usagi.
"Urg!" She rolled over on her floor with her legs and arms spread open. "I feel like an egg in a frying pan!" Her long golden locks were pulled back into two buns on top of her head, but the hair which fell from them were no where to be found. She closed her eyes to block out the sunlight trying to slip into a quiet slumber. There was no sound to be heard, not even the most gentle breeze dared show it's face in this heat.
"Ahhh!" Usagi jumped up and whipped the sweat off her face. She crawled over to her little pink table in the middle of the room. Leaning against it with her head against her shoulder. "To
Remembering HazelI remember Hazel really well. Sometimes my memories are so clear that I can almost feel her sitting next to me, or walking by my side. Seven years have passed, and I miss her like she went away yesterday.Remembering Hazel8 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I met Hazel for the first time when I was twenty; I was an ambitious guy studying psychology who thought that he had already reached happiness, buying a nice car and hanging out with friends. Hazel opened my eyes and, thanks to her, I discovered how beautiful it is helping others and giving them second chances. Hazel helped me grow with her generous words, her patient work and her strawberry candies given to everyone.
She was the most helpful person I've ever known, because she liked to help everyone who needed comfort and never asked for something back; Hazel was happy to receive your smile, and felt satisfied hearing "Thank You", and for her that was enough.
Mostly for its nice sound, her unique name, Hazel Daziel, earned her many nicknames; for someone she was Hazie-Dazie, for some
For the One I Love- Ch.1For the One I Love- Ch.19 years ago in Fan Fiction More Like This
"For The One I Love"
"A Confession Of Love"
"Sei-" The gentle voice was cut off.
The scene played out nearly perfect, pictured beautifully.
"Shhh, don't speak." And once more there was silence. A young man pressed his lips against a young lady's, after what seemed like an eternity of waiting. Oh how sweet they were, he had wondered for so long of their taste.
Cherry blossoms fluttered down upon the couple and brushed against the young lady's face as it deepened in shades of red, becoming the colors of the setting sun before them. She slowly started to struggle, moving away from the young man. He grabbed her arms and pressed in closer, not wanting to let go. He wanted to hold on to this moment forever.
She tried to move away again, but the pull from the young man was too strong. He refused to let go, he must make this last as long as he can. The young lady began to shake under his body weight, falling onto her back and taking the young man with her. The young man opened his
In Defense of Gaga: Stop the Matricidal AbuseIn Defense of Gaga: Stop the Matricidal AbuseIn Defense of Gaga: Stop the Matricidal Abuse4 years ago in Academic Essays More Like This
Lady Gaga: She's probably one of the most polarizing pop culture figures of our day. To some, she's nothing more than a fame hound or a sign of the Christian apocalypse, to others, she's the reason they are still alive. I am on the latter half of that spectrum. Countless times she has came through my speakers, pulled me by my hair and out of the funk I was in. I am a proud Little Monster.
I really hate people who post rude comments about Lady Gaga. I know she's not everyone's cup of tea, but don't be rude! She is a person just like you with feelings. She may not see what you said about her, but you still look like an ass. People are biased against her. Why does Nicki Minaj get away with her own antics and Gaga doesn't? I haven't heard of Minaj charitable actions. Some even think you're stupid and/or have bad taste because you like Lady Gaga. We've been bullied by our peers enough, thank you very much. It's not just the homosexual
UnityA mighty storm is churning andUnity6 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
I stare into the clouds' domain
long grass bows and bends against
the frenzied winds and scattered rain
The squall, enraged, prepares to thrash
lone trees and emerald meadowland;
I realize I'll make it when
You firmly grip my frightened hand
Some Things Should Go UnsaidThings I'd Only Say If I Had Four Mechanical Tentacles Sprouting Out My Back:Some Things Should Go Unsaid7 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
Those in the retail and customer service industries put up with a lot of steaming crap. When jerks come into the store and start treating them like insignificant peons, there are many things that come to mind, none of which can be said and got away withunless, of course, you have superhuman powers or cyborg parts. Conversely, there are also customer service personnel who are every bit as stupid as the customers whom I refer to above. When dealing with both, there are just some things better left unsaid:
No sir, I am not hard of hearing, and neither am I stupid. You just can't speak English well. It is you who have erred.
I realize I am ignoring you, but you come in here every day with your five spoiled, undisciplined brats and you never buy anything you don't return.
Yeah, like that play-by-play description of your proctology exam can't wait an hour unt
Eternally gratefulVerse 1Eternally grateful6 years ago in Songs & Lyrics More Like This
Early in the morning sometimes later,
You great me with Your warmth,
And through all of my day,
You keep shining by my side;
Oh, holy Father, God of the Sun,
You lighten up the path before me,
You keep the fire burning in my heart.
You give me hope,
You give me strength,
You guard me and you guide me,
Oh, holy Mother, Goddess of the Moon,
Oh, holy Father, God of the Sun,
I am thankful, I am grateful,
Dusk is coming, night approaches, bringing darkness,
Yet there shines a light, the brightest of them all,
Reassuring, gentle an soft, yet mysterious;
Oh, holy Mother, Goddess of the Moon,
Your light reaches deep into my soul,
Enchanting and enthralling,
Caressing me, soothing me.
I am blessed, grateful and proud
To have You by my side,
You are always there,
Helping me to find my way,
To follow my heart.
With You and through You
I can find my balance,
I can live in harmony,
With the tre