1. Silver Dawg
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    Silver Dawg New Member

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    African Grey Parrot

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Silver Dawg, Feb 11, 2014.

    Correct dialog tags and punctuation for an unusual character.
    An African Grey parrot. Name Cecil, very talkative. Has large vocabulary and uses it as this variety of bird is so compelled.
    Of course the human character reaction is: sometimes annoyed, sometimes laughing; he is ignored, or he is simply put in another room.

    The question is: is there a correct way to punctuate his dialog. I feel a little ridiculous writing: "bla bla bla, Cecil said scowling. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It's dialogue, regardless of the species. Treat as you would any utterance. ;) To avoid using said as a dialogue tag, if that makes you uncomfortable, it coming from a parrot, use a beat instead.

    "Bla, blah, blah." Cecile ruffed his feathers, looking as surprised as we were at what he'd said.
     
  3. Silver Dawg
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    Silver Dawg New Member

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    Appreciate the response - thanks.
     
  4. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    This reminds me a bit of Alex & Me -- with the African Grey.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    my advice is to follow wrey's...
     
  6. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    If the protagonist, or another character is going to react to what the bird says you present and punctuate it as the parrot speaks it. if they're not going to react, you don't mention it, because if the protagonist doesn't care, and we're in the protagonist's POV, mentioning it is a POV break. If the character is reacting in annoyance, show that, as in:

    "So you and Frank need to—" He stopped and glared at the parrot for a moment before saying, "Someone take please that noisy damn bird out and drown it!"
     

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