1. FallenShandeh
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    FallenShandeh Member

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    better way to say "said sternly"?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by FallenShandeh, Jul 1, 2014.

    I don't like using too many adverbs when I write, but I honestly cannot think of a better way to put this sentence.

    “Castiel,” Harding said sternly, “you’re needed. There’s nobody to cover for you, and being worried about your boyfriend isn’t a good enough reason to skip work.”

    More worried about the dialogue tag than the rest.

    Anyone?
     
  2. xtracker85
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    xtracker85 Member

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    Perhaps you try:

    "Castiel, you're needed," Harding said with a stern voice. "There’s nobody to cover for you, and worrying about your boyfriend isn’t a good enough reason to skip work.”
     
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  3. FallenShandeh
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    FallenShandeh Member

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    THANK YOU SO MUCH OMG I've been stressing over that for ages, that's perfect.
     
  4. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Or perhaps

    Harding frowned at his [friend/coworker/underling]. “Castiel, you’re needed. There’s nobody to cover for you, and being worried about your boyfriend isn’t a good enough reason to skip work.”
     
  5. FallenShandeh
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    FallenShandeh Member

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    I should clarify this is a phone conversation, Cas is calling in sick. His boss, Tracy Harding, needs him, because they're already understaffed.
     
  6. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    How about just "said?"
    You could always add in that there was a long pause. Something like:
    Harding said nothing for what seemed like an eternity. "Castiel," she said. "You know very well there is no one to cover for you. If your boyfriend's circumstances are so dire, perhaps you need to reconsider whether you can continue working."
     
  7. FallenShandeh
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    FallenShandeh Member

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    Thank you :)

    Harding doesn't speak like that. She's a professional, but she's very casual about it. She's friends with most of the doctors who train under her. Cas is different because he's uncomfortable with friendships with colleagues at all, and higher-ups especially. But I could use the narration around what she would actually say :)
     
  8. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, of course -- you should make the narration fit what your character would actually say, how they would say it, etc. to comport with the situation and their personality. Your instinct to avoid adverbs is correct -- often they're not needed, and it can be more effective to describe what is happening instead of just telling us that she was using a stern voice or whatever.
     
  9. FallenShandeh
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    FallenShandeh Member

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    Why am I even stressing this much about a fanfiction? lol

    My main project doesn't get stressed over this much. What am I doing? XD maybe it's because my fanfiction, while not finished yet, already has readers?
     
  10. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    “Castiel,” Harding said, voice more than a little stern, “you’re needed. There’s nobody to cover for you, and being worried about your boyfriend isn’t a good enough reason to skip work.”

    “Castiel,” Harding said, voice stern, “you’re needed. There’s nobody to cover for you, and being worried about your boyfriend isn’t a good enough reason to skip work.”

    “Castiel,” Harding said, voice as stern as an [Insert any number of things here], “you’re needed. There’s nobody to cover for you, and being worried about your boyfriend isn’t a good enough reason to skip work.”

    “Castiel,” Harding said, voice conveying a stop-being-an-idiot tone, “you’re needed. There’s nobody to cover for you, and being worried about your boyfriend isn’t a good enough reason to skip work.”

    “Castiel,” Harding said, voice full of sternness, “you’re needed. There’s nobody to cover for you, and being worried about your boyfriend isn’t a good enough reason to skip work.”



    The possibilities are endless. :agreed:
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Said sternly? Is that like talking out yer arse? ;)
     
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  12. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    icwhatudidthere. :rofl:
     
  13. FallenShandeh
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    FallenShandeh Member

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    Thanks all, you've been hugely helpful :) I got the chapter written and now I'm working on a later one. I'm depressing myself and making myself cry with this so oh god I can only imagine what it's going to do to my readers...
     

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