1. CGB
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    CGB Active Member

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    Better way to say this?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by CGB, Sep 17, 2016.

    Context is pretty much straight-forward. The hard part is trying to make it flow better.

    Cannon is saying something that the five others in the room know is complete and utter BS. In fact, it's such non-sense that they don't even believe he himself (Cannon) believes it.
    These are friendly characters btw, so the "unbelieving laughter" isn't hostile.

    ============================================================================

    “Where’s the fun in that?” Jecht said. “Cannon don’t get to make headlines if they do all the work.”
    Cannon frowned at the man.
    “I don’t give a shit about headlines,” he said, unbelieving laughter quickly following.

    or

    “Where’s the fun in that?” Jecht said. “Cannon don’t get to make headlines if they do all the work.”
    Cannon frowned at the man.
    “I don’t give a shit about headlines,” he said with a straight face. Unbelieving laughter quickly followed.
    ============================================================================
    Etc.

    Obviously these 2 are not good. I feel the first one just reads too fast so you don't appreciate the laughter and the second is too slow, so that the laughter seems too delayed. I hate them both.
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I don't know the voice so it's hard to follow. But that aside, I would change this altogether:
    unbelieving laughter quickly following.​
    What is "unbelieving laughter"? Is there a way to show what you are trying to say instead? Maybe if you described what you mean, it might be easier to brainstorm an alternative.
     
  3. assirekaevas
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    assirekaevas New Member

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    How about, "A wave of laughter, tinged with disbelief and a side of raised eyebrows, quickly followed." :)
     
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  4. Spencer1990
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    Spencer1990 Contributing Member

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    I'd go further and use facial expressions and gestures to illustrate your point. A roll of the eyes, sighs of consternation, frustration.

    ETA: picture the scene in your head. What would their faces look like? Would they fidget, zone out, focus on something else, poke fun? Have fun with it. :)
     
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  5. Shnette
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    Shnette Member

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    Hard to know what's going on w/o context, but I would put some sarcasm in there (only because that's what's my lil' ol' ears are hearing)

    “Where’s the fun in that?” Jecht said. “Cannon, how you gonna make headlines if they do all the work?”
    Cannon frowned at the man.
    “I don’t give a shit about headlines,” he said, and hanged his head to hide the hurt. Snickering behind him quickly followed and unbelieving laughter shook Jecht's belly.
     
  6. Elven Candy
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    Elven Candy Contributing Member

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    Well, first, the unbelieving laughter needs to be in another paragraph. I kept thinking it was Cannon who was laughing. You can also use Cannon's frowning as a character beat before his dialogue. I understand the concept of unbelieving laughter, but I think you can get the idea across better with different wording. I'd probably write it like this:

    “Where’s the fun in that?” Jecht said. “Cannon don’t get to make headlines if they do all the work.”
    Cannon frowned at the man. “I don’t give a shit about headlines.”
    The room erupted with laughter and "yeah rights" (not sure on the punctuation on the "yeah rights.")

    Simply having everyone in the room laugh, by the way, would give me the impression that no one believes him, assuming it's made obvious in context (like what's written before this).
     
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  7. editorjaneh
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    editorjaneh New Member

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    It would need to be in your own voice, but this type of construction will put in the pause you're looking for and still keep the flow:
    “Where’s the fun in that?” Jecht said. “Cannon don’t get to make headlines if they do all the work.”
    Cannon frowned at the man.
    “I don’t give a shit about headlines,” he said to shocked silence...garrulous laughter soon followed.
     

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