1. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Can ... be used in conversation?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by peachalulu, Jan 3, 2013.

    My mc finds a man whose suffering a concussion, he's woozy
    and speaking in bits and pieces so there is a lot of breaks with ...
    But is this generally accepted or found to be annoying?

    I've seen it once in a published Lavyrle Spencer romance. The heroine had
    escaped a wolf attack and blubbers all over her new husband in broken
    sentences.
     
  2. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Sure it can be used. I wouldn't overdo it, though, because it will really call attention to itself, and when that happens, it won't be effective. You could mix it up with actions.

    Bad example:
    She was gasping. "They were ... everywhere ... I was ... so scared ... I ran and ran ... but they were ... catching up ..."

    Slightly better example:
    She was gasping. "They were ... everywhere." He gave her a tissue and she wiped her tears. "I was so scared. I ran and ran." Looking up at him she began to cry again. "But they were ... catching up."

    The first example is on the verge of being laughable. The second example avoids that effect (mostly!).
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, a little goes a long way...

    btw, the ellipsis is what is always used [correctly] for pauses in dialog...
     
  4. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Thanks! I'm sort of doing what your example showed Minstrel, breaking it up with some action.
     
  5. Tales of Anima
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    Tales of Anima Member

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    Ellipses were always a thing that I used when writing fanfic (because for pauses in dialogue, it seemed natural), but for the real world, minimalism is what to aim for.

    If you can make it work without them, even better!
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    in the real world, people often pause, when speaking... so to counsel not using any at all for dialog goes too far, imo... if used judiciously and not too often, they are a good tool to keep in your writer's tool belt and wield when building believable dialog...
     
  7. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    Captain Kirk as played by William Shatner?! Is that you!!!! :D
     

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