1. mashers
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    mashers Senior Member

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    Style Describing manner of speaking

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by mashers, Jun 7, 2016.

    Hi all,

    I have a background in linguistics, phonology and articulation. I find that I can very accurately describe the manner in which words are spoken in order to give the reader a precise idea about how they were said. I realise that this might be boring or annoying if it's done too much, but I'm wondering whether it would be considered appropriate at select points where the manner of speech communicates something significant about the character's attitude or emotional state. I have a very clear idea in my mind about how the characters are communicating and I want the reader to perceive certain parts very much as I hear them being read in my mind. Here's an example, in which the character is in shock, repeating the word 'terminal' having just been given a terminal diagnosis:
    As I said, most of the dialogue is not described in this way - I have either left it up to the reader to decide how it was spoken (if there is room for interpretation) or I have described much more concisely using adverbs, similes etc. to give a general impression of the tone.

    Any opinions would be welcome :)
     
  2. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    The picture comes across perfectly to me @mashers , no mistaking what's going on. I like to, at times, zoom in on the minutiae like you have. But the descriptions are, to me, a bit emotionless and protracted, given the moment that the character's going through.

    Julian felt his mind had just melted; a sharp breath in through his nostrils and a searching pause, before he felt could at last articulate the word "Terminal"...
     
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  3. mashers
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    mashers Senior Member

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    Thank you so much @SethLoki! I'm really glad to hear that you feel the description helps to communicate what was happening and that it is ok to provide such description. I totally take your point about the descriptions lacking emotion so I will revise the paragraph. Your example was really helpful :)

    Thanks again!
     

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