1. Sapphire
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    Sapphire Senior Member

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    Expression of anger/yelling

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Sapphire, Nov 20, 2007.

    Alright, to get this straight, I would like to know if it is allowed to capitalize the sentence of dialogue in a story due to anger such as:

    "I WILL NOT BE YOUR SLAVE!" yelled the boy.

    If it is not, then what way can you possibly express it to make the reader feel the anger?
     
  2. Crimson Threnody
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    Crimson Threnody Senior Member

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    Generally, it isn't suggested. The way to context anger is usually after where you said "yelled the boy"

    "the boy yelled angrily" or something of that manner.
     
  3. Sapphire
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    Sapphire Senior Member

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    What I really mean is how do you really express it in a way where you can actually feel the anger pulsating throughout the character as you read it? Not just the general verb to describe the emotion.
     
  4. adamant
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    adamant Contributing Member Contributor

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    Perhaps focus on body language?

    The tears pouring from his face as he protests. Shaking fists held at his sides, causing his voice to reverberate and trip over itself. Crimson tides overwhelming his cheeks. Et cetera.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Find a movie with a screaming, over the top argument.

    Now play it with the volume muted. Can you still tell they are screaming mad and out of control? How?

    Answer that, you'll have a better idea how to write the shouting match without the all-caps hack.
     
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  6. Sapphire
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    Sapphire Senior Member

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    Alright. That makes more sense. But now a new question pops into mind:

    How bad is it to use "?!" in a yelling question?
     
  7. adamant
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    adamant Contributing Member Contributor

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    1 person likes this.
  8. EyezForYou
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    EyezForYou Active Member

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    Try using metaphors and similes, along with physical descriptions.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    bottom line: editors won't like/approve double punctuation or all-caps...

    'nuff said?
     
  10. Sapphire
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    Sapphire Senior Member

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    The question about that is 'why'? Unprofessional, unnecessary, what?
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    both...
     
  12. Robert
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    Robert Banned

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    Yes, it's allowed. It's your story, you can do whatever you want to.

    Cheers,
    Rob
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    of course, it's allowed... you can type whatever you want... but if you intend to submit it anywhere, you'd be foolish to submit it looking like the work of an amateur who doesn't know or doesn't care about professional standards...
     
  14. Robert
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    Robert Banned

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    Whose 'professional standards' do you mean? The standards set by a bottom end online ezine? One of the higher quality non-paying literary ezines? A literary printed mag? A low-volume anthology? A writing competition? A women's magazine? McSweeney's? A small independent publisher? A major publishing house? 'Anywhere' covers a lot of ground.

    The 'standards' vary depending on who/where you're trying to get published. One thing I've learned, you see exceptions to most things that are considered 'not allowed' in writing forums. I've seen published work like that posted at the start of the thread. It might not be common and it might not be what I'd use, but it exists. The publishing world is often not as black and white as it's claimed in writing forums.

    Cheers,
    Rob
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The fact is, your work is more likely to be considered for publication if you do follow the standards of writing you can find in the various style guides.

    The questions in the SPAG forum are in regards to what are the accepted Best Practices. The preferred way to indicate shouting, or any emotional context for that matter, is not through all-caps, or bold fonts, or other such gimmicks. The way to show strong emotion is to set up the scene properly to indicate it.
     
  16. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    As has already been stated, it's generally not preferable. There are some situations in which caps may be appropriate. However, it's typically better to show the anger through things like body language, thoughts, and literary descriptions. Personally, I avoid using the exclamation mark. Why? It's silly, but because it's rarely used. When I see it I think it looks funny - there's nothing wrong with it, but for me it feels out of place. While not exactly the same, using all caps can also look out of place and unprofessional - not because it's wrong, but because it isn't accepted and used regularly.
     
  17. Peter
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    Peter Member

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    When in doubt, bring in a quote:

    "Duck" by Des Dillon

    "1982, Janine" by Alasdair Gray

    If truth be told, both writers use typographical effects throughout their novels, but hopefully my point is clear: if you want to use CAPITALS, then use them - it's your fiction.
     
  18. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    as both examples are more 'cultish' figures in the uk, than internationally renowned best-selling authors, i'd still have to stick to what i said, that cog and daniel have more or less seconded...
     
  19. Peter
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    Peter Member

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    Sorry, but I still disagree. There is nothing wrong with using typographical effects. It's an established fictional device, just like characterisation, or narrative device, or whatever.

    Also, Alasdair Gray is in no way 'cultish' - he's one of the giants of British literature.
     
  20. Robert
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    Robert Banned

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    There are plenty of other examples of all-caps in dialogue, for instance:

    It's not hard to find more. It's not me or Peter that the people here are disagreeing with when they say something like (to use M's words):

    it's the authors/editors/publishers of the above and many similar examples. Those examples speak for themselves and demonstrate that contrary to what has been written upthread it is 'allowed' to use all-caps in the way the OP asked about. All-caps is not the only way to do it and may not even be the most common, but as Peter and I have shown, it is allowed. Anyone who considers themselves a budding writer should be reading plenty, and if you read plenty you'll find that the publishing world is often not as black and white as it's sometimes painted in writing forums.

    Remember, too, that 'writing' covers an enormous variety of styles, tastes, genres, audiences, so it's worth keeping an open mind when someone claims that something isn 't 'allowed'. Learn from your reading what the conventions are in the area of writing you're interested in and be prepared to have to justify it if you're stepping outside of the conventions.

    Cheers,
    Rob
     
  21. trailer trash
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    trailer trash Senior Member

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    Using all caps to express emotion ....

    Sapphire,

    As Rob has pointed out there are times when caps may be appropriate; and even sanctioned by an Editor. But, for the greater part most Editors will probably toss your manuscript in the slush pile if every time you need to express anger are strong emotion of a character you use caps.

    IMO it is a bad habit start. And like all bad habits even harder to break. Words can express any degree of anger along with proper punctuation. Don’t use caps as a crutch.

    Today we live in a diverse society were profanity is abundant and widely used at almost every turn. And in almost every instance it expresses anger are distaste. So you may wish to consider spicing up your dialogue a little. Consider any other options if possible, particularly if you are looking to get published. Caps used as you indicated are a poor substitute for emotional expression, and would only show to others that you are perhaps a little lazy in your composition.

    Elmo

    PS:
    This seems strong enough to me. "I will not be your slave!” he said. And keep in mind that the give and take of the dialogue between the characters should serve to increase the tension.
     
  22. Robert
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    Robert Banned

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    Slush pile is the term used for unsolicited submissions. Perhaps you mean something else.

    What makes you think most editors would reject a manuscript (if that's what you're suggesting) in which someone had used all-caps for dialogue at some point? Is this based on direct experience, or have you seen this documented somewhere (not including an unsubstantiated post in a writing forum)?

    Cheers,
    Rob
     
  23. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Without a doubt you can find many examples where all caps is used for emphasis and to indicate shouting.

    Here is an example from the Chicago Manula of Style's Q and A pages:
    The problem in finding references to the proper use of all caps in style guides for writers is that there really is no recommended usage other than in certain acronyms. Some guides mention the use of all caps in some titles, but it is still not generally preferred. Other than that, the only other instance you are likely find is that all caps in online communications should be avoided as it is considered rude.
     
  24. trailer trash
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    trailer trash Senior Member

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    Yes, you’re absolutely right about ....

    Rob,

    Yes, you’re absolutely right about the slush pile thing. I simply meant, and should have said that your manuscript may not be given the attention it might well deserve if ones only way of expressing anger or distaste are with the use of all caps.

    It is undeniably clear that some published authors have used this technique and done well with it -- as you have already pointed out in previous post. And then there are the distinctions between cultural readerships, which may in-fact, support your claim even further. Non-the-less, as an avid reader since birth, I have not found this to be the case in my own experience.

    It was presumptuous of me to state that:

    "But, for the greater part most Editors will probably toss your manuscript in the slush pile if every time you need to express anger are strong emotion of a character you use caps"

    I should have said, instead: In all likelihood most editors will probably perceive you writing as weak and undeserving of further review -- and simply toss it.

    As neither a Publisher nor Editor I spoke out of turn here. And without any supporting evidence. My opinion is based exclusively on my own educational background in which classroom text books never really addressed this particular issue. But, It has been my own experience to see the use of all caps in writings most often occurs when references is made to newspaper headlines and such as that.

    And it is still my opinion that all caps is a weak and poor way to express anger are any other emotion in writing, which could just as easily have been done in a more traditional method; as I have already stated and demonstrated in my previous post. This seems like an issue that should be settled by standard grammatical rules and techniques of composition.

    Elmo

    PS: Sorry about all the edits, but I really wanted to make my postion clear on this issue.
    PPS: Cogito -- Thanks for putting and end to this question.

     
  25. Gunslinger
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    Gunslinger Senior Member

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    I would just go with the " ". I think it is just easier on the reader.
     

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