1. Ariella Bear
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    Ariella Bear Member

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    How to set it out?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Ariella Bear, May 5, 2016.

    At the moment I just write and don't worry too much about if a comma or colon goes here or there, if I need a new line with speech marks, so on and so on. What I am wondering is should I worry about this now? or later when I edit/re-write the story?

    Also I don't really know how to set out a novel (how many words to a chapter? Speech marks on a new line? Indentations at the start of chapters/paragraphs?) Do you know a good site or book that will show me how to set out the novel properly so that I know it will be publish worthy, in that one aspect?:superthink:
     
  2. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    I made a thread called "Punctuation in Speech Marks?". A good number of the relevant tips, from various helpful others are there.
     
  3. Ariella Bear
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    Ariella Bear Member

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    Awesome! I'll have a look. Thanks :)
     
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  4. NiallRoach
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    NiallRoach Contributing Member

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    Some very successful people do as you do, just smashing words into virtual paper and come back later to whip it into shape.

    Personally, the idea makes me want to stab kittens, so I aim for perfection the first time through. I don't kid myself into thinking I manage that, but that's the goal.

    It's your call. All that matters is that you end up with a novel/short story/article at the end of the day.
     
  5. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    To each his own. Well said.
     
  6. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    I'm quite the opposite of Niall. When in rough draft mode my nib hits the page flowing, I throw hyphens, ellipses, semicolons all over the show to indicate pauses (big gaps of white space for longer pauses and the insertion of 'afterthoughts') and think not too hard about their use till later. Chief reason being: there'll be a scene in the mind's eye that'll hold descriptions and dialogue and I'll want it out before it fades. Serious thought to punctuation (and all its accoutrements) would stem the aforesaid flow.

    Later when the fleeting creativity (or some semblance thereof) has reach the end of its fleet, I set to task sorting the whole thing out.
    I sweep through the writing, fixing as I go, a measured no. of times. Each one of those with a dedicated mission, say—fix paragraph placement, fix semi-colons, sort any errant tense.... etc

    ^ that bit takes ages, I'd guess at four times as long as it took me to splash the stuff out. If I'm honest with myself *whispers* I'm not too good at that either so come crux day—I'll likely need an editor.

    Whenever I see a film on TV that has a writer in it and the scene sees them bashing on a typerwriter. And that bashing culminates with a close up of the words 'The End'. And the author then adds that last page to their manuscript that then goes in an envelope. Well, I get insanely jealous and chant to myself 'it's not real life, it's not real life'.

    So as @NiallRoach said 'it's your call'.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
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  7. Brindy
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    Brindy Contributing Member Supporter

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    I write my chapters until I feel that the scene of the story has reached a natural break. I'm not governed by word count, although it is surprising how similar in number the various chapters are. If I have a shorter chapter or a longer one, I don't worry, as long as the flow of the story feels right. When I am reading I normally like to finish at the end of a chapter, so I try to ensure my reader wouldn't have to break off halfway through.

    As for punctuation, I write it with as much as I can so there is less to change when I proofread/edit later, but if it interrupts the writing flow, I would focus on the writing.
     
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  8. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    I write as much I can get out and then continue my torment of not getting out enough of my exploding brain. I always need to get better at getting things out onto some kind of page. (sighs) :superfrown:
     
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  9. NiallRoach
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    NiallRoach Contributing Member

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    It is interesting to me that people are slowed down by punctuation. I don't particularly think about it, either, it just comes out correctly.
     
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  10. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    I'm okay with speech, commas and full stops. It's the lesser used stuff that I tend to overthink and therefore skim over when laying down my thoughts. The tools one can use to control the reader's pace.

    Pause and effect.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2016
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  11. Mocheo Timo
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    Mocheo Timo Active Member

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    About punctuation, someone told me that as long as you know the rule you can break it. So if you pretty much know what the punctuation you're using means in the place it is, then you are fine putting it wherever you want.

    I don't see why having an uneven number of words per chapter would be a problem. Although, I always look at how many pages a chapter in a book has before reading it. The slower the plot, the less motivated I'd get to read a longer chapter.
     
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  12. Ariella Bear
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    Ariella Bear Member

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    Hahaha If only bashing away on a typewriter and the stuffing into an envelope without editing or rewriting guaranteed a best seller ;)
     
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  13. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, I think that you absolutely should know how to write and punctuate correctly--I think that it should become second nature. So I'm not sure if you're saying that you don't know how, or if you're saying that you're just not a great typist? If you don't know how, I think that you should learn how and practice what you've learned, a lot. If you're just a lousy typist, then I think that it's up to you when you clean up the work.
     
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