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  1. Bongo Mongo
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    Bongo Mongo Member

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    Small questions you need answered but don't deserve their own thread

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Bongo Mongo, Jul 24, 2009.

    I know everyone here has at least one question that they need to be answered, but it isn't thread worthy. This is a thread where you can post it, and hopefully someone will answer it.



    My question is asking you guys if you think this chapter format would work for a young adult fantasy novel:

    Chapter one
    I
    First character POV

    II
    Second character POV

    III
    Third character POV

    Chapter two
    I
    First character POV
    etc.


    But chapter one would all be about one group of characters, and chapter two would be about a completely different group of characters.

    You don't have to reply to mine to post your own question, fyi :)
     
  2. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    So its more like a series of vignettes than a novel? I guess it could work, but it depends on the context. And how good of a writer you are.
     
  3. Bongo Mongo
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    Bongo Mongo Member

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    I am reading the second book in the Dark Tower series, and Stephen King does it a lot. I really like it because it shows every way for a scene to happen. I am not such a good writing right now, but I am getting there. I really just want to be able to switch between characters faster than one chapter after another, and shed more light and insight into what all my characters are thinking.
     
  4. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    You need to be careful if you're going too switch around so much, that you don't disjoint the reading experience for the reader by disturbing the flow too much with the POV changes.
     
  5. Bongo Mongo
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    Bongo Mongo Member

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    Yeah I was only thinking about switching faster than normal during action scenes
     
  6. aprilrain
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    aprilrain New Member

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    What do you mean by "normal"?? How fast is normal? And how fast is faster than normal?

    Personally, I think switching POV a lot (frequently and between many characters) could be confusing if done too often, or in a jarring way. I would also be concerned about switching faster during action scenes. If your action scene is very fast paced to begin with, it may take the reader some effort not to miss something important. If you are also switching POV during the action scene (faster than the reader has grown acustomed to during the rest of the novel) then it may make it even hard for the reader to follow the action scenes.

    I think that depending on your writing style and level of efficiency, you may be able to pull this off. However, I think it will take a lot of work on your part to do it well. Good Luck!
     
  7. AliasXNeo
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    AliasXNeo New Member

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    Well I have a grammar question but I don't think it deserve it's own thread. Here it goes:

    "No way!" Stammered the contestant.

    What's the correct way to punctuate that or is it correct already?
     
  8. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Here's how I'd write it:

    "No way!" stammered the contestant.

    When in doubt, pull out a book and see how they handled it there.
     
  9. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Personally, I wouldn't read a book with more than three major POV characters. Three is pushing it all ready.

    Marina is correct.

    "Where are you going?" she asked. << also correct.

    Where am I? she thought. << also correct
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    arch... wherever did you find a rule that says you must put a ? in the middle of a sentence, when it's not at the end of a quotation or line of dialog?

    i've been seeking such a rule for quite a while and can't find any... and while it may seem to make some sense to emphasize the question aspect of the thought, to me, it seems weird and un-right to stick a ? or a ! [as the case may be] in the middle of a sentence, when the 'inner sentence' is not enclosed in ""...

    so, will you please end my as yet fruitless search and let me know where i can find the rule?

    hugs, m
     
  11. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    I'm not sure if there is a rule for it per say, but because it is a direct thought, it could be put in quotes. Since it could be put in quotes, I guess the grammar could be treated as such, even if the quotes are not there.


    Wouldn't it look and feel odd if written like so?

    Where I am, she thought.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    but as a thought [i don't know what a 'direct' one would be vs whatever isn't], it can't properly be put in " " which are correctly used only for spoken aloud dialog...

    and i'm not sure what you mean by 'the grammar'...

    i wasn't saying the wording should be reversed, only that it doesn't seem right to me, to put a ? in the middle of a sentence that is not spoken dialog and enclosed in " "...

    sorry to be seeming dense... it's only 7 am and i have't had breakfast or my green tea yet...

    does anyone here know if there's an actual rule on inserting ! or ? in the middle of 'thought' sentences?... a virtual prize of a dozen snickerdoodles will be awarded to the provider of a valid rule by a recognized authority...

    hugs, m

    ps: you may want to know that the latin term meaning 'in and of itself/oneself' is spelled 'per se'... ...
     
  13. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    .

    In Warriner's English Grammar and Composition: Complete Course, it says the following about direct and indirect thoughts.

    "A person's thoughts may be enclosed in quotation marks if they are expressed in the exact words in which he thinks them. If not expressed in the exact words (an indirect quotation) they should not be enclosed in quotation marks.

    Examples

    Mary was astonished at her mother's stern refusal to let her go to the house party. "Surely," she thought, "Mother must realize that I am growing up. She can't really expect me to break a date with Pete." [exact words]

    Mary was astonished at her mother's stern refusal to let her go to the house party. Surely her mother must realize that her daughter was growing up. She couldn't really expect her to break a date with Pete. [not exact words]" (p 601)

    So if the following are the exact words she thinks, it could be in quotes.

    "Where did he go?" she thought.

    Because there could be quotes, if the quotes are removed, the question mark should remain.

    Where did he go? she thought.

    That is how I always see it in novels. I bet there is a source for it somewhere. Perhaps in a style guide.

    http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/grammarlogs4/grammarlogs547.htm

    From this page:

    It is acceptable to have a question come to an end, with a question mark, mid-sentence. The question is how to pick up from that point on. Most writing manuals do not recommend or even accept putting another punctuation mark, a comma, immeidately after the question mark. Some writers would use a dash here, and to good effect:

    If it is asked, What is this? — the answer is joy
    I regard the quotation marks as optional, myself (I think you can get along just fine without them), and you might want to consider the possibility that your reader may wonder what "it" refers to — a crystal ball? a magic cube of some kind?
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The Chicago Manual of Style (15th edition) also agrees that quotation marks are permitted for unspoken dialogue, but may be omitted, as the author chooses. As for whether question marks or exclamation points should be converted to commas if the quotation marks are omitted, the CMS offers nothing.

    Maia, before you say that the CMS is aimed primarily at journalism, there is very little call for quoting internal dialogue in journalism. The CMS is one of the few writing handbooks that even addresses unspoken dialogue, so absent any other authoritative sources, I'll continue to make use it as a reference. :)
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    fair enough, cog...

    arch... since warriner's course books are from the mid-40s, i think style 'rules'/norms have changed a bit since then and in contemporary published works, i doubt you'll find many novels using quotation marks for characters' thoughts... but i could be wrong, and if so, it wouldn't be the first [or the last] time... ;-)

    now if someone would just please come up with a rule for that pesky ? in the middle!
     
  16. Henry The Purple
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    Henry The Purple Active Member

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    I'm currently enraptured in a book where the thoughts of the characters are expressed in quotation marks, but it's translated from French into English AND it's over a century old. I've never encountered it otherwise.

    As for the question mark strung in mid-sentence...well, it reads wrong to me. I've never seen it before and my reading instincts lead me to believe it's misplaced...
     
  17. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    For the "?" in the middle of a sentence.
    You're writing in third person anyways, and so you are writing from one character's point of view.
    So here is what I think, though, I don't know if it's write. This is more of a question then an answer :p

    If you are writing from this character's point of view, really, the quotation marks seem useless to me.
    So you can have: Why does he want to kill me? Bert thought to himself.
    Or you can have: Why does he want to kill Bert? / Why would he want to kill Bert? , Why did he want to kill Bert?
    ^^^^^^^ is my second one right for writing in third person?

    Also, I've noticed that when someone is thinking to his or herself, the author puts the thought in italics. Is this like a definite rule or is it optional depending on the author?
     
  18. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    This question has been raised MANY times. It is NOT a correct use of italics.

    He said, she said - Mechanics of Dialogue
     
  19. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Henry, it makes sense that you haven't seen it. I think it feels so natural, you might have not realized the times you have seen a question mark mid sentence.

    Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause.

    But what if I'm like Axel? she thought. What if I smell him as prey when I'm in fur?

    Insomnia, by Stephen King

    Oh, what have I done? she thought. What have I done?

    Brain Herbert's Dune: House of Atreides

    Do the details matter? she wondered. I carry the requested daughter in my
    womb.

    A Pirate's Love, by Johanna Lindsey

    Why did I have to kill him? she thought miserably, covering her face with her hands.
     
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