1. -Reaper
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    -Reaper Member

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    'Suddenly'

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by -Reaper, May 25, 2009.

    For some reason in my writing I really dislike using the word suddenly. But, Sometime's i'm forces to use because i don't know what else to put.

    Does anyone else dislike using 'suddenly' or know of another option?


    ... I hate it so much.
     
  2. ObsessedImagination
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    ObsessedImagination Member

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    LOL I hate using 'suddenly' as well....it seems so cheesy and random. Like you're forcing the reader to go from one train of thought to another...

    "Jim sat down to read the paper when suddenly, a bear jumped through his lounge room window."

    Ugh! It's like I'm pushing my poor reader to go from "Jim is doing something normal" to "OMG! A bear is going to kill him!"

    Just my thoughts lol....
     
  3. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    There's almost always a better way to do something, but "suddenly" has its uses just like any other literary tool. I'd say you shouldn't hate the word itself. A yard worker doesn't hate his rake for the way it looks; if it's useful for his situation, he uses it.
     
  4. lipton_lover
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    lipton_lover Contributing Member

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    I don't like it either, but I do use it sometimes. But I feel like it's a shortcut, kinda like "one thing led to another"; just a way to cut corners. Instead, I will go for something more 'theatrical' and follow the bear as he approaches the house and jumps through the lounge room window.
    Nate
     
  5. JGraham
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    JGraham Senior Member

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    It definitely does seem like a random jump. I usually just separate it and make it happen.

    Jim wrote cautiously pausing to make sure his thoughts were complete. His hand cramped as his pen ceased to move. The words clouded his mind and awaited his return to the paper.

    * * *

    The glass shattered catching Jim off guard. He threw his hands in the air as the bear came roaring into his lounge.

    something like that. I just separate them and then suddenly does not have to be used, although it does help sometimes.

    I suddenly remembered where my car keys were and reached under my seat to grab them. The man still persisted, striking the hood of my car in frustration. The engine came to life as I moved forward, forcing him to the side...

    But no I do not like using the word when trying to show an action.
     
  6. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    John opened the fridge and poured a glass of milk. Suddenly, a crash boomed behind him.

    John opened the fridge and poured a glass of milk, and then a crash boomed behind him.

    I think in this case suddenly works better, but "then" is an alternative.

    If you could give a few sentence examples with suddenly in them I might be able to offer more help.
     
  7. AngeloBraxton
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    AngeloBraxton Member

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    I feel the same way. Still, you see it in books a lot and don't notice it. Maybe its a writer thing?
     
  8. garmar69
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    garmar69 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are you using the word a lot? If you are finding yourself becoming repetitious with any word it will become irksome, whether to you or to your reader. Personally, I don't find any legitimate word annoying if used in the proper context and not overused.
     
  9. psyence53
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    psyence53 Senior Member

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    I never really notice it in professional writing, if it's even used, I will have to take note...
    But I hate how it's the most obvious way, and how I can never think of anything else. I hate it because it's cliche, haha.
     
  10. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's what I was going to say. Recently, I've been typing up a lot of stories I wrote when I was younger, and I realized that back then, I repeated certain words a lot. Now, every time I find myself using those words in my current writing, it bothers me. But does it bother me because the word itself is a bad word to use? No...it bothers me because I used it so repetitively.
     
  11. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    I don't think I would even use "suddenly" in that sentence. Since it's in the first person I would do something more like:

    S**t. The car keys are under the seat! I reached down to pick them up as the man persisted. He struck my car with his fists and yelled. I rammed the key in the hole and gave it a hard twist. The engine roared to life. I pounded my foot on the gas peddle and shot past the man...


    For me any time the word "suddenly" appears I am telling the audience something I should be able to show them. I don't use it. If I do find it in a re-write where I slipped, I figure out how to show rather than tell.
     
  12. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    if you use the word suddenly, you use the word suddenly, if you dont like it, just re-word that bit in the re-write.
     
  13. Dcoin
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    Dcoin Contributing Member

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    All this irrational hatred of poor words. Can't we all just get along? :D
     
  14. starseed
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    starseed Contributing Member

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    I don't care for it in most circumstances either. It's telling not showing. Every next word the reader reads is going to be "sudden" to the reader, so something suddenly occurring should be obvious to the reader if the character reacts with surprise.
     

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