1. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    Using a catchphrase

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Lifeline, Nov 17, 2015.

    I am not sure of my own reaction, I could use some input from the community. In my current story there is a scene where my MC is acknowledging to himself that his perception of another person has changed significantly. I am quite comfortable with this scene, how I described it. But now there is a sentence in there, where everytime I read it, it has an 'echo' in my own head, a following up sentence which would relate really well to what I am describing.
    The problem with this follow-up sentence is, it has been used by a very accomplished and widely published author in a (at least for me) defining scene of one of her major works - and that is probably why this sentence has stuck in my head.

    I do not know how many readers of this accomplished author have the same catchphrase in their heads, or even how many of them even took note of this one sentence. But I am somewhere stuck in the middle between just using this sentence (because it would just fit sooo well *sigh*), or not.

    I tend to lean more to not using it (because I am doubtful and whenever I have such a gut-reaction it usually is right), but.. Opinions?
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Like anything, I would say it's going to depend. In this case, it depends on how genuinely well known and associated said phrase is with the writer in question and how unique the wording of the phrase happens to be. For example, I wouldn't use fear is the mind killer in a work of mine* because 1) within science fiction circles everyone knows that phrase and the author to whom it is attributed (Frank Herbert) and 2) it's such a unique syntax that there's little hope of arguing that it just came into play by chance and circumstance of surrounding syntax.

    *Unless, of course, I were actually referencing the original work, original writer, or both within the piece of writing. Standard caveat, blah, blah, blah...
     
  3. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    Oh well Weybies, I broke down and googled because I have genuinely no idea how 'sticky' the phrase is. (Apart from my own reaction). And even if.. it would take the fun out :(
    Turns out I never found the phrase anywhere, but that does not mean it is not in use among fans o_O
     

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