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  1. waitingforzion
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    waitingforzion Active Member

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    Variation of Expression

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by waitingforzion, Aug 22, 2016.

    Sometimes, for certain purposes, we need to say same thing in different ways, or one thing in a specific kind of way. But I always have trouble understanding how the same thing can be said in various ways where not just words, but the phrasing is different. I am not only talking about the order of phrases, but the lengths and types of phrases. Can someone please explain how we can capture the essence of something in many different renderings?
     
  2. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    One thing that works for me on this score is time. Say I have a sentence (in situ) I'm unhappy with; I change its font colour to white so I can't see it. Then wait a few days (assuming no deadline). When I come back to it I carriage return the white space out of the way and rewrite the sentence whilst in a different/later frame of mind. You can bet it'll not be the same and more often than not I'm more pleased with the newer rendering.

    ^ There's also the opportunity then to hybridise the two sentences and possibly come up with an even more refined version.
     
  3. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    @waitingforzion Can you provide any examples of things you would like to say differently. I'm struggling to get a hold on what you mean.
     
  4. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    "well , I must say that I'm not entirely sure you've been fully truthful with us, young man, I find this state of affairs most vexing"

    "you are so full of shit your name should be toilet , now start talking before I boot your fuckin head in"
     
  5. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    wondering why I read your second sentence in a Glasgow accent!
     
  6. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    While it's true there are many ways of saying the same thing, you should pay close attention to style, tone, mood, etc. These things will dictate phrasing and word choice. Ask yourself the following questions when thinking about this. Is this dialogue or narration? Who is speaking? Who is narrating? Which phrasing will maintain the mood and tone of the piece? Will making this particular sentence longer (or shorter) reveal anything insightful to the reader?

    By answering questions like that, you will learn to understand why ideas are written in one way over the other(s).
     
  7. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, that would be something like: "Ya so full o'shit ya name should be toilet, now start talkin' before ah boot ya fackin' heed in"
     
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  8. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Or:

    "Ya so full o'shite ye name should be toilet, now start talkin', wee Jimmy before ah gives ye a Glasgow kiss."
     
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  9. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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  10. Lyrical
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    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    If you're looking for ways to turn a phrase from something ordinary to something with more flavor, you might spend some time in the world of poetry. Poets often have a way of explaining an idea or object in such a way that, even though you would never have thought about it that way before, makes perfectly beautiful sense. While some of that is too flowery for general fiction (or maybe not, if you're going for something more literary) it would still be a useful teaching tool, and you could adapt some of that skill to your specific needs.

    If you're worried about high-brow language, start with Robert Frost and the likes. Frost wrote in plain, spoken English - nevertheless his poems are rich with imagery and depth, even when the topic is something as orindary as a birch tree.
     
  11. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Example:

    He hustled to the railing. This balcony was both too high and too low; no way would he survive the drop, parachute or not.

    He glanced over the balcony railing. The parachute was useless, the ground far too close. And jumping was out of the question, too. Four storeys? No way he'd survive.

    The balcony! Hope sprang up for him and he dashed out, slamming against the rail. Crap! That was a long drop, far to high to just jump. And what the hell had he been thinking bringing along a damned parachute?
     
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