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lvtvr’s writing tutorials, pt 1: battling my nemesis (or, how to punctuate dialogue)

Sup, fellow kids. I’m Charlie. I write.

I’ve also translated and proofread four full-length novels, so I now suffer from the work-related condition of never being able to turn my editing glasses off. This can make reading fanfic a bitch for me. Because, let’s be real: unbeta’d amateur work easily lets a lot of mistakes slip through.

It is, however, possible to minimize those mistakes.

Is the world going to end if there are errors in your fanfic? Of course not. If you want to focus on the content of your writing more than adhering to rules of language, by all means, do that. There’s time to learn this stuff later.

But you know what? Formatting matters. If you truly want to get better at writing, then eventually you are going to have to deal with this aspect of it. And yes, it’s hard work – but I hope to help you along the way.

THE POINT OF THIS ESSAY: PUNCTUATING DIALOGUE

This seems to be the #1 formatting problem that amateur writers struggle with. However, there are boatloads of experienced fanfic writers who still seem to struggle with it, or are just so used to making mistakes that they’ve made it “their style.” And at the risk of sounding like a total bitch, it doesn’t matter how amazing or well-loved their work is otherwise: wrong is still wrong. Just because someone is consistent about always writing “your” instead of “you’re” doesn’t make it correct, and dialogue is no different.

If these kinds of persistent mistakes don’t bother you, then good for you. Your life is probably a lot more fun than mine.

But if you want to learn to do it right – if you want the great look and perfect flow that immaculate punctuation will bring your writing – then you have to rise above this.

Time for some rules.

COMMA VS. PERIOD – THE ULTIMATE SHOWDOWN

Let’s start with something simple.

“Hey,” he said.

This is a good sentence. This sentence is an upstanding member of our society. You can’t go wrong with this sentence. Got me? Okay.

Now let’s have a look at another one.

“Hello.” She said.

This sentence is a delinquent. In fact, it’s not even a sentence – it’s two sentences. And it is always, always, always wrong. Rule of thumb: never do this. Ever.

This isn’t just some elitist, snooty gatekeeping crap, either. There’s a purely functional reason why it’s incorrect.

By putting a period after your dialogue, you are cutting it off from whatever comes next. Whatever follows dialogue that ends with a period has to be an independent sentence. This distinction is used to regulate the rhythm and flow of the writing.

Now, “said” is a transitive verb, meaning it needs to take an object. While you can sigh, yawn, or laugh independently of anything else, “saying” isn’t possible unless you are saying SOMETHING. (I.e., “She laughed” is a complete sentence on its own; “He said” isn’t.) Same goes for synonyms of “say,” such as whisper, repeat, and exclaim. They almost always get lonely without some dialogue attached to them with a comma.

Let’s look at some examples.

“I’m fine.” He said.
“I’m fine,” he said.

The first example IS NEVER CORRECT. NOT EVER. It should ALWAYS be the latter. ALWAYS.

However:

“I’m fine,” he laughed.
“I’m fine.” He laughed.

These examples are BOTH CORRECT, but convey different nuances. In the first example, he laughs the words. In the second, he says the words first, and laughs afterward. These are separate things, not two different ways to express the same idea. No matter how much fic you’ve read where they’re treated as synonymous, they are not. They are not. They are not.

GETTING FUNKY WITH “?” AND “!”

When a sentence in dialogue ends with a question mark or exclamation point, you always keep that punctuation – you never replace it with a comma. This is where we use the above rule to make sure things don’t get ambiguous.

“What’s up?” they yawned.
“What’s up?” They yawned.

Again, these examples are BOTH CORRECT. In the first, they are yawning the words. In the second, they yawn after speaking. By capitalizing “they,” you are indicating that the question mark is behaving like a period. You are thereby orphaning the sentence that follows the dialogue. In this case, since the sentence can stand alone, that’s perfectly fine.

Next example:

“I’m okay!” the boy repeated.
“I’m okay!” The boy repeated.

Here, the first example is CORRECT. The second is ALWAYS WRONG. Remember, capitalizing “the” means you are drawing a line between the dialogue and the following sentence. “Repeated” needs an object, but now, because the exclamation point is behaving like a period, “The boy repeated” stands alone. That’s an ungrammatical sentence, and without the implied attachment to the preceding dialogue, it drifts alone in the void.

And, well, that’s not good.

BONUS LEVEL

Special section to address this other weird shit I’ve seen:

“I’m fine.” He murmured, pouring himself another cup of coffee, “I promise.”

This is a big WTF that has basically just reversed the correct order of things. It should be:

“I’m fine,” he murmured, pouring himself another cup of coffee. “I promise.”

Another example:

“That’s pretty cool.” The doctor laughed, turning to her girlfriend, “You should try it.”

We have two options to fix this, depending on if we want her to laugh the words or not.

“That’s pretty cool,” the doctor laughed, turning to her girlfriend. “You should try it.” (laughing as she speaks)

“That’s pretty cool.” The doctor laughed, turning to her girlfriend. “You should try it.” (laughing after speaking)

Sometimes, especially when you start working with more complex sentences, things can get confusing, and your options can increase. Feel free to shoot me a message if you’re not sure. However, the rules above are the basic ones to keep in mind.

Okay, you made it to the end! If it feels like a lot, that’s because it is. Yes, it’s plenty to remember, because writing is hard. Try to think about these rules when you’re reading published books (not fanfic, you can’t trust fanfic), and eventually you’ll get the hang of it.

Believe in the me that believes in you.

Good luck!

10

Chapter 9: Visitors; but way more dramatic XD

Please tell me that Green actually sees through her pain, and it hurts to see her smile because he knows, but despite all that she’s still selfless, putting others before herself; showing concern to those around her, even when they don’t

The words “It’s just been so long since I’ve actually been treated like a person.” echoes in his head; how long has it been since she was last shown respect? He had to, he just had to. 


6S1M belongs to @/raccoonsinqueen / @raccoonsinqueen-taxes , check out their fic here~ X3

anonymous asked:

photographer jughead meets a shy betty and through instagram they become a power couple

A real cole sprouse Jughead huh? You got it! This may be a little different but hang tight!
****

He tagged the location for his most recent instagram picture and posted the beautiful field of poppies, keeping his theme strong still. As a photographer it was important to have an organized social media platform where models and jobs could see your work, instagram was almost a form of a portfolio for the real world. He clicked on the location and pulled up someone named “Ronnielodge” s instagram.

Staring intently at the picture he couldn’t believe how beautiful the blonde haired model was. The focal point of the photo was a gorgeous, long legged, golden haired blonde wearing a simple white sundress and looking away from the camera, a peek of her dimples showing as she stood in the poppy field he had just been at. He couldn’t tear his eyes away from her and clicked on this “ronnies” instagram to see if he could find more pictures of her. Of course there were group photos and dramatic pictures of the dark haired girl he assumed was Veronica. Clicking on a particularly funny shot he couldn’t help but smile at the pretty blonde in a very short cheerleading skirt with the NYU emblem, her tongue sticking out and her hands in the air. So she went to NYU? So did he.

Picking his phone up he dialed his best friends number

“What’s up Jug?” Archie answered on the first ring

“Do you know a Veronica Lodge?” He asked quickly

“Hi nice to hear from you too, yeah the dorm is fine. Oh the poppy fields were nice? That’s great.” Archie rambled

Jughead rolled his eyes and grinned
“Hi arch, Veronica Lodge?”

“Oh yeah man, she’s a total babe. She’s in my civics class and I’m kind of in love with her….she’s off limits dude, I’ve been trying to get a date with her for ages!” He warned

Jughead rolled his eyes again
“I’m not interested in her. I’m interested in her friend..blonde she’s a…”

“Say no more, you’re talking about Betty Cooper, her and Veronica Lodge are inseparable. Hey! I actually heard them talking about heading to the poppy..” Jughead hung up the phone and pulled instagram up again, typing in Betty Cooper.

Her page was simple and well managed, pictures of books and coffees, selfies of her and her friends, a few family shots and a bunch of pictures of her and animals. His eyes glanced up to her bio and he instantly smiled

“Betty Cooper: I’m 22, half of the pair B&V, future veterinarian and hopeless romantic.”

After about half an hour of debating, he finally pressed the follow button, pleasantly surprised when she followed him back only minutes afterwards.

He became obsessed, searching campuses to find her, spending hours refreshing Instagram, following Veronica just to see pictures of her. It all came to fruition when he finally found her leaning casually against a coffee cart, balancing books and a coffee cup as she tucked her phone into her pocket. He walked towards her, the warm sunshine spurring his confidence on as he grabbed the books from her hand and she smiled up at him, her eyes instantly widening when she recognized the face.

“Oh Thank you so much! Its Jughead right?”

He nodded, still speechless at being this close to perfection,
“You followed me on Instagram right? You’re very talented, I could look at your pictures all day. The places you go to take those pictures? They’re amazing, I’m so jealous.”

Jughead smiled before rubbing a hand in his neck nervously, “I could take you. Ya know.. to some of those places.. they’re not that far and it would be amazing to photograph you.. I mean if you’re okay with that! You don’t have to be..” he rambled before Betty cut him off and smiled brightly

“I’m no model but … I think that would be pretty awesome” she giggled and grabbed his phone inputting something quickly
“That’s my number, text me anytime. If I’m not in class or cheerleading I’m usually always free.” Taking her books from him, she went on her tippy toes and pressed a kiss to his cheek

“Hope to hear from you soon Romeo.”

Pretty soon Jugheads Instagram was filled with photos of Betty in various settings, she was so beautiful and as her boyfriend he took great pride in showing her off on all social media. Betty took photos of him as well, after he taught her how to use his camera it was over, her own Instagram held pictures of the dark haired boy and couple shots. Around NYU they became known as “couple goals” and almost everyone knew they were meant to be. Some of the More popular shots were featured in Buzzfeed articles and they were happily dubbed “the Romeo and Juliet of NYU”

Being a writing major Jughead didn’t appreciate the poor choice of coupling but hopeless romantic Betty swooned nearly everyday she read a new article on the pair.

Many, many Years later when their son had decided he was finally old enough for an instagram, Jughead and Betty had welcomed it with open arms.

Their love story was forever documented by a series of Instagram photos and they could only Hope Cody would fall in love the way they had, because hey if it was good enough for Betty and Jughead it was good enough for him.

a few things I want to say to u

  • that thing you think you did pretty well.  u did good, that was cool.
  • that time you didn’t say something mean even though you wanted to.  that was rad.
  • thank you for holding the door for somebody.
  • that person you forgave, even if they didn’t deserve it.  thank you, i’m so proud of you.
  • for cleaning your room or doing the dishes today, good job.  thank you.  i’m proud of you.
  • whatever good thing you did today, do it again tomorrow.  and again and again and again.
4
4

So, I have decided to do the ‘follow forever’ to thank all of you for being perfect and flawless. With some of you I have managed to become closer friends and I do appreciate this a lot. I am grateful to be part of tumblr family, so to speak. I’ve had this blog since April 2k12 (holy fuck, only now have I realised how long it’s been) and frankly speaking it has given me the best things in my life. 

So once again, I want to thank all of you for being here. I do love you all. 

(previously known as langeejessica)

a-c

americxanhorrorstory  a-h-s-addict agecannotwitherher ahs-delrey alicialoveswine alma-abducted amerylca andheavenwaits anniecrestah aprilwearsgucci badskin ccolah ceebsandjules coconutmilk83 cosinusniehaus

d-f

damebonhamcarter damethompson damnyoupauly darlingfreakshow detectivecaz dianemcveigh dontbesodroopy dianekeatonfan emma–thompson emmatalented  fionagoddess fionagoodeinthehoode fionagoode foreverglfan fucking-gillian fuckyeahdench fuckyesdamejulieandrews 

g-i

gatissed goodeforyou gorgeousmeryl helenabonboncarter  hotshitwitch iloveemmathompson imallovertheplace imfionagoode inlovewithyourlines inspiringmeryl isolemnly-chastain-swear

j-l

jisforjudi judi-daily julieandrewsrules karlatg kubriq lanalikesnobanana lanaspoppingpussy lejazzhot lost-in-briarcliff

m-o

marykatestreep meryl-streep merylismyblondbitch mirandaapriestly miss-levinson mrytle-snow

p-r

palemagnoliaparrilla-paulson pepperforpresident queen-julieandrews regal-lange right-upoffmytiptoes

s-u

sageshorty sassystellagibson savannahfannafo savingmrsgummer savingpltravers savingthegingers supremecordeliagoode thatsallx thegaystreepthestreep the-queen-of-candyland

v-y

vintagegal wednesday-witches wohhh yousayperfect-isaystreep

See growing up I…
I always felt like I had to be the best at everything
Because I, I just didn’t think I wasn’t good enough
And maybe if I was good at something, that I’d get recognition from that
But I quickly found out that, I wasn’t going to get the recognition that I wanted or that I needed
Because, because people aren’t perfect
And, by not being perfect you, you sometimes can disappoint people
And with God, it’s like He’s perfect and He never disappoints
So I just get my recognition from Him
And give Him recognition
—  Justin Bieber, “All In It”