hyphenated

Always there was the word. Always there was that four-letter ugly sound that men in uniform have expanded into the single substance of the linguistic world. It was a handle, a hyphen, a hyperbole; verb, noun, modifier; yes, even conjunction.
It described food, fatigue, metaphysics. It stood for everything and meant nothing; an insulting word, it was never used to insult; crudely descriptive of the sexual act, it was never used to describe it; base, it meant the best; ugly, it modified beauty; it was the name and the nomenclature of the voice of emptiness, but one heard it from chaplains and captains, from Pfc.’s and Ph.D.’s—until, finally, one could only surmise that if a visitor unacquainted with English were to overhear our conversations he would, in the way of the Higher Criticism, demonstrate by measurement and numerical incidence that this little word must assuredly be the thing for which we were fighting.
— 

Helmet for My Pillow, by Robert Leckie

Describing the word ‘fuck’.

One SFW sample page from Pair Skate, the 18+ YOI doujinshi I’m doing with @tumblngkori
I HAVE EIGHT DAYS TO FINISH SIX PAGES SKFJSDFHJJFAAAaaAAAAAA

PDF should be available first week in March!

Edit to add: text is huge relative to the panel art bc print size (if you wanna print it at home) is 5.5″ x 8.5″.

can i just say something?

when I was a kid, I told my mom that I wanted to be an actress when I grew up. You know what she told me?

She said, “sure, but you’re going to have to do it in China. America won’t hire you if you’re Asian.”

And that was it for that dream. 

Of course, that was just a phase - one of many, one I would’ve gotten over anyway. But what she said stuck to me. You’re going to have to act in China, because America doesn’t hire Asians.

And if there’s anything I learned over these years, it’s that she was right. Asian-Americans don’t get to see ourselves on screen. We don’t get to read about our deeds. And we get pissed. We complain, we shout, and people dismiss us because, oh, “the Japanese are okay with Ghost in the Shell”, and “I’ve heard that mainland Chinese are perfectly fine with Iron Fist.” Well, great for them. This isn’t about them.

This is about us. Asian-Americans. Asian-Canadians. Asian-Australians. Asian hyphen something. And the Asians in Asia don’t understand - because they can’t. They’re surrounded by media portrayals of them. They never have to fight for representation because it’s always there. They have no idea what it’s like to live in a country that sees you as other, and then to have to go back to your home country, to have your parents tell you “this is you, this is your culture, your heritage” and you look upon the faces of your family and you see nothing of yourself in them. 

Asian-Americans are not the same as Asians who live in Asia. We live in a different culture. Our values, our beliefs, the experiences that shape our lives are separate. 

We want to see ourselves in western media because it’s what we grew up with. It’s what surrounds us. Sure, we can watch K-dramas and anime and Chinese/Taiwanese/Japanese/whatever dramas, and a lot of us do, but it’s still not us

We shouldn’t have to go watch Asian dramas just to see a part of us represented. We shouldn’t have to move to Asia just to be hired. 

We deserve to represent, and be represented, as ourselves.

When they get married, Viktor and Yuuri hyphenate their surnames. It’s a bit of a mouthful though, so they don’t always go by both last names.

When they perform at competitions or ice shows, they’re always announced as Viktor and Yuuri Katsuki-Nikiforov.

But at the skating rink they own back home in the US after they retire, it’s Coach Nikiforov and Coach Katsuki.

To the students at Yuuri’s ballet studio it’s Mr. Katsuki and Mr. Katsuki’s husband.

When in Russia visiting Yakov and the rest of the Russian skate fam, they’re Mr. and Mr. Nikiforov.

When they’re commentating or doing interviews in Japan, it’s Yuuri Katsuki and his husband, Viktor Katsuki II.

(“Who is Viktor Katsuki I?” a fan asks them once out of curiosity.

Viktor pouts and turns his head away.

Yuuri just smiles wordlessly and holds up the picture of Vicchan he keeps in his wallet.)

this is the final album art for my cousin leo’s EP! hyphenated is an album that talks a lot about asian american identity, so i wanted to draw a chinese-american boy split with the image of the most awesome hero 孙悟空 (the monkey king). the animated 西游记 from 1999 is a huge childhood favorite of mine (nostalgia blast link) and i re-watched some episodes while drawing this haha. as chinese-americans, we have a long history rich with beautiful art and great stories. being chinese is WOW so cool and you should be proud!

yall whites can sit on your lil tumblr blogs with your cartoon character hyphen mental illness urls and reblog all the posts you want to sayin “representation matters!” but at the very same time refuse to watch anything that actually has representation. yall will jump through hoops to come up with reasons why you dont watch shows or movies that have main characters of color, just stop acting like you actually care it must be exhausting for you. and before anyone tries to try me and say “it’s just a show!” it’s really not, it’s showing us plain and simple no, representation does not matter, at least not to yall

What’s Up with the Hyphen, the En Dash, and the Em Dash?

A hyphen (-) is used to join words (e.g., “mother-in-law”) or to separate the syllables of the same word, e.g., at the end of a line if the word doesn’t fit:

⚠️ Never put a space before or after a hyphen.

ℹ️ NOTE: When it comes to en dashes and em dashes, different style guides (e.g., Associated Press, Chicago Manual of Style, Guardian) have different rules and preferences, so if you are required to adhere to a certain style, you should consult the appropriate guide.

Style preferences aside, an en dash () is slightly wider than a hyphen, and it usually replaces “to” between a range of numbers:

  • Although it is generally viewed that a space before and after an en dash is optional, you should ask your teacher what he or she prefers.
  • An en dash got its name because it is the width of an n.
  • 💡To make an en dash on a Mac, push option and - at the same time.

An em dash () is the widest of the three. It can be used in place of a colon, commas, and parentheses:

We can also use an em dash to express the source of a quotation:

Lastly, em dashes can show that a speaker has been interrupted. (This usage will come in handy if you’re writing dialogue or fiction.)

  • Similar to the first bullet point regarding en dashes, you should ask your teacher if he or she wants a space before and after an em dash; different teachers will give different answers.
  • An em dash got its name because it is the width of an m.
  • 💡 To make an em dash on a Mac, push option + shift + - at the same time.

The above explanations give you a big picture look at hyphens, en dashes, and em dashes. When it comes to the fine details (e.g., putting spaces before and after a dash), consult your teacher or his or her preferred style guide. 👍

A key piece from 3x17 that I think we have all overlooked. Somewhat brought up in blog post. I’m VERY EXCITED about this development:

Nursey is a good copy editor!

Being a good writer or interested in literature does not automatically make you a good copy editor. Even having an eye for typos does not automatically make you a good copy editor. Being a good copy editor involves adherence to strict and sometimes arbitrary rules, a grasp of the fine line between accuracy and pedantry, and a devotion to efficiencies and standards of communication. And it reveals SO MUCH about Nursey’s character.

I’ve often wondered what Nursey really cares about, what gets his goat and what gets him excited. This is the first insight I’ve really had into that. Nursey cares not just about the art of language but also its mechanics. He cares about precision and accuracy. He’s the sort of guy who notices if you hyphenated “free-standing” on page 2 but left it “freestanding”on page 7. Nursey’s an observant guy. He notices things, and he remembers.

The blog post gave us even more. Nursey will help you make decisions abut which stylebook to use in which context. He’s aware of the different registers and modes of written language. He has feelings about tone. Politeness. Social mores. Nursey is a guy who’s deliberate, and thoughtful, and can choose in which way he wants to present himself.

If he writes poetry, he recognizes when and how to use the conventions of it – if he’s writing free verse, he knows exactly what he’s freeing it from. Nursey’s the kind of guy who uses an anapest on purpose, and knows its name. He doesn’t let the words flow - he crafts them, carefully, with an eye toward matching form and function. If he has tendencies toward excess, he tries to tame them, as best he can. He’s aware that he, as a writer, needs an editor.

He cares about things being effective. Efficiency is a value to him. Saying or doing things with the minimum amount of fuss, being able to deliver on a promise made (in a thesis or with a handshake) - these are things that matter. Having the practical tools to get the job done matters to him.

Now think about Dex. And what kind of a person Dex is by nature.

How can Nursey not be attracted to that?

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!