Author Topic: Suddenly  (Read 7709 times)

Wolfe

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Re: Suddenly
« Reply #30 on: February 05, 2014, 10:32:02 AM »
Could it also be a difference maybe between Uk and US? Just a thought, guys.

Just to make sure I hadn't lost my mind, I asked this question of a friend in England. She laughed and said there was no difference. Bad writing was bad writing.

Her words, not mine.

Again, keep in mind, pace and sentence structure does it better than poor word choice. It's something akin to adding an adverb after the dialogue tag. If the dialogue itself isn't showing the work or tone, the adverb is nothing more than a crutch because the author failed to create a good sentence.

Suddenly, and the even worse 'out of the blue', don't work because they also draw attention to themselves.

And then, suddenly, Wolfe gets to his point . . . is patronizing and telling to the reader. And, it falls under the same category as, "It was a dark and stormy night."

Suddenly . . . reads like a tired cliche and should be treated as such.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2014, 10:34:28 AM by Wolfe »

Offline Vienna

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Re: Suddenly
« Reply #31 on: February 05, 2014, 11:18:38 AM »
suddenly, it dawned me, completely out of the blue, but at the end of the day, I was over the moon...............
Just a well-read punk peasant

Going to church makes you a christian as much as standing in a garage makes you a car!

LucyLastic

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Re: Suddenly
« Reply #32 on: February 05, 2014, 12:48:36 PM »
As long as you didn't get your knickers in a twist. But you could have mentioned you are in a book-lined inner sanctum. ;)


Pale, sorry about your thread being derailed.

cmb

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Re: Suddenly
« Reply #33 on: February 05, 2014, 12:54:43 PM »
Suddenly . . . reads like a tired cliche and should be treated as such.

Wolfe, this caught my eye. You say it reads like a tired cliche. Which means not all cliches are old and tired, right? So am I right to assume that some cliches may have their use - if used wisely? Or am I reading too much into this?

Offline Dawn

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Re: Suddenly
« Reply #34 on: February 05, 2014, 12:59:50 PM »
Where is the tin opener? (For the can of worms)

Settles down for the night  ;)
Time to take it serious and get the job done

Pale Writer

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Re: Suddenly
« Reply #35 on: February 05, 2014, 02:13:49 PM »
Not to worry, Lucy. I've hijacked so many threads I'm wanted by the FBI.

Offline Laura H

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Re: Suddenly
« Reply #36 on: February 05, 2014, 02:34:21 PM »
See, this is why I love writers. We're so passionate about things like word choice  :)
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou

“Don't be like the rest of them, darling.” ― Eudora Welty

Offline protekme

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Re: Suddenly
« Reply #37 on: February 05, 2014, 03:05:39 PM »
Agreed. If someone goes to a hairdresser, why not just say so? Of course, you could say they went to a tonsorial salon, although I believe that would jerk a reader out of the flow of the story. There is a balance between writing down to readers and/or paying them the respect of crediting them with a reasonable vocabulary. But constant use of abstruse words that have me reaching for a dictionary definitely interrupts my enjoyment of a story.

As long as a story isn’t littered with them, there’s no harm in using “ly” words occasionally. Or perhaps I should have said there’s no harm in the occasional use of “ly” words.

IMO, if a writer strives too hard to avoid using “taboo” terms (which we all use in natural speech) there’s a danger of writing becoming stilted and unnatural. For example, I could say I slowly walked away, or I could say I walked away at a slow pace. It's possible for someone to suddenly feel sick, or we could say someone experienced a sudden feeling of nausea. Whichever, it's constant use of similar phraseology that I feel can become tedious.


That's what I wanted to write, but you said it better than I could.
-- People are usually more convinced by reasons they discovered themselves than by those found by others 
-- I have made this letter longer than usual only because I had no time to make it shorter
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cmb

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Re: Suddenly
« Reply #38 on: February 05, 2014, 03:16:02 PM »
It's possible for someone to suddenly feel sick, or we could say someone experienced a sudden feeling of nausea.

Or you could say he threw up on his grandmother's new carpet. I'll bet the reader will realise the throwing up was suddenly, or he'd have gone somewhere else to puke.   ;D

Offline Dawn

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Re: Suddenly
« Reply #39 on: February 05, 2014, 03:20:55 PM »
I don't particularly like the word myself. It reminds me of children's books. I think though if it was used in natural speech it would work differently - if this was the voice and tone you wanted to convey. Look at Chic lits they use lots of ly words. Sophie Kinsella's are littered with them.
Time to take it serious and get the job done

cmb

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Re: Suddenly
« Reply #40 on: February 05, 2014, 03:23:25 PM »
You mean when used in dialogue? I guess, that might be OK - occasionally. Chic Lit, eh? Not my cup of tea.

Offline protekme

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Re: Suddenly
« Reply #41 on: February 05, 2014, 03:25:33 PM »
Very interesting post. I was sure Pale wouldn’t mind the drifting. We are here to learn, aren’t we?

I see both sides of this argument and believe it’s a matter of equilibrium.

When rules are listed by “famous” authors” God has spoken (for many) and they spread the 'Word'.

Words are a vehicle of expression. What is wrong is overusing them, or using them at the wrong time or place. That demonstrates a lack of attention and sensitivity, if you care to be a good writer.

I agree “suddenly” is being abused. I disagree to remove it from our writing.

I am reading an author right now, who has published over thirty books. I did not know that when I started to read it. A friend gave it to me from another friend who received it from another friend: there is no more cover and half the pages are falling apart, showing that it was passed in many hands. And they all loved it. i was skeptical.

As I was reading along, I encircled words and expressions that got on my nerves. When I finished the second chapter, my friend asked me if I liked the book, I answered that I had my writer’s cap on, and I couldn’t tell yet. I have to admit when I eased off on the pencil, I got caught in the story. It’s good. Not only good, it’s really good.

Here are some examples of what annoyed me in the first 20 pages:

She shrugged her shoulders.
She nodded her head.
Why did you pick me for a partner? She asked instead of answering. (We know she avoided to answer—no point mentioning it).
She nodded wordlessly.
She sat fully up in bed.
Her eyes drifted open.
She rushed out of the shower and threw a towel around her wet body.
She said softly, feeling vaguely guilty. (It’s like a little bit pregnant). It's not because it's a "ly" word.
There was a sudden knock on the door.

Am I wrong to be so critical? I pointed those things to my friends. They both said that they enjoyed the story and did not notice what was I saw.  

I always believed "It was a dark and stormy night" was to be admired but never understood the fuss made around it. I took it as being a bad night to be outside  It was neither bad nor good . . . just a regular sentence.

Many readers also give their hard-earned money to what others call “junk books”. Everything is subjective.

-- People are usually more convinced by reasons they discovered themselves than by those found by others 
-- I have made this letter longer than usual only because I had no time to make it shorter
              Blaise Pascal

Offline Dawn

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Re: Suddenly
« Reply #42 on: February 05, 2014, 03:31:30 PM »
I struggle to read now because of the critic in me. I no longer enjoy reading like I used to do.

Good point, Pro. I had the same conversation with hubby who is a die hard Martina Cole fan. She is a prime example, but would she be still selling books if she didn't have the following that she has?
Time to take it serious and get the job done

cmb

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Re: Suddenly
« Reply #43 on: February 05, 2014, 03:43:09 PM »
Oh yes, I recognise that, and I decided quite some time ago now, that I'll take off my writer's cap when I'm reading for my own enjoyment. It's the only way I can still enjoy a good book.

Offline ma100

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Re: Suddenly
« Reply #44 on: February 05, 2014, 04:22:51 PM »
The inner critic can spoil enjoyment of books, there is no doubt about it, but not at expense of good story I don't think. I too enjoyed Martina Cole books, more her earlier stuff to be quite honest. But, as a reader you may not be able to put your finger on why you throw the book to the side apart from the fact something is boring the drawers off you.

It could be a voice really grates or something happens suddenly, happily, decisively. It could be that there is so much description you lose the plot. Even Schindlers list I gave up on because of the names I couldn't remember or follow. Maybe being told the same thing over again gets up your nose and you start scanning for a good bit. Whatever, over the years I think publishers got wise to what is losing and gaining trade. Established authors had built there following and writing a pamphlet on how to grow a weed would give them glory from adoring fans. ::) Publishers want the cream from new talent and if you want to see that dream through, you will try your very best to achieve what the current trend is. Who knows, archaic writing may come back in 20 years. ::)

But remember, readers have got more picky, I mean the price of a book is not cheap. Everyone and his wife pretty much has the internet, so many do take notice of reviews on books before they buy. Everyone also has the chance to be that critic too and some couldn't care less who's chances they are wrecking and spouting pure venom. :o

When I buy a book, I don't want to read about what she is wearing, I want to imagine that for myself. I want to be involved in that book and imagine what sort of decor they have. The MC will be who I see as that person, it may not be a bit like the author imagined them, but it works well in my head. ;D

Gawd I've rambled, but what I am trying to say is if you can emerse a reader in your words by showing, why use an adverb to tell me and move me away from the zone I was happily in. :-\ It's akin to someone talking through a film to my way of thinking. Then again, I'm not the brightest spark in the box. :-[