Author Topic: Suddenly  (Read 7736 times)

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Suddenly
« Reply #45 on: February 05, 2014, 04:51:45 PM »
Maybe indie bookshops could hang a sign on their door

"We Sell Books to Readers Only . . . if you're a writer, leave your hat on the peg before you browse.' ;D

Offline Don

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Re: Suddenly
« Reply #46 on: February 05, 2014, 09:34:01 PM »
Quote
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.  :-[

You underestimate yourself, Ma. It's exactly like someone talking during a movie.

When someone reads one of my stories, I want them to feel like they're watching a film. They aren't going to see my character or his surroundings the same way I see them but that's okay. They'll filter everything through their knowledge and experience and see something similar to what I intended.

If I were to suddenly introduce a word or a phrase or anything that disrupts their suspension of disbelief, I've become my own worst enemy. This is what we're talking about: keeping the reader mesmerized. That translates into sales.


I have a motto: when in doubt, go for the cheap laugh.

Pale Writer

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Re: Suddenly
« Reply #47 on: February 05, 2014, 09:43:52 PM »
Words, so powerful. But listed in a dictionary, they are just words. It's what we do with them as writers that gives them a voice. There are times when an adjective is needed, other times it weakens. Sometimes they clarify.

She is beauty.

She is beautiful.

In a way it depends also on your audience. What they expect, what they are looking for. I used to think of writing as a movie, but I can't do that anymore because for me it isn't the same. A movie has the benefit of audio and visual tools and I can't always assume a reader will know what I mean unless I tell them - not always, but sometimes. One person once told me, you don't have to make everything factual, but just plausible - so a reader can be within that grasp and yet have the freedom to colour a bit in on their own.

Of course this probably has nothing to do with suddenly - but as I mentioned, I've hijacked a few threads myself :)

Thank you all for keeping this thread interesting. It would be a fantastic event indeed to be gathered around a table discussing the same over a nice meal. :)

pale

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Suddenly
« Reply #48 on: February 05, 2014, 09:45:07 PM »
The Suddenly Club -- bit like a literary flash mob. ;D

Pale Writer

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Re: Suddenly
« Reply #49 on: February 05, 2014, 09:47:21 PM »
We can all puff on bubble pipes and make faces when no one's watching.

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Suddenly
« Reply #50 on: February 05, 2014, 09:50:45 PM »
 ;D ;D ;D Always a impromptu do -- you just suddenly get the invitation, phone call, message. :D

Pale Writer

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Re: Suddenly
« Reply #51 on: February 05, 2014, 09:53:01 PM »
Now that would be cool. Some secluded park, a picnic table set up with candles and loose sheets of paper to discuss points over. :P We could make them into airplanes at the end of the meeting and sail away with our ideas.

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Suddenly
« Reply #52 on: February 05, 2014, 09:56:12 PM »
Not in the snow, though. >:(

Pale Writer

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Re: Suddenly
« Reply #53 on: February 05, 2014, 09:58:53 PM »
snow sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks (it sucks so much that I even typed that all out)

so no picnic day in the snow. :P

Wolfe

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Re: Suddenly
« Reply #54 on: February 05, 2014, 10:07:27 PM »
You know, I discussed this topic at length with my peers and colleagues this evening. Even mentioned some of the more 'enlightened' responses. They all laughed and asked why do I even bother staying on the site? At this point, I wonder too. It's like watching some of you stick your fingers in your ears and say, "La la la."

Let me put this in a nutshell: A literary name, with a legendary career, states in his top ten rules for writing, specifically, not to use suddenly. Multiple agents, have also linked and listed Elmore's rules, on their websites as a guideline for writing.

Here's an example: https://andyrossagency.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/elmore-leonards-ten-rules-for-writing/


6. Never use the words “suddenly” or “all hell broke loose.” What Elmore is really saying here is that you should avoid clichés like the plague (ha, ha. joke). Another sign of lazy writing. And you might also take the advice of Strunk and White and not use “weak” adjectives like “nice”, “beautiful”, or even “weak”.


Please note, I just read the commentary myself for the first time. Seeing a correlation to what I said earlier?

How about advice from a former agent, now editor and writer?

http://kidlit.com/2009/08/27/why-you-dont-use-suddenly/


“Suddenly” is a crutch. It’s cheap. It’s easy. Lots and lots of writers pepper their manuscripts with it because then they don’t have to worry about writing transitions, describing actions or giving the reader any context. They just slap a “suddenly” on to an event or feeling and voila! It fits!


Again, notice the commonality?

Now, let's put this into perspective again. You have a legendary writer, agents, and editors, all telling hopefuls not to use the word. Reason why is given, and a better method has been explained and demonstrated. And yet some of you, who want to start a career in this business, still say, "I don't see why not?" This-and-this author did it.

Are you a famous author with over thirty works to your name? No? Then you'll forgive me when I don't take your comment too seriously.

But, by all means, do what you want. It makes it easier for agents and editors to find those critical mistakes and reject your manuscripts. I know it did for me. So, please, do it.

After all, you know better. Now, please excuse me, I must withdraw to my book-lined sanctum. And by the way, I'm damn proud of it.

Any writer who thinks that's an insult needs their head checked.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2014, 05:12:10 AM by Wolfe »

LucyLastic

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Re: Suddenly
« Reply #55 on: February 06, 2014, 06:35:52 AM »
I’m with the other posters who find reading less enjoyable because, as writers, we can’t seem to ditch that flipping editor’s hat. I used to enjoy Jilly Cooper novels, impressed by the research she does on the subject she’s writing about. It wasn’t until after I started writing that I even noticed how she head-hops. So I stand by my view that writers are the people most likely to be critical of things the average reader wouldn’t be aware of.

I’ve looked at loads of Amazon reviews, and I see five star jobs saying how wonderful a book is. If I look inside and see badly written work, I assume those reviews are written by non-writers who don’t give a damn about the quality of the writing.

Oh, and reference the supposed deity, Elmore Leonard, I understand one rule of his gospel is that a writer should never use anything other than “said” as a speech tag. Apparently, any other form of speech tag is something else he decreed should never be used.

Funny how I found a one star review of one of his books saying, and I quote: “The repetition of said leads me to bleive that Mr Leonarddoes not have access to a decent theasaurus!”  Another one star review referred to “consecutive lines of pitiful dialogue” and gave examples of them all ending in said.

This is the revered man we are all expected to obey without question?


Wolfe

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Re: Suddenly
« Reply #56 on: February 06, 2014, 06:49:08 AM »
This is the revered man we are all expected to obey without question?

You have, yet again, missed the point. Responses like yours are the reason most in the business avoid websites like this. What's the point of answering questions with facts when someone like you shows such disrespect. Do you really want to compare Elmore's career to yours?

Really? Are you sure you want to go there?

But, instead of repeating what others have already stated, I'll step aside and allow you to answer any further questions with your more worldly experience and knowledge. Far be it from me to direct writers who want to start a career in publishing with actual facts about what agents and editors want. Because, apparently, random reviewers' comments on Amazon trumps everything else.

Now, please excuse me, I have a deadline to make.

Please direct any further questions to LucyLastic who obviously knows better.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2014, 06:58:31 AM by Wolfe »

Offline Dawn

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Re: Suddenly
« Reply #57 on: February 06, 2014, 07:03:05 AM »
May I suggest that you take this to pm, guys. This is an interesting discussion which surely can be debated without the odd dig and spat.
Time to take it serious and get the job done

Wolfe

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Re: Suddenly
« Reply #58 on: February 06, 2014, 07:18:06 AM »
Very well. Let me put it in this: Elmore has written over seventeen novels, four were made into movies, the FX series Justified is based off his short story Fire in the Hole and remains FX's highest rated series. He has won the Grand Master for the Edgar Awards, the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award, a Peabody, and a National Book Award.

He's a literary legend in the business. Agents and editors, even after his death, link his rules on their websites as the core rules for hopefuls. And even Stephen King cites him as an example he follows as well as, "The Great American Writer."

So far, I've linked three sites that show evidence to back my claim. And my peers? She cites two 'reviewers' on Amazon as proof otherwise. So, I ask you . . . what makes more sense?

Granted, I don't think Elmore brought his rules down from Mount Sinai, but I would never disparage a man who brought so many readers to the fold because I differed with his opinion about word choice.

That's beyond disgusting and lacks any form of tact.

I sure as hell wouldn't do it to one of my peers here, who recently died, and I sure as hell wouldn't do it to a man who went out of his way to help his fellow authors.

Shame on anyone who would.

Offline Dawn

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Re: Suddenly
« Reply #59 on: February 06, 2014, 07:18:58 AM »
Right guys. Thread locked.
Time to take it serious and get the job done