Old 01-10-2018, 02:32 PM   #1
Bebop3
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Dialogue Concerns

Are you ever worried that dialogue that is true to a character who might be lacking in eloquence or erudition will have the reader inferring that the problem is with the writer, not the character?
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:44 PM   #2
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Are you ever worried that dialogue that is true to a character who might be lacking in eloquence or erudition will have the reader inferring that the problem is with the writer, not the character?
No. And yes.

Some readers will assume anything they like from stories posted on Literotica e.g. if you write incest you must have fucked your sister, your mother, or both.

If you write femdom? You are a wimp. If you write BDSM? You are a dangerous sadistical abuser.

If you write Loving Wives? You must be insane and/or a masochist or both.

Don't worry about it. Write what you want to write. Someone will misunderstand.
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electricblue66:
It's like [oggbashan] is writing for the third puffin over there by the sixth rock, when everyone else is an emperor penguin in the Antarctic, where there's tens of thousands of the bastards.

“The inimitable stories of Tong-King never have any real ending, and this one, being in his most elevated style, has even less end than most of them. But the whole narrative is permeated with the odour of joss-sticks and honourable high-mindedness, and the two characters are both of noble birth.”
― Ernest Bramah, Wallet of Kai Lung
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:47 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bebop3 View Post
Are you ever worried that dialogue that is true to a character who might be lacking in eloquence or erudition will have the reader inferring that the problem is with the writer, not the character?
Do you mean that the reader might think that the character is been given the incorrect dialogue-that it should be eloquent and erudite, or do you fear that the reader might think that it is the writer who is lacking in eloquence and/or erudition him/herself?

In neither case I would worry.
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:47 PM   #4
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Great post, Oggbashan! A load of worldly wisdom in a few short sentences😁
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Old 01-10-2018, 03:31 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by oggbashan View Post
No. And yes.

Some readers will assume anything they like from stories posted on Literotica e.g. if you write incest you must have fucked your sister, your mother, or both.

If you write femdom? You are a wimp. If you write BDSM? You are a dangerous sadistical abuser.

If you write Loving Wives? You must be insane and/or a masochist or both.

Don't worry about it. Write what you want to write. Someone will misunderstand.
This is very true. It's something to keep in mind at all times while writing. You cannot control what some readers will think about what you write, and you can't write with an eye toward mollifying those readers. The only way you will succeed is by compromising your writing, and, even then, some will still hate you.
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Old 01-10-2018, 04:52 PM   #6
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Ogg, Simon, truth.

Back when I was writing a lot of LW stories there was always the few who thought they were true and would wish death, AIDS or worse on me, on the wife, on everyone in the story.

Now I put a disclaimer up front and tell them to go look up the word fiction. Then tell them I know people named the same as in my stories but none of them are in the story, just the names.

As for dialog, if me the writer is going to put words in the mouth of a character that are not eloquent and erudite, then I let the read know when I describe the character. If they still believe that it's me lacking the vocabulary then where did all the eloquent and erudite dialog that the other characters are using come from? Readers, while nice to have, are basically idiots, unless they happen to also be authors, but some times even we can be idiots.
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Old 01-10-2018, 04:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Are you ever worried that dialogue that is true to a character who might be lacking in eloquence or erudition will have the reader inferring that the problem is with the writer, not the character?
Unless there is only the one "less than eloquent" character in the story, it seems there would be plenty of opportunity to make it clear that it is intended by the author. Also, it seems that to include "more eloquent" dialogue in another character would work to emphasize the "lack of eloquence" in the intended character. Seems like the worst thing one could do is write dialougue that would come off as unbelievable in order to be technically correct.
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Old 01-10-2018, 05:54 PM   #8
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The flip-side to this is readers who are less erudite than the characters, offering "corrections" for things that are already correct. I've had a couple of those.
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Old 01-10-2018, 06:02 PM   #9
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Are you ever worried that dialogue that is true to a character who might be lacking in eloquence or erudition will have the reader inferring that the problem is with the writer, not the character?
Not at all.

The reason is if all of your characters spoke and acted the same 'erudite' in your words and well spoken and always with proper grammar, that would make for a bunch of boring unidentifiable characters.

There's a very simple exercise that shows you what I mean and why you shouldn't worry.

Next time you're out at a gathering or even hanging out at home with friends sit and listen to the conversations around you. People butcher the English language....slang, fragmented sentences, bad grammar all not 'correct' but all indicative of real people.

The only exception is when I've gone to my wife's Toastmasters( a group based on public speaking) because the purpose of their club is speaking properly. And let me tell you, they sound like a bunch of stiffs

Which of course leads me to respond to questions with "I dunno" "Whaddaya talkin' about" and "I ain't got no idea"
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Old 01-10-2018, 06:56 PM   #10
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The flip-side to this is readers who are less erudite than the characters, offering "corrections" for things that are already correct. I've had a couple of those.
I've had them too.

One didn't recognise the subjunctive. Perhaps I shouldn't have used that in a Lit story?
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electricblue66:
It's like [oggbashan] is writing for the third puffin over there by the sixth rock, when everyone else is an emperor penguin in the Antarctic, where there's tens of thousands of the bastards.

“The inimitable stories of Tong-King never have any real ending, and this one, being in his most elevated style, has even less end than most of them. But the whole narrative is permeated with the odour of joss-sticks and honourable high-mindedness, and the two characters are both of noble birth.”
― Ernest Bramah, Wallet of Kai Lung
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Old 01-10-2018, 07:34 PM   #11
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Are you ever worried that dialogue that is true to a character who might be lacking in eloquence or erudition will have the reader inferring that the problem is with the writer, not the character?
I've got a similar issue in a non-human story currently in progress - how to show the difference in speech from another species.

My solution is to use a few key dialogue indicators (in thiiis caaase stretched vowels as just shown), accompanied in the first few instances by an immediate description of how the speech sounds. That way, I can show a few key dialogue indicators, and once the different inflections are established, I can then continue the dialogue without the accompanying descriptions.

I figure readers are smart enough to figure it out, once they get the idea. The trick is to watch out for inadvertent rubbish pronunciation, if the exteeeended word is wrongly read. A closer reading of deliberate misspelling is required. A note to Laurel will be essential.
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Old 01-10-2018, 07:39 PM   #12
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In another life, I was quite a prolific writer of radio dramas.

I once wrote a play in which the central character’s confidence exceeded his comprehension of legal terminology by a factor of ten or so.

The play was first broadcast on a Monday evening. By Tuesday afternoon the network had received almost 50 letters pointing out that I had used the wrong words, and that my knowledge of Latin was atrocious. The postal service was really efficient back in those days.
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Old 01-10-2018, 08:42 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by oggbashan View Post
I've had them too.

One didn't recognise the subjunctive. Perhaps I shouldn't have used that in a Lit story?
OMG. I don't even know what the subjunctive is. My confidence is destroyed, Ogg, destroyed .... how can I ever write again ....
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Old 01-10-2018, 08:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bramblethorn View Post
The flip-side to this is readers who are less erudite than the characters, offering "corrections" for things that are already correct. I've had a couple of those.
I once got over-zealous feedback when someone tried to correct a character's grammar. I think he just didn't stop to think that he was correcting dialogue rather than narrative.
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:57 AM   #15
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OMG. I don't even know what the subjunctive is. My confidence is destroyed, Ogg, destroyed .... how can I ever write again ....
You probably use it without knowing that you do:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_subjunctive
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electricblue66:
It's like [oggbashan] is writing for the third puffin over there by the sixth rock, when everyone else is an emperor penguin in the Antarctic, where there's tens of thousands of the bastards.

“The inimitable stories of Tong-King never have any real ending, and this one, being in his most elevated style, has even less end than most of them. But the whole narrative is permeated with the odour of joss-sticks and honourable high-mindedness, and the two characters are both of noble birth.”
― Ernest Bramah, Wallet of Kai Lung
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Old 01-11-2018, 08:48 AM   #16
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You probably use it without knowing that you do:
That was my exact argument when teaching Trig to high school dropouts. I just didn't tell them what we were learning.

I can still remember the look on one big old former football lineman's face when the director told him what the formulas he was writing inside the protective box for our Jacob's Ladder was.
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:51 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oggbashan View Post
You probably use it without knowing that you do:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_subjunctive
Good lord, I finished school with a degree in English and a minor in Creative Writing, and reading that made my eyes glaze over.

I took Japanese in college, which has a reputation for being a very difficult language for English speakers to learn due to the sheer number of characters one needs to be able to recognize to read/write it, and a sentence structure that is nothing like English when it comes to speaking it. I once asked my professor, who was native Japanese, whether in his experience he felt it was easier to be a native Japanese speaker and learn English, or a native English speaker and learn Japanese.

He didn't even hesitate, and said if he had the choice, he'd have been a native English speaker and learned Japanese, because English has so many different rules for grammar, irregular verbs, and seemingly arbitrary sentence structures that he was jealous of anyone who acquired that fluency naturally.

Put up against "Memorizing 10,000 or so kanji, learning 2 irregular verbs, and 1 irregular adjective", I think he had a point.
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Old 01-14-2018, 10:04 PM   #18
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Sometimes people who read my stuff are kinda shallow and don't get why I write the way I do and stuff. I don't mind. If they don't get it, they don't get it. I admit Debbie is not the brightest bulb in the basement but it does take a certain level of intelligence to appreciate her lack thereof. Makes me appreciate the people who get it even more.

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Old 01-15-2018, 12:17 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oggbashan View Post
You probably use it without knowing that you do:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_subjunctive
Follows link. Reads. Is immediately lost. I think I'll just go with doing what comes naturally and skip the theory. Aaaaaggghhhhhhh.
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Old 01-15-2018, 02:11 AM   #20
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Follows link. Reads. Is immediately lost. I think I'll just go with doing what comes naturally and skip the theory. Aaaaaggghhhhhhh.
That description is too long.

Subjunctive is a "mood", not a tense. It can be in different tenses.

You use subjunctive to state something that's not actually true.

For example:

In simple (or "indicative") present tense, you would say:

He speaks French.

I know that he speaks French.

But you would use the subjunctive for:

I suggest that he speak French. (because you want him to speak French, but he doesn't actually speak French).
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