Thursday, 22 December 2011

About Damn Time

On Saturday, while I really should have been sleeping, I did something I hadn't done in absolutely ages. I'll give you a few seconds to guess as to what it might be.

Give up? Well whether or not you got it, I wrote some more of my book. After writing two posts for this place. I got a lot of writing done. I think I really don't like sleep sometimes. Well, it's true I suppose actually. I proved I would have kicked ass at NaNoWriMo, by writing over ten thousand words in an hour or two. Awww fuck yeah.

I really don't know why I put it off for so long, but it felt good to do it again, you know? It feels good to write. I know I've said this kind of stuff in several posts already, but you can let me get away with it one more time. You are my loyal readers. It does feel good though. I don't do many productive things, so I like the ones I do get done even more.

I wrote just one chapter, but like I said, over ten thousand words! In an hour and a half! I worked out how long it is because I put a Youtube playlist on that lasts an hour and a half on, and it started from the beginning again not long after I stopped writing. Plus it was an introduction to one of the main characters, and there was a lot of talking. If you haven't picked up from my short stories yet, I really don't like talking scenes much. I'm not sure on what the writing etiquette for them is. I know every time someone new starts talking you start a new paragraph, but do you have to keep saying who's talking? Let's say two people were talking (which happened a lot in this chapter), do I have to keep pointing out who said what? Here's an example;

"Hi there", One said.

"Hello", Two replied

"Lovely whether huh?" One asked.

"It sure is, you have any plans for the day?", responded Two

"Well I have to go to work, but after that I'm free, how about you?", said One.

"Pretty much the same, you want to hang out after work?" Said Two.

"Sounds like a plan." replied One, "I'll see you later then"

"See you", said Two, before walking off.


"Hi there", One said.

"Hello", Two replied

"Lovely whether huh?" One asked.

"It sure is, you have any plans for the day?"

"Well I have to go to work, but after that I'm free, how about you?"

"Pretty much the same, you want to hang out after work?

"Sounds like a plan, I'll see you later then"

"See you", said Two, before walking off.


Which of those is accurate? I tend to stick to the second one. Just establish who is talking when, and then let the conversation happen, mostly because I hate repetition though, and hate overusing convesational words like "said", "replied", "asked", even synomyns like "enquired". Bah. Either way, my fingers and wrists are hurting, so I'll have to leave it that, plus this has dragged on. Once I start writing, it can get hard for me to stop!

A quick shout out though to the Beer For The Shower boys, the reason I held this off until today! Today is a day they read, and what with their book experience, I was hoping for their opinion. Though of course everyone's matters. Thursday is also just a busy day for me, like Monday.


  1. At least try putting the specifics in front of the sentence once in a while, like "one made a confused look and asked 'how is that possible?'" or something similar.
    But if it's a two-person conversation (or at least the part you're currently writing) it's generally considered okay (and good practice even) to not specify who says it over and over, since you know every newline implies the other person's speech.

    But writing really feels good, sure, but I can't be assed to actually finish something. I got complete and baffling storylines up here, in my head, but I can't be bothered putting them onto paper in their entirety.

  2. One and two approched eachother and each greeted the other.

    "Lovely weather huh?" Asked the one.

    The other replied that it was and added "You have anyplans for the day?"

    "Well I have to go to work," he replied but then added, "after that I'm free, how about you?"

    two then repsonded that he too needed to work and added that they should meet after work!

    one concured to this and they each left saying there goodbyes.

    How bout that?

  3. Good to hear you've been productive and the second one works better...

  4. As much as we may hate it, readers can easily get lost in the conversation if there is no tag as to who said what.

    I wish I could be as productive as you.I have only posted once this week...although it is a good one that deserves to be left up for a week! You gotta check it out, if you haven't already!

  5. Second one flows better in my head.

  6. @Fang Cheers, I Should really consider that yeah lol. You should at least write down the basics of your ideas, should you hope to one day do it. I have one full story on the go, I have a plan for another story written down too.

    @Bersercules That was badass is what that was. Like Fang said, I just need to mix and match with where I put the specifics.

    @The Angry Lurker Me being productive IS a rare occurance.

    @Workingdan Alright if you count the blog I can be pretty productive.

    @JDC Thanks.

  7. @Mark I find writing out what they say like you did in the first example is best when your writing out the story and watching it grow and evolve. Changing it like I or Fang said is something to do once you have the story fleshed out. At least thats what I think.

  8. Lol I'd love to help but my English teacher never taught us how to write conversations. She even begged us not to attempt them in our exams because she knew we'd be useless at it lol!

  9. Interesting post, I hate damn time.

  10. As a writer myself, I can completely relate. Good luck on your writing project.

  11. A chance to sound smart and useful? Sign me up! Thanks for the mention, and for asking our opinion! Here it is:

    The second one. Always. Without a doubt. Here's why the first one DOESN'T work: it's clunky. Even if you change the verb from said to something else, it's still the same formula over and over and over again.

    "Hi," he said. "Hello," she said. "How are you?" he asked. "Fine," she replied. It's extremely repetitive. From a professional stand point, this is unacceptable writing.

    Now, with the 2nd one, it's accepted that if you establish only 2 people are talking, then you can alternate dialogue like this without any problem. It's not confusing, and we use this constantly.

    So, to mix things up, what about a third option that's even better? This doesn't just involve talking, this involves throwing in some actions. Not only does it spice things up, but let's face it, when 2 people are having a conversation, they aren't just sitting there doing nothing, right? It adds some much needed life.

    Here's your example, but let's called this Option Number Three, which is MY preferred method:

    "Hi there", said One.

    "Hello", Two replied.

    "Lovely weather, huh?" One asked.

    "It sure is, you have any plans for the day?"

    One glanced at his watch and sighed. "Well I have to go to work, but after that I'm free, how about you?"

    Two grimaced. "I have to go to work too. You want to hang out after?"

    "Sounds like a plan, I'll see you later then."

    "See you", said Two, before walking off.

    By throwing action into the dialogue, we keep the writing clean and we actually make it more interesting.

    Hope this helps!

  12. @Bersercules I'm not a fan of rewriting things. I'm aware of who's speaking, the problem comes if the readers aren't. But like Fang said once you've established which one is which, it's not bad to just let the conversation flow.

    @Hazel Your teachers sound lovely lol. Mine just never really taught me creative writing. Or just not in a way that I learnt anything.

    @Film Geek Bastard Cheers man, I think I might need it.

    @ABFTS Thanks, that did help a lot :) I'm plugging your book tomorrow so be sure to stop by then. I need to get used to writing down what I see while I write. I can see the things I write clearly in my head, but this sometimes tends to hinder my writing, when I should be describing the scene as best as I can. Sometimes I write like I'm writing a movie I'm going to do everything in myself.

  13. Thats awesome, its always good to randomly go back to an old hobby. I find that is when you get the most work done

  14. over 10,000 words in an hour and half? Impressive!

  15. The second is just fine. Especially after you've established their personalities. It then becomes easier for us, the readers, to give them an individual voice, as it were, and you don't have to keep pointing out who said what.

  16. 10,000+ words in an hour and a half is amazing! And you had videos on in the background? Wow. You must have been in the zone that night! (sleep? pssh. who needs it?)

    Also,I agree with the boys from A Beer For The Shower--second one sounds better. The writer will catch on to who's talking. Tags are soooo frustrating to me; I'm never sure what to do with them....and I've been told that the only one you should really use is "(he/she) said. Not "replied" or "whined" or "purred" or anything. It takes away from the story, they say. Well eff that, I say. Write the way you're comfortable with and don't change unless a gatekeeper says so! :)

  17. @Kid Shuffle I need more hobbies lol.

    @Copyboy No I was wrong about that, I have a formal apology in tomorrows post.

    @Henry That is one thing I have trouble with. I can hear an individual voice when I type, and when I read other peoples works, but I'm not sure if other people can when they read my stuff. I've only had one person read it so far, back when I was rubbish with conversations and everyone did sound the same.

    @Insomniac Again, I was wrong about how much I had written, I fail. I always work to music though. I think that different words ADD to the story, they give depth to the characters too, they make it seem less monotonous.

  18. Yea writing isnt easy I find it hard to write lengthy essays!

  19. The second one is fine. (:

  20. Not a fan of rewriting things? Good luck on your writings!

    But in all seriousness you always seem against doing things twice. It is the way to do things to get better at them. I hope you give it a try someday!

    Also when I was a kid and we had to write storys mine where always 90% talk! I loved reading comicbooks as a kid and it made me love storys with actions and talking and I couldn't have cared less about descriptions!

  21. You're talented.

  22. @Baur I find essays much easier. Hell I could write a huge essay in not that long, because it's structured and I'm told what to write about.

    @My 2 Pesos A cat is fine too.

    @Bersercules Haha I did do some rewriting earlier. It's more that if I'm rewriting things, I'm just making it take longer. When it was the interview and such, it was more that the answers would seem less genuine. My responses wouldn't seem the same, at least to me. When it comes to writing and other things, I know it is at times a necessity. All my blog posts so far have just been one original draft though. I just write them and then leave them. My stories typically read like comic books, I think I need more descriptions really.

    @Interwebs Fails Thank you.

  23. Good for you for actually writing. I've put my book aside for months now and just can't get it. I'm thinking I might need to write it in a longhand so I can carry it with me and jot things as they come to my head. It's my goal for 2012. Thanks for the inspiration!

  24. @Bouncin' Barb Okay I don't think I've ever been called an inspiration before lol. Mine was aside for a few months too actually. I know how I wanted it to start, and I know how I want it to end, it's just that damn middle bit.

  25. Hey again, thanks for commenting on my post :0

  26. I'm pretty sure you can't 'write' 10k words in 90 minutes, unless you type 'em. I've tried. It doesn't work that way.

    I suck at writing chatting scenes (or should I say, episodes) too.

    I could relate to you. I always wrote my book infrequently, until the time came and I shelved it and am waiting for the tank to fill up, so I can write with more confidence.

  27. Yeah go with the second one bro.

  28. I agree with everyone else...the second one.

  29. @Marco Walter Thanks.

    @Kbbudding writer Yeah I addressed that in today's post :) I fail. Hard. I think I just didn't realise all the planning and everything that went into a book. How much of it was actually writing.

    @Javier Cheers.

    @Heaven Less productive than first imagined :P

    @Alenstesch I tried to go with ABFTS third option.


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