Saturday, June 10, 2017

It's time to stop to call them dot-dot-dot πŸ˜‚


πŸ‘†You see those dots? All three together constitute an ellipsis. The plural form of the word is ellipses, as in "a writer who uses a lot of ellipses." They also go by the following names: ellipsis points, points of ellipsis, suspension points. We're opting for ellipsis points here, just to make things crystal clear. (And since we're aiming for clarity here, we'll also point out that ellipse is a different word, though, we're sorry, it's sometimes used to mean ellipsis.)

Some thoughts on ellipses are coming…

Ellipsis points are periods in groups of usually three, or sometimes four. They signal either that something has been omitted from quoted text, or that a speaker or writer has paused or trailed off in speech or thought.
That's the basics. Now we'll dig in to how they're used.
1) Ellipsis points indicate the omission of one or more words within a quoted sentence, as in the following example from the Preamble of the U. S. Constitution. Note that they are usually preceded and followed by a space:
"We the People of the United States ... do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
2) Ellipsis points are usually not used to indicate the omission of words that precede the quoted portion. However, in some formal contexts, especially when the quotation is introduced by a colon, ellipsis points are used.
Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address ends with a stirring call for national resolve that "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
Its final words define the war's purpose in democratic terms: "... that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
Ellipsis points following quoted material are omitted when the quoted material forms an integral part of a larger sentence.
She maintained that it was inconsistent with "government of the people, by the people, for the people."
3) Punctuation used in the original that falls on either side of the ellipsis points is often omitted, but it may be retained if it helps clarify the sentence structure.
"Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation ... can long endure."
"We the People of the United States, in Order to ... establish Justice, ... and secure the Blessings of Liberty ..., do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
If the omitted part includes the end of a sentence, a four-dot ellipsis may be used, with the first dot being, in truth, a period that follows immediately after the last word.
As the Declaration of Independence asserts, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.... That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed ..."

(to be continued πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄)

(Dots and idea borrowed from Merriam-Webster's Dictionary)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Show love to unsympathetic characters!

And one last time we return to Charlie Jane Anders (author of All The Birds in the Sky) and #10 of her "10 Writing "Rules" We Wish More Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors Would Break"...


10) No “unsympathetic” characters

It’s certainly true that if you’re going to have a main character who’s a total bastard, you’re going to have work harder to win over the reader — a likable character is just obviously easier for readers to get on board with. But at the same time, feeling constrained to make your protagonist — or all your major characters — as sympathetic as possible can put a straitjacket on your writing. You’re stuck trying to create characters who will seem sympathetic to all your readers, no matter what cultural context or attitudes they bring to the story. And you’re putting severe limits on what sort of actions your characters can take. The bottom line is that “sympathetic” isn’t the same thing as “compelling” — a character can be unsympathetic but utterly fascinating and spellbinding. Like a lot of the things on this list, this is all in the execution — if you’re going to go with a protagonist who’s fundamentally unsympathetic or unrelatable, you’re going to have to do an amazing job of making the reader care about him or her in spite of everything. Steel Remains art by Vincent Chong, via Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist.
(I kept Charlie Jane Anders' link for reference)

Great,  so who is going to pay for therapeutic session for my not-so lovable, grumpy, depressed or offish characters, mmh?! Just imagine Snowwhite without the seven odd personality dwarfs?
Utterly boring! We - well I am surrounded by leagues of different people and varying personalities (God, I live in Vienna, grumpy, suffering behavior is a TRAIT here!). They make live colorful, they make life challenging, they make life fun! The disputes between the characters gain depths by their differences and as annoying as some traits may be - these are problems that can help another character grow. As Charlie Jane Anders said, as long as you make me care about that sucker, as long as I come to understand his motives and feel sorry for him, he can be as grumpy and bad-ass and annoying as he wants! To be honest as a reader, goody-goody characters are the ones I have a tendency to drown at the next river crossing if the writer hasn't killed them already. It's the "unsympathetic" who have me thinking and wondering and involve me way more (It's why I always cry for the antagonist. My heart to this day hurts for Mordred even though I want to give him a good beating before hugging him lol)

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Breaking news: Happening NOW!

And on this day we look at Charlie Jane Anders' (author of All The Birds in the Sky)  #9 of her "10 Writing "Rules" We Wish More Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors Would Break"...


9) No present tense


At least, I’ve heard some people say this is a big no-no. It can be a bit disconcerting when the narrator is telling you about stuff as though it’s happening now. But present tense can also really work to make the story feel more immediate. And it can feel more arty, since a lot of vaguely literary writing is in the present tense. But also, if you want to see present tense working to create a dark, intense mood, check out Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim novels. Image by The Green Giant.
 (I kept Charlie Jane Anders' link for reference)

Mmh, a hard one for me to advice on. You are welcome to write in any tense you want, but if it is anything other than past tense you probably won't win me as a reader. As with First, I simply can't get into the story. Alas there are fans of First, so present tense might have some as well. The question is: How many and how many readers do you want and which tense tells your story best? Up to you!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

The danger of beautiful spring walks...

But do go out and collect those inspirations.
For some reason they spawn in the most unusual places.