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Messages - Becca Mills

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1
Writers' Cafe / Re: Craft question about dialogue tags
« on: Today at 02:01:56 pm »
You can put it before or after. It doesn't matter. What does matter is consistency. If you put the name first, you need to be sure that you continue to do so throughout. I know it may seem like a insignificant detail. But it's one of those things that when added to other minor errors can make for an awkward or muddled read.

Oh dear. I've never thought of this as an area were consistency is needed, but if it really is a matter of UK vs. U.S. usage, then one really would want to choose one or the other. Hmm. I almost always put the name or pronoun before "said," but in some sentences, putting "said" first has seemed preferable, though I'm not sure why. I'll have to add this to my editing check list and think about it more carefully: why did it seem better to me in those few cases, and shouldn't I be consistent?

2
I would say that Furiosa had a character arc. It's a bit tougher to see, because in the beginning of the story we know nothing about it, so it's harder to see where she's coming from. But later on when she's talking to Max, she basically says that she wants to get home to the Green Place. She's tried before, but now that she drives the war rig, this is the best chance she'll ever get. So when she leaves she's just trying to get away, but when she comes back she's made the choice to stand up and fight for a better life, and she's become a hero to all those people she helped to liberate.

Yup. At the start she's working for The Man. Then she just wants to run from The Man. By the climax she's determined to fight The Man. And at the end, she's decided to free/lead/help the people she had no problem leaving behind in slavery at the start. While still being a bad*ss from start to finish, she's changed.

Ah, great points. I'd forgotten this aspect of the story. So it's actually a fairly typical post-apocalyptic character arc from loan-wolfism toward community protector. Though she's already rescuing the "wives" at the beginning, which tempers the initial loan-wolfism. That's good -- makes her not just a type.

Whatever genre you write, you (probably unconsciously) write people at inflection points in their lives.

This is a great way to think about it, IMO.

3
Writers' Cafe / Re: Craft question about dialogue tags
« on: Yesterday at 10:54:15 am »
Except you can overuse 'said'. Just look at any Scalzi book. It's like a drop of water. When it's repeated way too much and way too frequently, it's torture.

True. I try to use it as little as possible -- not by substituting in other words (bad idea, IMO) but by using beats instead and leaving dialogue untagged when I can get away with it.

4
Writers' Cafe / Re: I'm realizing I do not like character arcs.
« on: Yesterday at 10:50:11 am »
Thinking about a character like Furiosa, I'm starting to wonder if there's always a clear difference between a character arc and a plot arc. I mean, her situation fundamentally changes from beginning to end, and becoming leader must cause/necessitate internal change. But do we really see any psychological change on display? I could be forgetting stuff, but I'm thinking not: she's tough as nails at the beginning and also at the end. But maybe character arcs don't have entail psychological change; maybe when a character achieves a goal or endures/overcomes adversity, that's a type of character arc?

5
Writers' Cafe / Re: Craft question about dialogue tags
« on: December 03, 2020, 06:56:09 pm »
You have to love English and the variety it affords us.

Lol, yes ... it's both wonderful and sort of crazy-making!

6
Writers' Cafe / Re: I'm realizing I do not like character arcs.
« on: December 03, 2020, 04:18:08 pm »
I don't know if I agree those films are without character arcs. They may not have strong arcs but in most of them at least one character has an arc.

In Back to the Future, Marty's dad has a strong arc (though in an untraditional way) and Marty also has a shift in his perspective.

Hmm, yes, I think you're right.

7
Writers' Cafe / Re: Craft question about dialogue tags
« on: December 03, 2020, 04:14:13 pm »
British/aussie author here and I always use 'said Bob'.  To me the other way round - 'Bob said' - sounds wrong.  However, as long as the writer is consistent either way works.

I would never start a sentence with the dialog tag, so Bob said, "x" or Said Bob, "X" are both out as far as I'm concerned.

Ah, English, with its different norms!

I occasionally find myself beginning with a dialogue tag in this kind of situation: Bob said "Heads up!" and threw the ball.

I'm not sure that's really a dialogue tag, though. It seems more that Bob is the subject, said is the verb, and "Heads up!" is the object.

8
Writers' Cafe / Re: Craft question about dialogue tags
« on: December 03, 2020, 02:22:42 pm »
I see this in books written by British/South African/Australian authors all the time, but rarely in books written by American authors.

Ah, maybe that's the difference! Hardy (my example above) was British.

9
Writers' Cafe / Re: Craft question about dialogue tags
« on: December 03, 2020, 02:20:09 pm »
It seems like accepted practice to me and doubt readers notice, but I can't stand it personally. I never use it. The oddity of it really stands out if you put it at the beginning:

Said Bob, "This looks totally weird."

So, for me, it's Bob said beginning, middle, or end.

I could see a case where a particular name with alliteration or something might read better in the reverse, but I'd probably change the name first. (Historical fiction might be the exception that proves the rule.)

I think putting "said" before the name is, in fact, an older fashion. I grabbed an early twentieth-century novel off the shelf, and sure enough, it's all said Bob, not Bob said.



But you really could not do that if the tag comes before the dialogue. Quoth the raven, "It would sound affectedly poetical."  ;D

10
Writers' Cafe / Re: I'm realizing I do not like character arcs.
« on: December 03, 2020, 01:34:54 pm »
Is this good/bad? Who could say?

But, just thinking about this today as I work on my latest, my favorite movies, or stories I gravitate towards, all feature fairly arc-less protagonists.

Back to the Future, Mad Max: Fury Road, No Country for Old Men, The Big Lebowski, Raiders of the Lost Ark, 3:10 to Yuma, Aliens

I also enjoy Jack Reacher novels, and westerns where the laconic hero 'does stuff', and then it ends.

Not sure what any of this says about me as a writer, but I do think it goes to show you don't necessarily have to adhere to the popular notion of imbuing POV's with arcs in order to craft something readers/audiences will find satisfying.

Sounds like you prefer plot-driven to character-driven works? I think it's a spectrum, with most works being somewhere in the middle, so there's both a plot arc and one or more character arcs, but some works are strongly to one end or the other. That's my general impression, at any rate.

11
Writers' Cafe / Re: Craft question about dialogue tags
« on: December 03, 2020, 01:32:21 pm »
I have no idea, but I do note that with the "mid-dialogue" tag, I tend towards "said" coming before the person's name. Sometimes I do that with the other two tag placements as well, just for variety's sake, but for some reason I do it the most with the "mid" tag.

i.e. "I don't know," said Bob. "Why don't you ask Sally?"

I have no idea why my manuscripts lean towards this preference, or if there's a name for that kind of thing either. It may even be improper. Not sure. Looking forward to reading the responses.

Yeah, I've wondered about the practice of putting "said" before the name rather than after. Sometimes I feel the impulse to do it, but it feels more noticeable to me, so I usually end up changing it back. I wonder if it's just a convention that we usually now put the name after. I think I see it the other way around in some older novels.

12
Writers' Cafe / Craft question about dialogue tags
« on: December 03, 2020, 11:24:28 am »
This is sort of a weird question, but ... you know how you can put dialogue tags in three different places:

Bob said, "I don't know."
"I don't know," Bob said.
"I don't know," Bob said. "Why don't you ask Sally?"

Are there official terms for those different placements? Like, initial dialog tag, terminal dialogue tag, and mid-dialogue tag? (I made those up.) I feel like writing moves usually have names, so there probably are terms for these different tag locations, but I've poked around a bit on Google and haven't found an anything.

13
Writers' Cafe / Re: past or passed?
« on: December 03, 2020, 11:12:57 am »
Past is time.

Passed is movement.

Unfortunately, when past is an adverb, it has to do with movement, not time, as in Bob walked past the bar instead of going in.

I can see why past/passed are so easily confused. It doesn't help that they're aural homophones (at least in U.S. English), so people grow up not being able to hear the difference between them in speech.

14
Writers' Cafe / Re: So, how much do bad review ratings bug you?
« on: December 01, 2020, 05:19:19 pm »
Some nasty posts have been removed.

15
Greetings, Amby! You're welcome to promote your business and website here in the Writers' Cafe.

Now that you have an official thread, you'll want to add your listing to our Yellow Pages, found here: https://www.kboards.com/yp/. The listing is free to KB members and is completely self-service; you can add and edit your listing from the page. More information on our Yellow Pages listing can be found here.

In your thread here, we ask that the same basic rules be followed as we have for authors in the Book Bazaar: you may have this one thread about your service and must post to it rather than start a new thread each time. New threads about the service will be removed. Please bookmark this thread so that you can find it again when you want to post.

You may not make back-to-back posts to the thread within seven days. If someone responds (as I'm doing with this post), you may reply to them, but otherwise you must wait seven days. Any pattern of posting designed to artificially bump your thread to the top of the forum is prohibited. Please note that very short or (one- or two-word) posts with no meaningful information are discouraged and may be deleted at the moderators' discretion.

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Any and all disputes between you and your clients should be handled off-site.

Thanks,
Becca
KBoards Moderator

Note that this welcome does not constitute an endorsement or vetting of a service by KBoards. Members should do due diligence when considering using a service.

Vendor threads are permitted in the Writers' Cafe not only as a form of advertising that benefits vendors but also to provide one location where reviews of vendors can be concentrated and more easily brought to the attention of the whole community. For this reason, we make a reasonable attempt to maintain threads even for vendors with whom multiple customers report negative experiences.

16
Writers' Cafe / Re: Anyone suffer from severe anxiety or depression?
« on: December 01, 2020, 03:28:45 pm »
Anxiety -- yup.  ::)

17
Writers' Cafe / Re: Editing: Pay What You Can Afford
« on: December 01, 2020, 12:32:25 pm »
The original post is from April. Did someone resurrect the thread to spam it?

Quite possibly, but I'm not certain, so I'm leaving that post there for now.

18
Writers' Cafe / Re: Editing: Pay What You Can Afford
« on: December 01, 2020, 11:09:33 am »
Greetings, EditorLC! You're welcome to promote your business and website here in the Writers' Cafe.

Now that you have an official thread, you'll want to add your listing to our Yellow Pages, found here: https://www.kboards.com/yp/. The listing is free to KB members and is completely self-service; you can add and edit your listing from the page. More information on our Yellow Pages listing can be found here.

In your thread here, we ask that the same basic rules be followed as we have for authors in the Book Bazaar: you may have this one thread about your service and must post to it rather than start a new thread each time. New threads about the service will be removed. Please bookmark this thread so that you can find it again when you want to post.

You may not make back-to-back posts to the thread within seven days. If someone responds (as I'm doing with this post), you may reply to them, but otherwise you must wait seven days. Any pattern of posting designed to artificially bump your thread to the top of the forum is prohibited. Please note that very short or (one- or two-word) posts with no meaningful information are discouraged and may be deleted at the moderators' discretion.

Lastly, your posts and images will need to meet our "forum decorum" guidelines, which is the case for every member.

You may find that members ask searching questions -- about how your service works, for example, or what they will get for their money, or whether your service adheres to Amazon's terms of service. Such "vetting" is a common here and can be rigorous.

Note that members are allowed to provide civil and honest feedback about your service in this thread. That includes sharing both positive and negative experiences/interactions they've had with you or your service. You may respond to criticism in a civil manner, but name-calling, badgering, accusations of lying, and other breaches of forum decorum can lead to loss of vendor posting privileges.

Any and all disputes between you and your clients should be handled off-site.

Thanks,
Becca
KBoards Moderator

Note that this welcome does not constitute an endorsement or vetting of a service by KBoards. Members should do due diligence when considering using a service.

Vendor threads are permitted in the Writers' Cafe not only as a form of advertising that benefits vendors but also to provide one location where reviews of vendors can be concentrated and more easily brought to the attention of the whole community. For this reason, we make a reasonable attempt to maintain threads even for vendors with whom multiple customers report negative experiences.

19
Writers' Cafe / Re: Stock Images for Cover Designers
« on: December 01, 2020, 10:23:09 am »
Greetings to TheRenderShop! You're welcome to promote your business and website here in the Writers' Cafe.

Now that you have an official thread, you'll want to add your listing to our Yellow Pages, found here: https://www.kboards.com/yp/. The listing is free to KB members and is completely self-service; you can add and edit your listing from the page. More information on our Yellow Pages listing can be found here.

In your thread here, we ask that the same basic rules be followed as we have for authors in the Book Bazaar: you may have this one thread about your service and must post to it rather than start a new thread each time. New threads about the service will be removed. Please bookmark this thread so that you can find it again when you want to post.

You may not make back-to-back posts to the thread within seven days. If someone responds (as I'm doing with this post), you may reply to them, but otherwise you must wait seven days. Any pattern of posting designed to artificially bump your thread to the top of the forum is prohibited. Please note that very short or (one- or two-word) posts with no meaningful information are discouraged and may be deleted at the moderators' discretion.

Lastly, your posts and images will need to meet our "forum decorum" guidelines, which is the case for every member.

You may find that members ask searching questions -- about how your service works, for example, or what they will get for their money, or whether your service adheres to Amazon's terms of service. Such "vetting" is a common here and can be rigorous.

Note that members are allowed to provide civil and honest feedback about your service in this thread. That includes sharing both positive and negative experiences/interactions they've had with you or your service. You may respond to criticism in a civil manner, but name-calling, badgering, accusations of lying, and other breaches of forum decorum can lead to loss of vendor posting privileges.

Any and all disputes between you and your clients should be handled off-site.

Thanks,
Becca
KBoards Moderator

Note that this welcome does not constitute an endorsement or vetting of a service by KBoards. Members should do due diligence when considering using a service.

Vendor threads are permitted in the Writers' Cafe not only as a form of advertising that benefits vendors but also to provide one location where reviews of vendors can be concentrated and more easily brought to the attention of the whole community. For this reason, we make a reasonable attempt to maintain threads even for vendors with whom multiple customers report negative experiences.

20
Writers' Cafe / Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
« on: November 26, 2020, 12:57:38 am »
A reminder that we don't badmouth other forums and groups here -- a longstanding rule.

21
Writers' Cafe / Re: And then there were 4...Penguin buying Simon
« on: November 25, 2020, 03:04:48 pm »
I'm hoping the new company gets named Simon the Random Penguin.


22
Greetings, Nicky Blue. You're welcome to promote your business and website here in the Writers' Cafe.

Now that you have an official thread, you'll want to add your listing to our Yellow Pages, found here: https://www.kboards.com/yp/. The listing is free to KB members and is completely self-service; you can add and edit your listing from the page. More information on our Yellow Pages listing can be found here.

In your thread here, we ask that the same basic rules be followed as we have for authors in the Book Bazaar: you may have this one thread about your service and must post to it rather than start a new thread each time. New threads about the service will be removed. Please bookmark this thread so that you can find it again when you want to post.

You may not make back-to-back posts to the thread within seven days. If someone responds (as I'm doing with this post), you may reply to them, but otherwise you must wait seven days. Any pattern of posting designed to artificially bump your thread to the top of the forum is prohibited. Please note that very short or (one- or two-word) posts with no meaningful information are discouraged and may be deleted at the moderators' discretion.

Lastly, your posts and images will need to meet our "forum decorum" guidelines, which is the case for every member.

You may find that members ask searching questions -- about how your service works, for example, or what they will get for their money, or whether your service adheres to Amazon's terms of service. Such "vetting" is a common here and can be rigorous.

Note that members are allowed to provide civil and honest feedback about your service in this thread. That includes sharing both positive and negative experiences/interactions they've had with you or your service. You may respond to criticism in a civil manner, but name-calling, badgering, accusations of lying, and other breaches of forum decorum can lead to loss of vendor posting privileges.

Any and all disputes between you and your clients should be handled off-site.

Thanks,
Becca
KBoards Moderator

Note that this welcome does not constitute an endorsement or vetting of a service by KBoards. Members should do due diligence when considering using a service.

Vendor threads are permitted in the Writers' Cafe not only as a form of advertising that benefits vendors but also to provide one location where reviews of vendors can be concentrated and more easily brought to the attention of the whole community. For this reason, we make a reasonable attempt to maintain threads even for vendors with whom multiple customers report negative experiences.

23
Writers' Cafe / Re: Just Middle Grade is Seeking Author Submissions!
« on: November 12, 2020, 12:12:30 pm »
Greetings, Randall! You're welcome to promote your business and website here in the Writers' Cafe.

Now that you have an official thread, you'll want to add your listing to our Yellow Pages, found here: https://www.kboards.com/yp/. The listing is free to KB members and is completely self-service; you can add and edit your listing from the page. More information on our Yellow Pages listing can be found here.

In your thread here, we ask that the same basic rules be followed as we have for authors in the Book Bazaar: you may have this one thread about your service and must post to it rather than start a new thread each time. New threads about the service will be removed. Please bookmark this thread so that you can find it again when you want to post.

You may not make back-to-back posts to the thread within seven days. If someone responds (as I'm doing with this post), you may reply to them, but otherwise you must wait seven days. Any pattern of posting designed to artificially bump your thread to the top of the forum is prohibited. Please note that very short or (one- or two-word) posts with no meaningful information are discouraged and may be deleted at the moderators' discretion.

Lastly, your posts and images will need to meet our "forum decorum" guidelines, which is the case for every member.

You may find that members ask searching questions -- about how your service works, for example, or what they will get for their money, or whether your service adheres to Amazon's terms of service. Such "vetting" is a common here and can be rigorous.

Note that members are allowed to provide civil and honest feedback about your service in this thread. That includes sharing both positive and negative experiences/interactions they've had with you or your service. You may respond to criticism in a civil manner, but name-calling, badgering, accusations of lying, and other breaches of forum decorum can lead to loss of vendor posting privileges.

Any and all disputes between you and your clients should be handled off-site.

Thanks,
Becca
KBoards Moderator

Note that this welcome does not constitute an endorsement or vetting of a service by KBoards. Members should do due diligence when considering using a service.

Vendor threads are permitted in the Writers' Cafe not only as a form of advertising that benefits vendors but also to provide one location where reviews of vendors can be concentrated and more easily brought to the attention of the whole community. For this reason, we make a reasonable attempt to maintain threads even for vendors with whom multiple customers report negative experiences.

24
Greetings, VossikMG! You're welcome to promote your business and website here in the Writers' Cafe.

Now that you have an official thread, you'll want to add your listing to our Yellow Pages, found here: https://www.kboards.com/yp/. The listing is free to KB members and is completely self-service; you can add and edit your listing from the page. More information on our Yellow Pages listing can be found here.

In your thread here, we ask that the same basic rules be followed as we have for authors in the Book Bazaar: you may have this one thread about your service and must post to it rather than start a new thread each time. New threads about the service will be removed. Please bookmark this thread so that you can find it again when you want to post.

You may not make back-to-back posts to the thread within seven days. If someone responds (as I'm doing with this post), you may reply to them, but otherwise you must wait seven days. Any pattern of posting designed to artificially bump your thread to the top of the forum is prohibited. Please note that very short or (one- or two-word) posts with no meaningful information are discouraged and may be deleted at the moderators' discretion.

Lastly, your posts and images will need to meet our "forum decorum" guidelines, which is the case for every member.

You may find that members ask searching questions -- about how your service works, for example, or what they will get for their money, or whether your service adheres to Amazon's terms of service. Such "vetting" is a common here and can be rigorous.

Note that members are allowed to provide civil and honest feedback about your service in this thread. That includes sharing both positive and negative experiences/interactions they've had with you or your service. You may respond to criticism in a civil manner, but name-calling, badgering, accusations of lying, and other breaches of forum decorum can lead to loss of vendor posting privileges.

Any and all disputes between you and your clients should be handled off-site.

Thanks,
Becca
KBoards Moderator

Note that this welcome does not constitute an endorsement or vetting of a service by KBoards. Members should do due diligence when considering using a service.

Vendor threads are permitted in the Writers' Cafe not only as a form of advertising that benefits vendors but also to provide one location where reviews of vendors can be concentrated and more easily brought to the attention of the whole community. For this reason, we make a reasonable attempt to maintain threads even for vendors with whom multiple customers report negative experiences.

25
Writers' Cafe / Re: Open Submissions Call for Manuscripts of All Genres
« on: November 12, 2020, 12:05:29 pm »
Greetings, Sarah! You're welcome to promote your business and website here in the Writers' Cafe.

Please note that the use of all-caps is against our rules. I've corrected your thread title accordingly. You can find rules like these in our Forum Decorum (see pinned threads).

Now that you have an official thread, you'll want to add your listing to our Yellow Pages, found here: https://www.kboards.com/yp/. The listing is free to KB members and is completely self-service; you can add and edit your listing from the page. More information on our Yellow Pages listing can be found here.

In your thread here, we ask that the same basic rules be followed as we have for authors in the Book Bazaar: you may have this one thread about your service and must post to it rather than start a new thread each time. New threads about the service will be removed. Please bookmark this thread so that you can find it again when you want to post.

You may not make back-to-back posts to the thread within seven days. If someone responds (as I'm doing with this post), you may reply to them, but otherwise you must wait seven days. Any pattern of posting designed to artificially bump your thread to the top of the forum is prohibited. Please note that very short or (one- or two-word) posts with no meaningful information are discouraged and may be deleted at the moderators' discretion.

Lastly, your posts and images will need to meet our "forum decorum" guidelines, which is the case for every member.

You may find that members ask searching questions -- about how your service works, for example, or what they will get for their money, or whether your service adheres to Amazon's terms of service. Such "vetting" is a common here and can be rigorous.

Note that members are allowed to provide civil and honest feedback about your service in this thread. That includes sharing both positive and negative experiences/interactions they've had with you or your service. You may respond to criticism in a civil manner, but name-calling, badgering, accusations of lying, and other breaches of forum decorum can lead to loss of vendor posting privileges.

Any and all disputes between you and your clients should be handled off-site.

Thanks,
Becca
KBoards Moderator

Note that this welcome does not constitute an endorsement or vetting of a service by KBoards. Members should do due diligence when considering using a service.

Vendor threads are permitted in the Writers' Cafe not only as a form of advertising that benefits vendors but also to provide one location where reviews of vendors can be concentrated and more easily brought to the attention of the whole community. For this reason, we make a reasonable attempt to maintain threads even for vendors with whom multiple customers report negative experiences.

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