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10

Then he said to her: "I told you I won't do that!” In an undertone, he added, “And I think you shouldn’t either.” Unfortunately, I think that’s the best you can do. I’ve hardly ever seen parentheses used as punctuation within dialogue, so if I saw it now, I would have no idea how to interpret them.


9

The classic solution is to introduce conflict or tension. These naturally intrigue the reader and command his attention. Any conflict, no matter how minor or subtle, is enough to engage the reader's curiosity to find out what happens next. In this context, "conflict" and "tension" are pretty much any negative outcome to the conversation that your ...


9

It's stylistic. You can use either. "Said" isn't wrong. Some writers feel very strongly about "bookisms," which is using words instead of "said" which tend to be more elaborate and give some action to speaking. (hissed, crooned, muttered, sighed, barked, laughed, snarled, grumbled) Personally I'm fine with them if they are used appropriately and ...


9

Not all ESL speakers will sound the same, for the simple reason that they all had a first language. If you want to add realism, you need to determine what language they natively speak. Your native language shapes your ideas of tense, sentence structure, and what phonemes you're used to considering as actual word-sounds and not mere noise. Some oriental ...


8

You absolutely can write a story with no dialogue. You also can write a story using only dialogue. You can and may do anything you wish in a work of fiction. That's what fiction is about. You have free rein. It is your story. And, importantly, it is a work of art. Would anyone have told Leonardo that he couldn't give the Mona Lisa that mysterious smile? ...


8

If your antagonist is living in the present time (but is 1000 years old), then is there any reason to believe that his speech hasn't evolved? Think about what happens to people when they move to a new place with language patterns different from the ones they grew up with; don't they tend to adapt? That said, people adapt slowly, and a 1000-year-old ...


8

Your title, first sentence, paragraph, page, and chapter are your hooks to catch the reader. Make sure they are baited well. So, if you start with internal monologue, it had better be interesting, not just bland, random thoughts about how it's high up on the wherever. I realize that was just an example, but compare: Bad: "It's so high up here," thought ...


7

I can think of at least two ways to demonstrate your character's nationality and accent without having to mention it constantly or write the dialogue crazily: 1) There is a difference between accent and dialect. Accent is more or less the generally recognized version of the language, taught in textbooks, but with regional flavor to pronunciation. Maybe ...


7

If you really feel the need to have whatever noise she makes expressed as dialogue, I would write it as "Hic!" However, I personally would either write it as Hic! to indicate it's more of a sound than speech, or just relate it narratively: Jane hiccuped loudly, startling even herself. She tried not to look embarrassed.


7

It's a transliteration of a sound, so write what you hear. If it's one long sound you write Shhhhhhhh! (however many Hs amuse you) If it's a short one, you write Shhh! with three Hs. One or two look like a typo (Sh! and Shh!). Four and it becomes the long version. Sometimes I actually say the word "Shush!" so I'd write that word, but that's not ...


6

Short answer: yes. The question is complicated, though, by what counts as 'dialogue'. If you read - for example - Birgit Vanderbeke's The Mussel Feast (Peirene Press, 2013, trans. Jamie Bullock) you won't find any direct speech - i.e., dialogue in quotation marks. But there's plenty of reported speech in there. It's a more difficult technique than direct ...


6

Australia is no different to other countries in that accents can be predicated by the person's origins such as whether they grew up in a city or a rural area. In general, most Aussies tend to shorten/contract words, use informal and colloquial terms, and drop parts of sentences as though implied. Unfortunately (for some) many TV and movie characters depict ...


6

That's actually a very good question. I study Languages (Linguistics included) and, in general, people will adapt their speech faster than we tend to think. Of course, some people tend to keep their accents their whole lives (which can already be interesting for your character), but somethings will change and they will incorporate new vocabulary. I can ...


6

Is it permissible to write ... Well, what do you think will happen? Is there a state law against it? Will you have to pay a fee if you do it? Be imprisoned? Get shot? Do you think the readers, publishers, agents will put you on a black list and never ever read a line written by you? How many lists have you made in the past, where you put the authors ...


6

I have written a flash fiction without any dialogue, so I don't see why it couldn't be possible in a short story. It could be more difficult, because dialogue permit to explain some things quickly and in a easy way, but introduce a dialog only for this is often worse than trying to not use it. If you don't need a dialogue, don't write it. However, I can't ...


6

Stage business. B takes a drink. C eats something. B lounges back in his chair, looking thoughtful as he listens. C winks at the serving guy. B rolls his eyes at something the protagonist said, and C smacks his arm to make him stop. B plays with a coin, a ring, a belt loop. C starts polishing her knives. Imagine that you're watching the scene in a movie. ...


6

Is it correct? Strictly speaking, it's not wrong, but it's really hard to hear someone saying a parenthesis. Is it usual? No. In fact, I can't remember ever seeing it. Is it understandable? I guess, although I would do a massive double take and think that the author was being too bookish. Are there alternatives? Yes. I'd use M-dashes, commas, or stage ...


6

Because it's less intrusive. Anything you speak is something you say; "asking" is merely a more specific description of how the thing is being said. Some writing wisdom holds that using "said" is lazy/boring, but always using specific descriptors like "asked" when the questioning tone is obvious from context can be equally disruptive to the flow of ...


6

Typically, Chinese ESL speakers routinely make mistakes with definite and indefinite articles. They leave them out, use them when not needed, or mix the two. They also mess up indefinite plurals and pronouns, and verb tenses. All of this is due to structural differences between Mandarin and English. So, this answer might sound like: The Chinese ESL ...


6

There's no reason why it couldn't work, as long as you quickly make clear that it's internal dialogue. If it's a first-person narrative, the entire story is "internal dialogue," in a sense. The main benefit is to give the reader immediate access to the character's inner life, which may help us identify with him/her/it/them. The only real con I could see ...


5

Many children's books have scenes where a character talks with an obstructed nose (e.g. head in bucket). Usually what they do is a combination of: k, p, t => g, b, d n => ng/g m, v/f => b This works well only if you restrict this to a sentence or two. Then it is funny. Otherwise it becomes tiresome to the reader.


5

Your best bet is research. Find a "Little India" community, wander around, and listen. Sit at a corner coffeeshop for a few days. Walk through the retail area. Don't stalk people, but pay attention to who is speaking and what they're saying. You may get just a lot of Hindi, but if you're in an English-speaking city, you're bound to find someone speaking in ...


5

As long as you use two different sets of quotation marks readers should easily be able to follow the conversation. However, I think it would be more correct and more readable if you added a comma before the inner quotation. Of course, you could always avoid the dilemma by having Lisa describe Alison's words to her rather than recite them verbatim, "she ...


4

Depends on a few factors: 1) Is the narrative's point of view from the person who doesn't understand, the person who does, or omniscient? CJ Cherryh writes books where the humans are the outsiders in non-human societies. Until the human catches up with the non-human language, the human sounds like Cookie Monster. "Me want food! Me went store, but no has ...


4

I would refine the advice thus: Translate the viewpoint character's experience into the language of the reader. That is, if the viewpoint character hears gibberish, you translate the experience of hearing gibberish into the reader's language.


4

Find a recording device. Press record. Hold your nose tightly. Speak your dialogue. Add coughing, wheezing, and other effects as appropriate. Press stop. Press play. Transcribe.


4

I'd write it in the script. You have to hire someone to read the lines, and it's audible dialogue which the characters and audience have to hear and react to. GREG I've got the tea. Where are the biscuits? JOHN Upper cabinet to the left of the sink, bottom shelf. RADIO ANNOUNCER And now, we present for your enjoyment the dramatization of Neil Gaiman's ...


4

One thing typical for all languages would be the speaker using the wrong word when they translate to the same word in their native language. For example, my native language has the same word for both 'roof' and 'ceiling' and I used to have trouble picking the correct one in English. Another one would be having slightly awkward phrasing: not the perfect ...


4

There's a book called "Learner English" that discusses common issues of transference between various languages and English. It's an excellent read in addition to possibly being useful for your assignment. You might also consider taking a linguistics class, because it's difficult to manipulate the mistakes that an ELL might make if you don't actually ...


4

You would not use quotations, because it implies that she shouts hiccup rather than hiccups. If you replace hiccup with bang the difference becomes more apparent. she hiccuped = A women has just hiccuped, and this refers more to the action than the sound itself. Hiccup! = A sound occurs, and it specifically sounded like the word used. "Hiccup!" = Someone ...



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