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bio website johansens.us
location Michigan
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visits member for 1 year, 7 months
seen 7 hours ago

Aug
20
answered Making a female character sound more boyish/masculine
Aug
20
answered Characters with non-standard names
Aug
20
comment Characters with non-standard names
We gave our four kids all names that started with "A". That's because we didn't have to go any further than that in the baby name book before finding one that we liked. After giving the first child an "A" name, we considered a "B" name for the second child, but then we realized that by doing that we were committing to have 24 more children.
Aug
20
answered ISBN codes for privately sold books?
Aug
19
answered costs of self-publishing photo book, coffeetable
Aug
12
answered How to write in past tense?
Aug
9
answered Level of description in a story
Aug
5
answered How to find the plot to a message or theory
Aug
5
comment Hand gestures of “Come on” and other short words
... hand signal than what you had in mind, does it matter? If not, then there's no need to describe it. If the reader is unfamiliar with the gesture that you are thinking of, describing it will do no good. Except, I suppose, to teach them this hand signal, but again, unless that's your goal, it's just a distraction from the story.
Aug
5
comment Hand gestures of “Come on” and other short words
Dittos. Trying to describe exactly how someone held or moved his hands for some conventional gesture would likely be tedious and confusing. I think you'd have readers playing with their fingers trying to position their hands the way you describe and saying to themselves, "Wait, forefinger where? Fingers pointing ... oh!!! I get it ..." Unless the exact positioning of the hand for such a gesture is critical to the story, I'd just forget it, just say, "He signaled to her to follow," "Bob made a hand signal from across the room to indicate he was ok", etc. If the reader thinks of a different ...
Aug
5
answered How to make a intellectually disabled character believable?
Aug
5
comment How to make a intellectually disabled character believable?
+1 for the "noble savage" point. There's something of a cliché in writing that all mentally handicapped people are portrayed as sweet, loving, morally pure, etc. In real life, just like everyone else, mentally handicapped people have a wide range of character traits.
Aug
2
answered How do you make a character witty?
Aug
2
comment How do you make a character witty?
starts to look lame. If you never actually tell the joke but are always giving us these dangling punch lines, I think that's really going to stand out, like you're trying to hide the fact that you can't actually think of any funny stories.
Aug
2
comment How do you make a character witty?
I've seen lots of movies where we enter a scene just as a character is telling the punch line to a joke or funny story. I recall a particularly strange one where the movie picks up a scene with a character saying, "... and we never did find the other shoe", and everyone in the room bursts into laughter. That gives you the idea that the character is very funny without the writer having to make up an incredibly funny story, and also creates a mini-mystery where the viewer wonders what the funny story might have been about. But if you try to do this too often in the same story, I think it ...
Jul
30
answered Using “by” on the book cover
Jul
29
comment When to use semicolons and when to use em dashes?
@LaurenIpsum Yup, Rob H's answer on that question was pretty much the same as what I was trying to say here.
Jul
29
comment When to use semicolons and when to use em dashes?
@PaulA.Clayton Okay, I guess there's an ambiguity in what we mean by "break". I was thinking "bigger break" in the sense of "bigger separation of the offset thing from the main thing". You're apparently thinking of it as "less separation of the flow of the thought in the main thing".
Jul
29
comment First person pov with more than one main chars
@Fortiter I can think of at least one story I've read -- and sorry, at the moment I can't recall title or author -- that switched between husband speaking first person and wife speaking first person. It wasn't about their marriage, but there were a few places where each would describe the same incident from their own point of view, and you'd get a chuckle how they completely misunderstood each other. (I think if this technique was used for a story that WAS about the relationship, you'd have to be very careful not to overdo the he-said/she-said and make the story trite.)
Jul
29
answered When to use semicolons and when to use em dashes?