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  1. #151
    Master Obfuscator Dawnstorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julian
    Nothing wrong with that, but note no in or of. This is simply because you just have to grasp, you don't have to grasp in or of. Adding the circumvention of "which" or "that" doesn't change this. The circumvention does, however, mean, that you'll have to get back round to the woman's mood. To do so, use something like when it came to.

    All this leads to the following example:

    There was something he was completely unable to grasp when it came to the woman's constantly shifting mood.
    Actually, the part about the woman's mood refers to "something", and only indirectly to "grasp". What we've got is an error of position. If you place the phrase where it belongs the proper preposition will be easier to spot:

    There was something in (about) the woman's constantly shifting mood that he couldn't grasp.

    (Used that, because I prefer it for defining clauses and because the omission doesn't flow. You can use that, you can use which, you can omitt either; you're choice.)

    With regard to which and that, the general rule of thumb seems to be that which is non-defining, whilst that is defining.
    That is defining (cannot be used in non-defining clauses).

    Which can be used for both defining and non-defining clauses. Which is often considered more formal than that and is hardly ever used after: all, everything, little, much, none... (e.g. I will eat none of the apples that contain a worm and all of them that do not.)
    Last edited by Dawnstorm; June 8th, 2004 at 01:39 PM.

  2. #152
    Inter spem metumque iacto Julian's Avatar
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    Much better than my post, of which I'm sure.
    Last edited by Julian; June 8th, 2004 at 04:12 PM.

  3. #153
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    interesting,

    The unseen errors in my hastily readied example sentences delivered far more grammatical insight than I had originally anticipated. Thanks for the help, guys.

  4. #154
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    Thank the Creator for MSWord spellchecker. It corrects grammarical mistakes. However, when one writes from the heart..grammar it the last thing on ones mind. I have been enundated with 'editors' while trying to get my works published. They all use a 'canned' program to edit my works. A set perimeter for grammar is included. While something one writes may be grammarically incorrect, it does not mean it is incorrect. Nationalism, colloquilalisms, geographics, economics, education and environment, and socio-politcal standings are all quotients for ones way of writing. If you wish to be an individual...if you wish to be unique...you cannot give way to this way of thinking. It is a control method. Do not be duped by it. Be yourself, be original. If you are writing fiction, those criteria used by the 'expert' editors, do not always apply to your works. Do your own thing! Don't be drawn into the cube...work outside of the norm! But alway remain literate! Be a writer, a storyteller, an artist. Don't work in the perimeter set by someone else. Do not allow your talent to be imprisoned to suit someone else. YOU ARE THE CREATOR of your work!

  5. #155
    Under construction Jamza1986's Avatar
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    What are peoples' thoughts on contractions? At the moment I use them in dialogue but aviod them in narration. Is this correct, or can I use them in narrative, as it wasn't, didn't, shouldn't etc.?

  6. #156
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    Most writers use them. I use them. Fiction is generally expected to be written in an informal style. The only reason I would avoid them is if the piece specifically calls for a high level of formality (fantasy that is being narrated by someone with an erudite manner, etc.)

  7. #157
    Under construction Jamza1986's Avatar
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    Thanks ironchef, doing a line edit right now.

  8. #158
    I AM too a mod! Moderator Rocket Sheep's Avatar
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    Very cute, WrayMiller. Did you mean it to be cute? It's just kind of hard to have a serious discussion about grammar when it's full of errors.

    Sorry. I know only the anal retentive make perfect messageboard posts but it is kind of hard to read about bagging grammar and not notice... the grammar.

    By all means, be an individual. One of my favourite authors, Nick Earls, has written two great novels without a speech mark or speech tag in them. I loved that idea. Experimentation is great. Nick even got a govt grant to write them.

    Prose is an evolving, interpretive medium. To me, those novels achieved great flow... but others found them more difficult.

    Yay to individuality. Boo to people who are too lazy to learn the rules before they break them... but nevermind, they stick out like boogey-ridden nasal hair and won't get anywhere anyway.

  9. #159
    Shovelly Joe Moderator Jacquin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket Sheep
    Very cute, WrayMiller. Did you mean it to be cute? It's just kind of hard to have a serious discussion about grammar when it's full of errors.

    Sorry. I know only the anal retentive make perfect messageboard posts but it is kind of hard to read about bagging grammar and not notice... the grammar.

    By all means, be an individual. One of my favourite authors, Nick Earls, has written two great novels without a speech mark or speech tag in them. I loved that idea. Experimentation is great. Nick even got a govt grant to write them.

    Prose is an evolving, interpretive medium. To me, those novels achieved great flow... but others found them more difficult.

    Yay to individuality. Boo to people who are too lazy to learn the rules before they break them... but nevermind, they stick out like boogey-ridden nasal hair and won't get anywhere anyway.

    Sheepie, I adore you... Just don't tell Sammie!

  10. #160
    Edited for submission Holbrook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Watson
    What are peoples' thoughts on contractions? At the moment I use them in dialogue but aviod them in narration. Is this correct, or can I use them in narrative, as it wasn't, didn't, shouldn't etc.?

    Hmmmm... I always thought that you could use them in speech, but in the main text they were a no-no. I suppose as long as you are consistent in the use throughout all the text.


    Jac; don't mention the "L" word or "hugs" RS doesn't do the lovie stuff!

  11. #161
    Shovelly Joe Moderator Jacquin's Avatar
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    If I want to chase sheep then I will!


  12. #162
    I AM too a mod! Moderator Rocket Sheep's Avatar
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    I think he just admires my canny way with nasal hair. As soon as he sees some of my macrame creations he'll run the other way.

  13. #163
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    You're so very sweet!...I was serious...you must NEVER apologize for being original!...Grammar is important...we live in a civilized world..we need to be grammarically correct...but not politically correct or socially correct...we are authors...we write a story...we tell it...in our own fashion...not crossing our "i"'s or dotting our "t's". We are storytellers...don't ever forget that!!! Tell your story and let the 'Editors' deal with it. Be what you are...!!!Get out of the mold...be the next....Author of the Century...you can do it!! Faulkner did it...Hemmingway did it...Finally Stephen King did it...so can you and so can.....I....DO IT!!

  14. #164
    I AM too a mod! Moderator Rocket Sheep's Avatar
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    If I give you a couple of pom poms, can you come and cheer me on when I write? As long as you don't call me 'sweet' again or I'd have to thwap you with a macramed nasal-hair hanging plant holder.

    Editors and I have this arrangement. I don't apologise for being original and they don't apologise for the rejection letters. I find it works well.

    I don't think grammar gets in the way of telling an original story in your own style... the only stories really worth telling, IMHO. Grammar slots in around a story to make sense of it and make it more accessible.

    Oh... unless you're a technical non-fiction writer and you give up writing text books and start trying to write fiction in the same distanced, passive way. If you think that is 'your style' you need to forget everything you've learned and come up with a less robotic response to fiction.

    Lots of writers have unusual styles and make it work for them, Earls, Swanwick, Mieville, Gaiman, Adams, Gibson, Pratchett and James Triptree Jr (who's books I've just started reading since everyone tells me I write like her) and you're right, we CAN DO IT TOO!

    RAH! RAH!

  15. #165
    Under construction Jamza1986's Avatar
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    lay question

    Right my character is currently laying on stone. Is it:

    1.He laid on a cold, smooth surface as the shivers going down his body began to dissipate, and his muscles ceased to spasm.

    1. He lay on a cold, smooth surface as the shivers going down his body began to dissipate, and his muscles ceased to spasm.

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