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Guide to Punctuating for the Reading Impaired ~ by Phil Phantom Options · View
MorganHawke
Posted: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 9:43:08 PM

Rank: First Person Smartass

Joined: 2/8/2011
Posts: 347
Location: The suburbs.
From Phil Phantom’s: “Guide to Writing Good Trash"
-- I know, you hate to think of your writing as trash, but if done well, others will. If done poorly, your magnificent creation is just crap, shit, or garbage. Excellent trash can rise to the level of good shit, but you and your good shit will never be studied in English Lit. As for riches, sure, but it helps if you are wealthy when you start.

Guide to Punctuating for the Reading Impaired


Okay, so you wan'na rite reel good.

Good use of punctuation is key to effective communication, even in trash, especially in trash. You may think trash is easy to write, but trash is the most difficult to write well. When you write about sex, passion, erotic feelings, and powerful emotions, you are taking on a major communication challenge. When you add scenery and a large cast of characters, you are taking on a writing challenge that makes "Moby Dick" look like a fishing trip to Lake Wannapoopoo.

Melville hardly needed any punctuation until they caught up with the whale. Mark Twain, in fact, used no punctuation. After his editor chastised him for this, Twain sent in a page full of periods, commas, colons, semi-colons and such with the following note:

"Here is the punctuation marks you wanted put them where you want them"

I can make punctuation easy for you. Simply imagine that all of your readers suffer from a condition called Myopic Un-Mitigated Balance of biLateral Equilibrium (MUMBLE). They move their lips when they read.

Actually, they silently speak what they read. They need punctuation in order to breathe properly. Long paragraphs of run-on sentences cause them to pass out. Please consider these unfortunates when you write. Although writing without punctuation or proper capitalization is no reflection on a person's intelligence or education, doing so is inconsiderate of people who suffer from mumbleopia. They knew nothing about mumbleopia in Twain's day. He had an excuse; we don't. MUMBLErs (as they prefer to be called) suffer in silent neglect.

Guide to Punctuating for the Reading Impaired

ALL CAPS is like shouting. Writing in all caps causes swelling of the inner ear which presses on the cerebral cortex, leading to a loss of bladder and rectal control. Avoid using all caps for more than a few words in a row, even during explosive orgasms.

PERIODS allow a MUMBLEr to breathe. Sprinkle a few in each paragraph. Mumbleopiacs don't care where, but after each complete thought is generally a good idea.
-- (Note: Follow a period with a sentence or paragraph that starts with a capital letter. MUMBLErs breathe out on the period and breathe in when they see the capital letter.)

COMMAS don't give time to breathe, but do give the lips a rest. Severe lip injury can result from long sentences with no commas. On the other hand, overuse of commas is the leading cause of stuttering in mumbleopiacs.
-- (Note: You probably had a teacher who advised (as a rule of thumb) place a comma where a natural pause seems right. That teacher didn't write trash, or good trash. Commas have a purpose. Commas separate items in a series, phrases in a series, an introductory phrase, a parenthetical expression, nice-to-know shit you don't really need, or a person being addressed. You don't just slap them where you feel like it or omit them where they are needed. We all need commas to make sense out of a complex sentence in a crazy, mixed-up, tumble-down world.)

SEMI-COLONS are better than commas for easing lip fatigue but do not allow for the taking of a breath. Use them sparingly to separate short sentences that beat the same drum.

DASHES signal a pause - so mumbleopiacs take advantage and snatch a dash of oxygen.

HYPHENS join words to make a combo word, like "that no-pussy-eating wimp." Also ex-this, ex-that. MUMBLErs seem to be ambivalent toward the hyphen.

ELLIPSES MARKS (...) are like speed bumps on a page. In proper English usage, they signal omitted (or skipped) material, but they make a MUMBLEr's head rapidly bounce three times. Never get carried away with those dots as speed-reading mumbleopiacs have lost contact lenses and jarred fillings loose when they hit multiple periods, ie: ....................
-- (Note: Grammar pinheads get all twisted when you use their precious ellipses dots as indicators of long periods of silence. In our field of literature, we need this tool as sex often involves long periods of silence. Mouths are often occupied and the writer has to wait. Most will keep tapping the dot key while waiting the suckers out. Readers of trash, shit, crap, and garbage have learned to ignore three dots as meaning omitted material, because fuck and suck stories don't omit anything.)

COLONS introduce lists of shit. MUMBLErs and proctologists know to take a deep breath when they see a colon.

EXCLAMATION POINTS raise the eyebrows of mumbleopiacs but do no lasting harm unless repeated after every statement or used in multiples. Overuse of EPs can lead to nervous brow twitching. Multiple EPs (!!!!!!) have caused the eyebrows of some mumbleopiacs to migrate to the top of the head.
-- (Note: Here, again, we give the pinheads fits with our multiple EPs. Fuck 'em. If that is your style, go for it. Me, I prefer to go to CAPS when the hubby walks in and finds the wife in bed with her mom. I think "WOW!" is better than "Wow!!!!! and WOW!!!!!! should be reserved for those times when you catch your wife and mother in a threesome with Bigfoot.")

QUESTION MARKS wrinkle the brow and bring the eyebrows down and in. Question marks should never be sandwiched between two EP sentences! Never leave a question unanswered. The answer allows the individual to slap the forehead and re-align the eyebrows (note that hyphen).

PARENTHESIS If something isn't all that important, (nice to know stuff, but you can live without it,) put it inside a set of parenthesis. In long sentences, a MUMBLEr who is running out of breath knows he can jump over this part in a pinch.

APOSTROPHIES thrill a MUMBLEr as they know you are omitting letters, words, and sometimes, bunches of words. For instance, "them" can be shortened to "'em," and spitting can be spittin', and in words that show possession, ie: "Mary's ball" replaces "the ball that belongs to Mary." Thrill a mumbleopiac; use apostrophes.

QUOTATION MARKS also thrill mumbleopiacs as they signify a speaker speaking. Very often, they are familiar with the speaker and can simply inject, "blah, blah, blah," or "yadah, yadah, yadah," and move right along.

And finally, a word on PARAGRAPHS.

Every new speaker gets his or her own paragraph, even if all he or she has to say is, "Huh?" Try to keep paragraphs short and sweet. Lump all of your (character's) related thoughts into one paragraph and start a new one when you get another thought.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~ Note from Morgan ~
Every new speakers' ACTIONS go in the same paragraph as their DIALOGUE. I have seen one too many lines of dialogue 'stranded', just hanging out all by its lonesome, staring at the action done by that speaker in the very next paragraph. Take pity on your poor Dialogue and put it with its Actions.

One other thing; if John licks Mary's nipples and Mary moans... John's licking and Mary's moaning do NOT go in the Same Sentence! They don't go in the same Paragraph either!

John wriggled his tongue across Mary's nipples.

Mary moaned, and gasped. "Oh God! That is so good!" She grabbed his head to pull him closer.

John yelped. "Hey, watch the hair!"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Paragraph breaks allow MUMBLErs to go to the bathroom. This also helps those who read from a scrolling monitor.

And another thing. Hit the return key twice following each paragraph. That places white space between paragraphs. Do not indent or tab. Keep it clean; keep it tight; just like pussy. (Note the use of the semi-colon with short sentences, and this don't-really-need-to-know shit I placed in parenthesis along with a combo word I made using the hyphens.)

Thank you for your attention.

From Phil Phantom’s: “Guide to Writing Good Trash"
Copyright Phil Phantom (C) 2003

May he rest in peace.


Morgan Hawke
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Purveyor of fine Smut.
DarkErotica.Net ~ My Website
DarkErotica Blog ~ My Writers' blog

"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."
Albert Einstein

TracyAmes
Posted: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 11:11:12 PM

Rank: Advanced Wordsmith

Joined: 4/8/2011
Posts: 204
Location: Here nor There, United States
Yet another reason I adore you! Great info.

Tracy Ames
Erotic Word Slinger & Smarty Pants
InterracialErotica.net ~ My Website
Rants & Rambles ~ My Youtube Channel

“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.”
E. L. Doctorow
MorganHawke
Posted: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 11:36:09 PM

Rank: First Person Smartass

Joined: 2/8/2011
Posts: 347
Location: The suburbs.
TracyAmes wrote:
Yet another reason I adore you! Great info.


Glad you liked it!
-- THIS was the first guide to punctuation that I actually remembered, simply because it made me laugh so hard.

Morgan Hawke
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Purveyor of fine Smut.
DarkErotica.Net ~ My Website
DarkErotica Blog ~ My Writers' blog

"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."
Albert Einstein

GallagherWitt
Posted: Thursday, April 28, 2011 6:43:32 AM

Rank: Advanced Wordsmith

Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 99
Location: Okinawa, Japan
LMAO Best punctuation article EVER.

Lori
L. A. Witt (gay male erotic romance)
Lauren Gallagher (heterosexual erotic romance)
Twitter: GallagherWitt
My Website * My Blog * Marginally Unhinged (my webcomic)

"Service with a Smirk, that's you." - Morgan Hawke
TracyAmes
Posted: Thursday, April 28, 2011 12:20:23 PM

Rank: Advanced Wordsmith

Joined: 4/8/2011
Posts: 204
Location: Here nor There, United States
MorganHawke wrote:
Glad you liked it!-- THIS was the first guide to punctuation that I actually remembered, simply because it made me laugh so hard.

Exactly! The glaringly obvious and humorous are always the easiest to remember. lol

Tracy Ames
Erotic Word Slinger & Smarty Pants
InterracialErotica.net ~ My Website
Rants & Rambles ~ My Youtube Channel

“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.”
E. L. Doctorow
nicola
Posted: Thursday, April 28, 2011 5:20:59 PM

Rank: Matriarch

Joined: 12/6/2006
Posts: 25,560
Location: The Orgasmatron
Some sound advice there, written in a very witty manner.

RIP indeed.
MorganHawke
Posted: Friday, April 29, 2011 12:03:53 AM

Rank: First Person Smartass

Joined: 2/8/2011
Posts: 347
Location: The suburbs.
nicola wrote:
Some sound advice there, written in a very witty manner.

RIP indeed.


It's a terrible shame that his writing articles have pretty much disappeared off the 'net. I posted them on my home site so they wouldn't be lost to new writers.

Morgan Hawke
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Purveyor of fine Smut.
DarkErotica.Net ~ My Website
DarkErotica Blog ~ My Writers' blog

"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."
Albert Einstein

Guest
Posted: Friday, June 01, 2012 8:48:47 AM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 537,534
Well, fuck! Morgan...(just had to do it) you seem to know what you're talking about! This was one of the funniest pieces I've read here! I'm still laughing...(casually rubbing my hairy chest) at your use of language descibing the mumbling folks that are sitting in the library across from me now.

I can't see the book cover from here, but I can see lips moving, and the breathing you describe is 'spot on'.

It must have something to do with sex as eyebrows raise and fall, accompanied by massive amounts of lip licking.

Maybe they're just thirsty.
CharlotteRusse1
Posted: Tuesday, June 05, 2012 9:03:30 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 1/9/2011
Posts: 202
Location: United States
Thanks so much for posting this and for keeping his "Guide to Writing Good Trash" alive on your site.


Writer of amateur erotica since 2011..See the latest at:

principessa
Posted: Thursday, June 07, 2012 3:59:13 PM

Rank: Sophisticate

Joined: 8/23/2011
Posts: 4,306
Location: Canada
As a new mod here, I thank you. This is an understandable and funny primer for those who need it. If there were a Pulitzer for punctuation, you would be nominated.

Dirty_D
Posted: Thursday, June 07, 2012 5:02:29 PM

Rank: Head Nurse

Joined: 4/15/2011
Posts: 7,225
Location: Soaking up the sun, United States
principessa wrote:
As a new mod here, I thank you. This is an understandable and funny primer for those who need it. If there were a Pulitzer for punctuation, you would be nominated.


I foresee lots of links to the post in the future...


storyo
Posted: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 8:23:28 PM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 6/12/2012
Posts: 14
Location: United States
I now sit thinking back to forth grade as Mrs. Grumble smacks her thick, heavy, glistening yardstick across my desk.

"Someday you're going to end up writing trashy, steamy erotica on some erotic literature web site!"

"What's a web site?" I asked fully expecting to feel the wrath of Mrs. Grumble's big stick. "Our phone is bolted to the kitchen wall still."... <-- note speed bumps
Shylass
Posted: Wednesday, August 01, 2012 9:41:49 AM

Rank: Gingerbread Lover

Joined: 1/6/2012
Posts: 3,596
Location: Trumpton, United Kingdom
Ha ha! Thank you. sunny

Ut incepit fidelis, sic permanet.

***
********************************CLICK THE BANNERS TO BUY THESE WILLY-STIFFENING BOOKS!********************************
Dirty_D
Posted: Friday, August 17, 2012 6:27:07 AM

Rank: Head Nurse

Joined: 4/15/2011
Posts: 7,225
Location: Soaking up the sun, United States
I am attaching a link for formatting dialog, something that is commonly also needed, for all those I have sent here.

Dialog format



adele
Posted: Friday, August 17, 2012 10:59:29 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 4/8/2011
Posts: 20,668
Location: if I knew where I was then I would not be here...
naughtynurse wrote:
I am attaching a link for formatting dialog, something that is commonly also needed, for all those I have sent here.

Dialog format


Interesting article. Thanks for providing it for us Diana.

There is no mark of self,
And no mark of others,
No mark of living beings,
And no mark of a life.


-- The Diamond Sutra
Dirty_D
Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 10:58:15 AM

Rank: Head Nurse

Joined: 4/15/2011
Posts: 7,225
Location: Soaking up the sun, United States
This is one of the best written explanations of punctuation I have seen. I am bumping it up hoping that all the new authors will see it!


Wandering2
Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2013 10:21:37 PM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 3/5/2013
Posts: 46
Location: United States
Great Article. Still Laughing. What a great way to get the message across in a way that will be remembered, with humor! Thanks so much for sharing Phil Phantom’s: “Guide to Writing Good Trash". I'm getting ready to write some of my own stories and am glad I came to visit the Forum for writing tips! This is a great start on my education. :)

A horny couple, a few spices, a LOT of FUN

Hope you will check out my first story - Kitty Kapers - A Well Seasoned Woman

http://www.lushstories.com/stories/oral-sex/kitty-kapers-a-well-seasoned-woman.aspx

Dirty_D
Posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 6:06:59 AM

Rank: Head Nurse

Joined: 4/15/2011
Posts: 7,225
Location: Soaking up the sun, United States
bump....


simply_sweet
Posted: Wednesday, June 05, 2013 3:03:23 AM

Rank: Pandahug Ninja

Joined: 6/15/2010
Posts: 1,398
Location: IL, United States
Kandikiss51
Posted: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 12:42:00 PM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 6/28/2011
Posts: 21
Location: United States
I understand the proper use of grammar and punctuation. However it seems to me they changed things a bit. For example a year ago I was told semi-colon was proper for leading into speech,...now its not.? I was also told I should not use the slang word 'cum', its come. How freaking picky. I know that my stories need edited at times. I strive to be a better writer. But when one mod says its great another shoots my story full if holes. I really fed up and about to delete my account. I have all the articles, a good editing program, plus a newspaper editor. And still I get picky moderators. Sorry needed to vent.

HUGS & MORE
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