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lafayettemister
Posted: Thursday, November 01, 2012 8:53:42 AM

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Location: Alabama, United States
When speaking, some contractions are interchangeable, should their use be different when writing? Such as...

We're not vs. We aren't
She's not vs. She isn't

Does it matter to you as the reader? Is it better to let the person He,She, They stand alone?





When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates
seeker4
Posted: Thursday, November 01, 2012 11:33:46 AM

Rank: Story Verifier

Joined: 10/17/2012
Posts: 3,364
Location: Gone walkabout, Canada
I try to use contractions sparingly in narrative but would tend to use the latter in both your examples. They seem more grammatically correct although I don't have cite for that. For dialogue, I tend to use what feels "right" for the character and type of conversation. More colloquial, I'd go with the former, more formal, the latter. But that's my sense of it and I'll be happy to have a grammar geek correct me.


Its been a while but I finally got a new story out. Enjoy!

Satisfaction in the Park
LadyX
Posted: Thursday, November 01, 2012 11:51:11 AM

Rank: Artistic Tart

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
I use them all the time because they make the words flow more smoothly, often making the writing seem conversational. And unless the tone you're going for is more formal, then doing away with contractions can make the prose come off as a bit stilted.
clum
Posted: Thursday, November 01, 2012 1:40:43 PM

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Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
I don't use many contractions in my prose; just a personal style preference. In dialogue, I think about a) how I would say it, and b) how I imagine the character would say it. It's usually pretty clear to me which is the most appropriate. My recommendation would be to not think about it too much; you'll notice if there is a break in flow when you read back later.

Every day is a school day.
crazydiamond
Posted: Thursday, November 01, 2012 1:45:41 PM

Rank: Clever Gem

Joined: 7/17/2011
Posts: 2,286
Location: Exactly where I should be!, Canada


I'd never use them , they are scary!!! kekekegay

RUNS SCREAMING!!!

seeker4
Posted: Thursday, November 01, 2012 1:56:52 PM

Rank: Story Verifier

Joined: 10/17/2012
Posts: 3,364
Location: Gone walkabout, Canada
LadyX wrote:
I use them all the time because they make the words flow more smoothly, often making the writing seem conversational.


I like the "flow" idea. Narrative needs to flow and if contractions help that, then I'll use them. However, I also find that overuse of them interrupts that flow unless you're deliberately trying to make the narrative sound conversational (e.g. the framing device is that the story is being "told" to someone orally)

Its been a while but I finally got a new story out. Enjoy!

Satisfaction in the Park
principessa
Posted: Thursday, November 01, 2012 4:28:35 PM

Rank: Sophisticate

Joined: 8/23/2011
Posts: 4,281
Location: Canada
I use them in dialogue in stories but prefer not to in the narrative. I don`t like that conversational quality in prose. It is a matter of preference and taste, I suppose, and the tone you wish to convey in what you have written.

Milik_Redman
Posted: Thursday, November 01, 2012 4:32:49 PM

Rank: Internet Philosopher

Joined: 8/14/2009
Posts: 4,357
Location: somewhere deep under the Earth, United States
principessa wrote:
I use them in dialogue in stories but prefer not to in the narrative. I don`t like that conversational quality in prose. It is a matter of preference and taste, I suppose, and the tone you wish to convey in what you have written.


This. I try to build a poetic feeling in my prose, and the use of contractions is somewhat counter to this. In the end, your own style will dictate whether or not you should.

β€œIt is a great thing to know your vices.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero


My Editors Choice Award Winning Stories.








Mazza
Posted: Thursday, November 01, 2012 4:39:15 PM

Rank: Mazztastic

Joined: 9/20/2012
Posts: 3,030
Location: Scotland, United Kingdom
lafayettemister wrote:
When speaking, some contractions are interchangeable, should their use be different when writing? Such as...

We're not vs. We aren't
She's not vs. She isn't

Does it matter to you as the reader? Is it better to let the person He,She, They stand alone?


God, this was not the topic I was expecting! hahahha

I use them in dialogue quite a bit, if it's appropriate - they can give quite a different tone to different characters.

I also find them useful in certain cases. eg: Instead of saying "She had had a bad time" I would say "She'd had a bad time" Just sounds less clunky...

I suppose it just depends on my mood sometimes too.
Iain69
Posted: Saturday, November 03, 2012 5:57:25 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 1/19/2012
Posts: 181
Location: United Kingdom
Like Mazza: this wasn't the type of contraction I was expecting!

I was thinking more of a tight pussy contracting round my finger, tongue or cock during orgasm, maybe that's just the way my mind works...

As to other type of contraction: yes I do use them: they help make the text flow better: in the way it would if speaking out loud...

Iain
DLizze
Posted: Saturday, November 03, 2012 6:28:53 PM

Rank: Story Verifier

Joined: 4/23/2011
Posts: 2,552
I tend to write conversationally, so use of contractions falls right in line with my style. BUt If I am doing technical writing, as I often must in my day job, I avoid them like the plague.

"There's only three tempos: slow, medium and fast. When you get between in the cracks, ain't nuthin' happenin'." Ben Webster
TheGulfCoaster
Posted: Saturday, November 03, 2012 9:57:35 PM

Rank: Story Verifier

Joined: 1/2/2011
Posts: 581
Location: Sarasota County, United States
I try to write the narrative without them (it's a learning process - I'm still working on my skills with only 11 stories published so far) In dialogue, I generally read it out loud and write what sounds 'right'. Most people speak using contractions. If it doesn't sound natural, it won't read that way, either.
NymphWriter
Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 9:11:19 PM

Rank: Unicorn Rider

Joined: 8/1/2012
Posts: 1,018
Location: Las Vegas, United States
lafayettemister wrote:
When speaking, some contractions are interchangeable, should their use be different when writing? Such as...

We're not vs. We aren't
She's not vs. She isn't

Does it matter to you as the reader? Is it better to let the person He,She, They stand alone?


I think for me it depends on the dialect of the character speaking. The hard part is making the speech understandable.

Dancing_Doll
Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 8:11:12 AM

Rank: Alpha Blonde

Joined: 2/17/2010
Posts: 6,237
Location: West Coast
LadyX wrote:
I use them all the time because they make the words flow more smoothly, often making the writing seem conversational. And unless the tone you're going for is more formal, then doing away with contractions can make the prose come off as a bit stilted.


These are my views on it as well.


pixiedust65
Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 10:05:42 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 1/17/2013
Posts: 347
Location: Over the Rainbow, Canada
LadyX wrote:
I use them all the time because they make the words flow more smoothly, often making the writing seem conversational. And unless the tone you're going for is more formal, then doing away with contractions can make the prose come off as a bit stilted.


Agree with Lady.

WellMadeMale
Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 11:09:58 AM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,282
Location: Cakeland, United States
DLizze wrote:
I tend to write conversationally, so use of contractions falls right in line with my style. BUt If I am doing technical writing, as I often must in my day job, I avoid them like the plague.


This.

I will write for my audience. When I am speaking in public & formally, I avoid using them while I talk. As others have stated, outside of dialogue...I find when editing anything which doesn't end up inside a presentation or technical white paper - I remove all apostrophes I can find with the search tool.

Here in the forum (or any forum which does not impinge my salary)...I could care less. And that probably shows too.

If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
Andee
Posted: Saturday, March 09, 2013 2:32:07 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 3/7/2013
Posts: 123
Location: Mostly the couch, Canada
...only worry when they are less than five minutes apart ;-)

"If you knew what you were doing you would probably be bored."

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