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Old 03-16-2021, 11:24 PM   #31
Hitch
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Originally Posted by robintes View Post
CL
Q
Now it looks more like the original poster is unfamiliar with the conventions of written dialogue in the English language. Either way, I'm nonpussed.
UQ

This must be a new marketing tool - Diss the paying Customer (Reader)
Sport, you are not the "paying customer." I don't know WHO you think you are, but a paying customer, you are not. Everybody is equal here; we're not "selling" you anything.

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Its already been noted on this thread that Academics have largely ignored the need for Dialog construction.
Really? Who said that and where, exactly?

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Its also been said that often Authors are careless or ignorant of basic Dialog rules and furthermore the hapless Reader is in fact quite flexible in following sloppy dialog UP TO A POINT
Nope. I don't think anybody said that, either. If what you mean to say is, in this day and age of self-publishing, there are literally hundreds of thousands of total incompetents publising books, well, yes, that's certainly true. People who have no story to tell; people who have a story and are incapable of telling it and then, all those who fall in-between and do "creative" things like write narrative paragraphs first-line indent and dialogue paragraphs block-style. Silly nonsense like that.

Readers TRY to plow through those mistakes, but generally, give up and don't bother. There are many more fish in the sea.

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After that the plot gets lost and immersion broken. Its what I have found and its made worse by the nature of Ereaders and their shortened pages
You are either reading on a crap app, or you are reading crap eBooks on a normal app or device.

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So my OP was a wake up call to see if this new media could offer some improvements/innovations in the system. I'm encouraged to see that cages have been rattled and even dummies spat out
Really? That's what you think you've done? I've seen just under 9,000 manuscripts at my shop. You think that you're the first to try something new? See if something "new" could be done? I've seen manuscripts with over 41 different font faces, one for each "new character" and it was the dog's breakfast. Pal, I saw 5 of you before I finished my morning coffee--today alone.


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Its illuminating to note that we have two distinct parties to this discussion. On the luddite left we have the Publishers who have the benefit of overviewing thousands of MS per year complete with all their pros and cons, while on the restless right side we have authors of varying places in the great pecking order of selling success all jostling, individually isolated. with "me first" fervour.
The "luddite left"? You mean the people here that have collectively made more than 10,000 eBooks? Those "luddites"? And "restless right?" Don't be utterly presumptuous and absurd. You know what authors want? They want to bloody SELL. 99.9% of them couldn't give two s**ts about how paragraphs are formatted or what fonts are used. Why? Because they are WRITERS, not prancing, self-involved prats that think that using different fonts will alleviate the necessity for them to learn how to write a coherent scene.

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This board seems largely composed of the LEFT so no point issuing a challenge on the above premise as Publishers dont write. The RIGHTers are too busy scribbling away in their lonely sheds to waste time on this anal subject
Happily, those of us who post here, trying to actually HELP people, are afforded the ability to ignore posters that are boring or tedious, so nope, I shan't be crapping on you from some height. Can't be bothered. You can take your self-obsessed, ridiculously unwarranted presumptuous self and f**k right off. I already have to put up with the great unwashed and untalented's unwarranted self-centeredness all day, for my daily bread, so it'll be a cold day in hell before I put up with it on a forum where I come to relax.

Lemme guess--you write POETRY too, amirite?

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/done here.

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Old 03-17-2021, 09:30 AM   #32
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Its already been noted on this thread that Academics have largely ignored the need for Dialog construction.
NO! This is what was written:
Quote:
It's true that most books on writing are poor on dialogue as they are aimed at formal writing and journalism. You'll get a little help from R.L. Trask's Guide to Punctuation (was on his website and is sold as Penguin Guide to Punctuation).

Academics in the past seem to have ignore novel writing, fiction. Most authors learn by reading lots and writing lots.
But Academics are perfectly expert at dialogue and DO know the rules. It's just most of their books are aimed at Formal Writing and Journalism, not fiction with dialogue.

R.L. Trask is a top academic.
Brown & King (Self-Editing for Fiction Writers) are top professionals. Because of the subject they perfectly cover the issue of dialogue in Chapter 5. Nothing they write conflicts with Trask, who is from the USA and has a PhD in 1983 in London, England. His book on punctuation does concentrate on Formal writing, but it does have the same rules for dialogue as Brown & King. He has about seven writing and language related books published by 1997.

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Its also been said that often Authors are careless or ignorant of basic Dialog rules and furthermore the hapless Reader is in fact quite flexible in following sloppy dialog UP TO A POINT
No-one wrote that.

I wrote:
Quote:
But the basic way dialogue works in text is almost unchanged in 200 years on both sides of the Atlantic.

Readers may not consciously know dialogue rules or how to write, but most will be dislocated when they are broken. Also no system will make poor dialogue better
Any experienced author and all proof readers and editors know how dialogue works.

Right wing? I suppose some are. Usually Fiction Publishers, Fiction Editors and Fiction writers are accused of being lefties!

Last edited by Quoth; 03-17-2021 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 03-17-2021, 09:37 AM   #33
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I don't appreciate how you managed to introduce a misspelling when quoting my post. Did you think it was funny? It's not; it 's just stupid.

And, sweetie, when you use the "quote" button, the post you're replying to appears automatically, in a nice little box to set it off, with the poster's name--you don't need to retype it or cut-and-paste it, or whatever the hell you're doing. Have a nice day.
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Old 03-17-2021, 10:14 AM   #34
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herewith I quote Quoth from above

Q
But Academics are perfectly expert at dialogue and DO know the rules. It's just most of their books are aimed at Formal Writing and Journalism, not fiction with dialogue.
UQ

Well there's an oxymoron "Writing and Journalism"
Never let the truth get in the way of a good story and remember your copy is there to fill the white spaces
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Old 03-17-2021, 11:07 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by robintes View Post
herewith I quote Quoth from above

Q
But Academics are perfectly expert at dialogue and DO know the rules. It's just most of their books are aimed at Formal Writing and Journalism, not fiction with dialogue.
UQ

Well there's an oxymoron "Writing and Journalism"
Never let the truth get in the way of a good story and remember your copy is there to fill the white spaces
FORMAL writing.
It's rude to twist by misquoting.

And your comment has NOTHING to do with how to write or indicate dialogue.
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Old 03-17-2021, 04:56 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by robintes View Post
herewith I quote Quoth from above

Q
But Academics are perfectly expert at dialogue and DO know the rules. It's just most of their books are aimed at Formal Writing and Journalism, not fiction with dialogue.
UQ
A (hopefully!) helpful tip which will make your posts easier to read:

Like Catlady wrote: If you use the blue "Quote" button at the bottom of the post you reply to, the post you're quoting appears in a quote box. This is easier to read than your "Q" and "UQ".

Alternatively, you can add quote tags manually: Surround the text with [ quote] and [/ quote] (but without spaces in the tags).
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Old 03-20-2021, 04:41 AM   #37
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Back to the first post, I can only think of Philip K Dick.

But if you do have a different font for every character, think of the fun you might have "casting" the character's font.

A German, a Fraktur font, perhaps?
An orotund politician, some fat font (Goudy Stout?)
A broad-shouldered hero, a font with muscles (?)

And if you really do try to match font to ethnic characters, imagine the outcry!

I tried it in Word on a sample of dialogue text. It looked ludicrous. Besides, if you have fifty or so characters, and it's an ebook, think how many embedded fonts you need. Fifty, maybe?
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Old 03-20-2021, 12:16 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Pulpmeister View Post
Back to the first post, I can only think of Philip K Dick.

But if you do have a different font for every character, think of the fun you might have "casting" the character's font.

A German, a Fraktur font, perhaps?
An orotund politician, some fat font (Goudy Stout?)
A broad-shouldered hero, a font with muscles (?)

And if you really do try to match font to ethnic characters, imagine the outcry!

I tried it in Word on a sample of dialogue text. It looked ludicrous. Besides, if you have fifty or so characters, and it's an ebook, think how many embedded fonts you need. Fifty, maybe?
And, on a technical front, back on this topic (God help us all for facilitating this...), I can promise you that after about 6 typefaces (NOT 6 fonts!), books start to fail at KDP. Just break. And then, when you look at them, all the fonts are GONE. MIA. Gone walkabout. Amazon routinely rips out fonts. Willy-nilly, as it were.

This is the reason that we do a test-upload on every single eBook we make that has embedded fonts, in any number or amount, for any reason. It's such a major hassle, I cannot tell you.

Lastly, I do feel compelled to mention that let's not forget, boys and girls, that adding fonts means adding KB and MB. And what does THAT do? It adds delivery fees, if you are opting for the 70% royalty rate (and c'mon, let's face it, who doesn't? Even the most strident asserters of "I write for the ART of it!" want more, not less, money for their...art.)

So, if you were to add, let's say, 40 fonts, on average...what, between 2.5 and 3.2 or 3.5mb? Which would be another half-a-dollar that wouldn't go into your pocket. Not to mention, it would drive your minimum price...and that assumes you subset them.

And if you have 20 characters, let's say, that means not less than 3 fonts for each face (so...for example, Garamond Regular, Garamond Bold, Garamond Italic) and oy, vey, as some of my friends would say, you have major delivery fees and file management hassles.

Meh. And let's also not forget...many, many devices have the ability to overrule and overwrite fonts. Some not even deliberately, like the Paperwhite family, which will routinely not display them unless you, the reader, know to check out "Publisher fonts" and actively and deliberately choose to see them.

I mean, sure, I do it, but how many normal readers would bother? As a professional, I'm curious. I'm sure some others, here, would. But your typical reader, who buys, clicks and the file magically shows up on their device, and they start reading? At most, knows how to set font size and maybe "themes," but couldn't download and side load the files to save their lives? Nyaaaah. Not a prayer.

Any author thinking this way should bite the bullet and assume that the entire book will be seen in Courier New Regular. Not even bold or italic; just typewriter, as it was back in the day when Raymond Chandler wrote books. Assume that; write your scenes, your dialogue, your beats, etc., under those circumstances and use your writing talent to ensure that the reader knows who is talking, and to whom.

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Old 03-21-2021, 08:54 AM   #39
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This!
But maybe the equivalent of all Arial/Sans or all Times New Roman/Serif, which is a little easier to read than monospace.
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Any author thinking this way should bite the bullet and assume that the entire book will be seen in Courier New Regular. Not even bold or italic; just typewriter, as it was back in the day when Raymond Chandler wrote books. Assume that; write your scenes, your dialogue, your beats, etc., under those circumstances and use your writing talent to ensure that the reader knows who is talking, and to whom.
Though they might have used *bold*, _this_ or /this/ for italic to indicate to the typesetter. MS Word and LO Writer can still autoconvert those on imported files.

Typewriters can usually do underline and strike-through by use of the Backspace key. They are the reason for the stupid use of ' and " instead of ‘ ’ “ ” in unprofessionally produced computer texts because the 1930 teletype used a typewriter keyboard and the updated versions of those were computer terminals from the 1950s to 1970s. The IBM PC, DOS and its keyboard in 1980 was a backward step to CP/M and terminals of the mid 1970s.

I tested a bunch of epub apps lately. Over 50% people read on a tablet or phone. I was surprised how many either just used the fonts on the tablet, or their own bundled fonts and had NO option to use the Publisher Embedded font. I even contacted some of the developers.
“Oh, now I see what you mean, that's a lot of work. I don’t know when I’ll fix it.”

As an aside:
Ray Bradbury, Enid Blyton and Isaac Asimov wrote a lot on typewriters and would have been astounded at the idea of multiple fonts. I had to type my weekly report on a really old typewriter. I hated it. I did get a a nice portable one to have as an ornament in my library/writing room. It's easier than the one in my first job, but I'd rather use Edlin on MSDOS 2.11 than a typewriter. I used Wordstar and clones for over 10 years and would not go back. I only use a text editor for notes. Or the odd scene of a new story. Paragraph Styles in the wordprocessor map to classes in CSS. Generally inline changes do not. So technically the idea of different fonts per character would be a nightmare to write, edit and produce to an ebook. It's common when writing to change who says something in a 3 person or more group. The current system makes that easy.

Oddly the PDF proof for paper not so awkward. The OP suggested it for ebooks, but mostly the delivery/view will fail for more than 90% of readers as Amazon has 90% of the English language ebook market. It would work for paper, but it's ghastly to read.
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Old 03-21-2021, 03:34 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Quoth View Post
This!
But maybe the equivalent of all Arial/Sans or all Times New Roman/Serif, which is a little easier to read than monospace.

Though they might have used *bold*, _this_ or /this/ for italic to indicate to the typesetter. MS Word and LO Writer can still autoconvert those on imported files.

Typewriters can usually do underline and strike-through by use of the Backspace key. They are the reason for the stupid use of ' and " instead of ‘ ’ “ ” in unprofessionally produced computer texts because the 1930 teletype used a typewriter keyboard and the updated versions of those were computer terminals from the 1950s to 1970s. The IBM PC, DOS and its keyboard in 1980 was a backward step to CP/M and terminals of the mid 1970s.

I tested a bunch of epub apps lately. Over 50% people read on a tablet or phone. I was surprised how many either just used the fonts on the tablet, or their own bundled fonts and had NO option to use the Publisher Embedded font. I even contacted some of the developers.
“Oh, now I see what you mean, that's a lot of work. I don’t know when I’ll fix it.”

As an aside:
Ray Bradbury, Enid Blyton and Isaac Asimov wrote a lot on typewriters and would have been astounded at the idea of multiple fonts. I had to type my weekly report on a really old typewriter. I hated it. I did get a a nice portable one to have as an ornament in my library/writing room. It's easier than the one in my first job, but I'd rather use Edlin on MSDOS 2.11 than a typewriter. I used Wordstar and clones for over 10 years and would not go back. I only use a text editor for notes. Or the odd scene of a new story. Paragraph Styles in the wordprocessor map to classes in CSS. Generally inline changes do not. So technically the idea of different fonts per character would be a nightmare to write, edit and produce to an ebook. It's common when writing to change who says something in a 3 person or more group. The current system makes that easy.

Oddly the PDF proof for paper not so awkward. The OP suggested it for ebooks, but mostly the delivery/view will fail for more than 90% of readers as Amazon has 90% of the English language ebook market. It would work for paper, but it's ghastly to read.
Yes, I agree about not using Courier, or another monospace font, but I was making a point about the writing, which I know you know. If Raymond Chandler can hold us all spellbound with a typewriter--and none of us needed Arial Italic or Green Times New Roman or Papyrus to know that it was Carmen Sternwood speaking, rather than Vivian--and moreoever, he did it from 3rd person Limited, bygod, a writer today can construct a viable story without 50 or 10 or 5 different fonts.

I grew up learning on a plain, old, manual typewriter; that's what my parents gave me and it's what I used, starting in...8th grade, I think it was (when I was 12-13). I still, to this day, am a keyboard pounder, despite having been a seriously early adopter of desktop computing, as it was called back then. A "personal computer," LOL.

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Old 03-21-2021, 04:31 PM   #41
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He was a genius.
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Old 03-21-2021, 08:28 PM   #42
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Just to be picky: I doubt whether Asimov (or probably any of the others) would have been astounded at the idea of using multiple fonts. When manuscripts are hand or type written there is a much stronger demarcation between the writing and layout. They might have been astounded that a publisher would bother, but not by the idea of it.

Now that it's possible to publish almost as soon as the words slide out from under the caret, there can be a temptation to layout as you go. I doubt that is a temptation felt by only me; I think it is a temptation instilled by the use of WYSIWYG editors that have put layout in the hands of amateurs for so long now that it's hard to shake that sense of responsibility and the desire to see what will be the end-result as soon as possible. Instant gratification.
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Old 03-21-2021, 08:42 PM   #43
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Just to be picky: I doubt whether Asimov (or probably any of the others) would have been astounded at the idea of using multiple fonts. When manuscripts are hand or type written there is a much stronger demarcation between the writing and layout. They might have been astounded that a publisher would bother, but not by the idea of it.

Now that it's possible to publish almost as soon as the words slide out from under the caret, there can be a temptation to layout as you go. I doubt that is a temptation felt by only me; I think it is a temptation instilled by the use of WYSIWYG editors that have put layout in the hands of amateurs for so long now that it's hard to shake that sense of responsibility and the desire to see what will be the end-result as soon as possible. Instant gratification.
Instant gratification is the father and mother of self-publishing and I have to say, despite being someone who earns her daily bread therefrom, it hasn't served the reading public well. Even with self-pubbing, it's those who persist, who work hard, write hundreds of thousands of words, use proofer, critiquers and beta readers, that put out the stuff that sells. The rest? Fall by the wayside as they ought.

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Old 03-21-2021, 08:57 PM   #44
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Terry Pratchett did occasionally use a different font for a specific character, but knew to do so very sparingly. Death, for example, spoke in SMALL CAPS. The Golems were mostly mute, but the few speaking golems used a vaguely "ancient Hebrewish" font for their short phrases. He did so to emphasise the "otherness" of then.

The key word is of course "sparingly".
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Old 04-29-2021, 11:03 AM   #45
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Excuse me, and I disagree with your statement that academicians write poorly fiction. My son is a writer like me. And he took the academic path. He successfully writes for eduzaurus various entertaining and fanfiction multi-part adventures. He even has a whole army of admirers. He never uploaded anything except the faculty of "academic text."
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