Contractions in fictional dialogue….Where the heck has it gone? I read ebooks and cringe at the long-winded speech patterns. It’s horrible. I do wish writers used them more. Ok so if you’re writing formal text you don’t need to use contractions…In fiction it’s another matter, especially in speech. You may not learn to use them at school or college, however you do need to listen to how you speak, this will give you an idea on how many contractions you use in a sentence and on a daily basis. We all do it so why don’t we use them in our creative writing.
I for one – write how I speak. I know it isn’t for everyone. I know editors can be picky about the over use of them, however use them, we must!
I still see a lot of bad formatting, some of which means I can’t or won’t read the book at all be them free or bought. The thing that is REALLY getting me at present is CONTRACTIONS in fictional dialogue.
DO YOU REALLY SPEAK WITHOUT THEM? WHY DON’T WRITERS USE MORE OF THEM?
Yep you got it, it drives me nuts. I know I don’t talk without using contractions. In fact I use them in most of my speech. My brain also automatically changes most words which could be contractions into what my brain thinks they should be.
I HAVE HAD – I’ve had
WE WILL GO TO – We’ll go to
I WILL TAKE MORGAN TO – I’ll take Morgan to
The latest one in New Zealand is Yeah nah….meaning Yes I know…rather than Yes – No…It seems to have gotten lost in translation. I hate hearing this as much as I dislike hearing people swear with every other word. Needless to say you don’t have to be long-winded with words to get your speech correct.
Honestly, I know many don’t like to use contractions, however not to use them at all, especially in speech is a ruddy nightmare.
I DO NOT SPEAK LIKE THIS. I WILL ALWAYS SHORTEN MY WORDS WHERE I CAN. I HAVE SO MANY DIFFERENT CHOICES. CAN NOT YOU SEE WHY THEY ARE SO IMPORTANT.
Doesn’t that sound horrible?
I don’t speak like this. I’ll always shorten my words where I can. I’ve so many different choices. Can’t you see why they are so important!
MUCH BETTER...even if it isn’t brilliant. Glad it was only a sample. Of course this is only my opinion as well. It’s not for everyone.
I totally agree, dialogue should flow naturally, but quite often it’s stilted and awkward to read. Contractions are a must!
Makes me wince. My brain literally changes them now as i read…
Yeah I had the same thought. While I went back to reread through my work I had to make all the separate words into contractions it drove me absolutely nuts! And I wrote it muahaha
At least you noticed. It isn’t as if we need to over use them. My issue is with those who don’t use them at all. I bet your book flows much better now for the extra hard work you did.
Oh yeah definitely! Feels more natural. Not so hard to read
Thanks for the reblog
I completely agree. Not long ago I submitted a draft for publication, and while a lot of what the editor said to me was good advice, the way in which they wanted me to change the dialog between characters made me quite sick to my stomach.
So, needless to say I did not publish with them and am going elsewhere.
Actually Mrs. Claire Plaisted will from now and hopefully forever publish my books under her company.