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11 minutes ago, Carlos Hazday said:

I'm having a difference of opinion with someone about how to write stuttering.

 

Would love to see/hear how some of you handle it in your stories.

I've never written someone stuttering, so I'm not sure how I would do it. I have written characters stumbling over words in conversation, and ellipses and em dashes are my friends. I'm assuming halting speech and 'trailing off' is not what you are referring to?

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2 minutes ago, Headstall said:

I've never written someone stuttering, so I'm not sure how I would do it. I have written characters stumbling over words in conversation, and ellipses and em dashes are my friends. I'm assuming halting speech and 'trailing off' is not what you are referring to?

 

Actually, yes it is. I should have explained better. Not referring to an ongoing speech pattern but a temporary loss of words.

 

"I... I'm not sh... sure I understand you, Mr. Headstall."  :P

 

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2 minutes ago, Carlos Hazday said:

 

Actually, yes it is. I should have explained better. Not referring to an ongoing speech pattern but a temporary loss of words.

 

"I... I'm not sh... sure I understand you, Mr. Headstall."  :P

 

In my writing, I've learned less is more. I try to just give the reader a glimpse of the character's state. For example:   "I... what... what do you mean? I thought we... didn't we cover this earlier? You're confusing me, and--". Maybe the other character interrupts him. Then dialogue can happen normally with an occasional halt or stumble to remind the reader the character is in an emotional or uncertain or confused state of mind. Or maybe he/she is just timid. In real speech, it happens a lot, but that would be annoying for a reader. I know it is for me when I go back to some earlier stuff, or get inundated with it in a story I'm reading. It's like--enough already!

 

Here is a link I found interesting...

 

https://writefortheking.wordpress.com/2017/07/10/how-to-write-stuttering/ 

 

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@Headstall

 

Thanks, Gary. Interesting article even if I disagree with a couple of the things mentioned. I seem to have an aversion to using the initial letter by itself unless it sounds right. An entire dialogue using phonetics to simulate someone's accent can be infuriating to me as a reader. I try to use one or to words to hint at a southern accent for example. Or use a word like mate when writing a Brit or an Aussie. Yeah, I face such problems frequently since my casts resemble the United Nations.

 

In the example gave,  I use sh... sure instead of s... sure because the sh sound is more in line with the word being mangled.

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1 minute ago, Carlos Hazday said:

@Headstall

 

Thanks, Gary. Interesting article even if I disagree with a couple of the things mentioned. I seem to have an aversion to using the initial letter by itself unless it sounds right. An entire dialogue using phonetics to simulate someone's accent can be infuriating to me as a reader. I try to use one or to words to hint at a southern accent for example. Or use a word like mate when writing a Brit or an Aussie. Yeah, I face such problems frequently since my casts resemble the United Nations.

 

In the example gave,  I use sh... sure instead of s... sure because the sh sound is more in line with the word being mangled.

I agree. I no longer take advice on writing verbatim. I rely on my gut more and more because it's not an exact science. Yes, there are times when a mirror scene works, adverbs can be useful, and author's voice can enhance a scene on occasion. :P  I respect the 'rules,' but they don't control my writing. As for any dialogue, it has to sound right to our own ear. 

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33 minutes ago, Carlos Hazday said:

 

Actually, yes it is. I should have explained better. Not referring to an ongoing speech pattern but a temporary loss of words.

 

"I... I'm not sh... sure I understand you, Mr. Headstall."  :P

 

Ellipses indicate pauses so I would use them in the beginning and use a dash in-between stuttered sounds since there's no pause, but a repetition.  

 

"I... I'm not s-sure I understand you, Mr. Headstall." 

 

To me, the phonetic spelling is very jarring . The reader automatically reads the 's' as 'sh' in this case, since we know how to pronounce "sure".  

 

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7 minutes ago, Valkyrie said:

Ellipses indicate pauses so I would use them in the beginning and use a dash in-between stuttered sounds since there's no pause, but a repetition.  

 

"I... I'm not s-sure I understand you, Mr. Headstall." 

 

To me, the phonetic spelling is very jarring . The reader automatically reads the 's' as 'sh' in this case, since we know how to pronounce "sure".  

 

 

LMAO

 

And therein lies the difference of opinion! I'm helping someone do a little cleaning on a story and the issue came up. They do something similar to what you did, I disagree with it, but mentioned in the end it's their call since it's their story.

 

I wonder if my preference for the phonetic spelling is due to English not being my native language and always trying to pronounce things correctly. Assuming readers can pronounce words properly can be dangerous. Only one GA member has ever heard me speak so y'all probably have no idea what I'm talking about.

 

In 11th grade English, I read the word at the beginning of a film we watched in class and elicited laughter from everyone. The word was FOCUS. I pronounced it tuck us (change that T to an F.) :P

 

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15 minutes ago, Carlos Hazday said:

 

LMAO

 

And therein lies the difference of opinion! I'm helping someone do a little cleaning on a story and the issue came up. They do something similar to what you did, I disagree with it, but mentioned in the end it's their call since it's their story.

 

I wonder if my preference for the phonetic spelling is due to English not being my native language and always trying to pronounce things correctly. Assuming readers can pronounce words properly can be dangerous. Only one GA member has ever heard me speak so y'all probably have no idea what I'm talking about.

 

In 11th grade English, I read the word at the beginning of a film we watched in class and elicited laughter from everyone. The word was FOCUS. I pronounced it tuck us (change that T to an F.) :P

 

Well English as a second language is opening a whole other can of worms.  lol  I used to date a guy from Puerto Rico, so am familiar with the difficulties with 's' vs 'sh' and 'ch' in English vs Spanish.  He used to take 'chowers' instead of 'showers'.  

 

 

 

 

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I use hesitancies in speech quite a lot, although looking at @Headstall Gary's thoughts, I hope I don't use them too much ... :unsure: 

 

Example: "I, err ... I think ... maybe we shouldn't do that?" 

 

It's not only the 'errs' for me, but also how the whole is phrased. A question rather than statement, for example. 

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This is a good resource about true stuttering and the types of disfluences people who stutter exhibit.  @Carlos Hazday, they use the same style I did in their examples, although I would stick to the three dots for a typical ellipses.  

 

https://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/stuttering.htm

 

And I realize your example wasn't for someone who stutters, but I thought this would be a good resource for authors who include a character who stutters. 

Edited by Valkyrie
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9 minutes ago, northie said:

I use hesitancies in speech quite a lot, although looking at @Headstall Gary's thoughts, I hope I don't use them too much ... :unsure: 

 

Example: "I, err ... I think ... maybe we shouldn't do that?" 

 

It's not only the 'errs' for me, but also how the whole is phrased. A question rather than statement, for example. 

We all have hesitations and disfluent speech every once in a while.  Including too many can be distracting for the reader, though.  When I edit, I tell the author to read the sentence with and without the pauses to see if they're really necessary.  The majority of the time they're not, IMO.  But others may disagree ;)  

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6 hours ago, Valkyrie said:

This is a good resource about true stuttering and the types of disfluences people who stutter exhibit.  @Carlos Hazday, they use the same style I did in their examples, although I would stick to the three dots for a typical ellipses.  

 

https://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/stuttering.htm

 

And I realize your example wasn't for someone who stutters, but I thought this would be a good resource for authors who include a character who stutters. 

Shout out to @Valkyrie, I am writing a story right now with a character who stutters.

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1 minute ago, CassieQ said:

Shout out to @Valkyrie, I am writing a story right now with a character who stutters.

:D  Awesome!  Please let me know if you have any questions.  It falls right in my wheelhouse as an SLP ;) 

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33 minutes ago, Valkyrie said:

:D  Awesome!  Please let me know if you have any questions.  It falls right in my wheelhouse as an SLP ;) 

I might.  It's still in progress, but I did a lot of research and then really skimmed it down to make it easier to read.  

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