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Thread: Expressing loud talking/yelling/shouting

  1. #11
    As far as I know, all caps is usually used to show emotion or emphasis, exactly like italics. The difference -- and this is just me trying to find a difference -- is that all caps is louder and italics is higher pitched. As if those are two different ways of showing emotion and emphasis.

    I would not assume that your reader knows that all caps can show a calm shouting. I could be wrong, but that's my guess. And that depends on context.

    I would be very surprised if all caps meant shouting in texting, where they don't have italics and have to use all-caps for emphasis.

    I do not know how to express my attitude to people who claim all caps is for shouting -- they should have noticed by now that people don't use it that way and they aren't going to get their way.

    To give examples from an unpublished punctuation and grammar book which discusses this issue:

    "I KNOW," I whispered. (Code Name Verity, Wein, page 304 trade)
    And from the narration (can there be calm shouting in narration?)

    AND YOU TOO MIGHT BE SO LUCKY! (The Fault in Our Stars, page 5)
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  2. #12
    Member Sir-KP's Avatar
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    I'm using it quite the opposite.

    Italics for emphasis (no yelling), thoughts, quoting somebody else's word inside a dialog, and weird-sounding speech, such as mockery.

    Oh man...

    lol...

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Sir-KP View Post
    I'm using it quite the opposite.

    Italics for emphasis (no yelling), thoughts, quoting somebody else's word inside a dialog, and weird-sounding speech, such as mockery.

    Oh man...

    lol...
    Pretty much, unless all caps is specified to be something other than yelling, it's going to be read as yelling. I've only used caps a few times for something other than yelling (like when someone's yell-whispering)

    Italics can be used for emphasis, but generally, they're "funny sounding" words, thoughts, telepathic communications, foreign languages, stuff like that.
    "Ammonia will disinfect sin."
    --adrianhayter

    "Art is life, just add bull****."
    --Chris Miller

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by seigfried007 View Post
    Pretty much, unless all caps is specified to be something other than yelling, it's going to be read as yelling. I've only used caps a few times for something other than yelling (like when someone's yell-whispering)
    Question #1. When dialogue is specified as something other than yelling, what is all-caps to be read as?

    "Did you EVER, Mrs. Heeny?" Mrs. Spragg murmured with deprecating pride. (Wharton, The Custom of the Country, page 1, 1913)
    2. If all-caps means shouting, why would a good author add that the person was shouting?

    "JAMIE!" he shouted. (Revival, King)
    3. Why would all-caps not be used for shouting? What does that mean?

    "No!" I shouted. (Revival, King)
    King seems to think all-caps might be used in emails:

    Jamie, all the Forbidden Books deal with POWER...
    Anderson puts it in graffiti:

    I went out with him to the movies -- he tried to get his hands down my pants during the PREVIEWS!!
    5. If you want to claim that shouting means something different in emails, graffiti, and texting, what does it mean?


    PUT ANOTHER WAY, the idea that all-caps means just shouting doesn't work well. The idea of meaning that a word or phrase is spoken a little louder does make sense.

    But the idea that the speaker is speaking a single word a little louder so that people further away can hear that word, that also does not make sense.

    And that leaves us with . . . speaking a little louder for emphasis or emotion.
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  5. #15
    Patron Foxee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir-KP View Post
    I noticed that in some novels (that I could reach my hands on), a loud, stressed-on speech often expressed with capital letters. I'm aware that in online communication, capital letter is indeed considered as shouting.

    Is this applicable in literature as a correct form of loud speech?


    So far I don't have any capital-lettered shouts, but it does feel less impact, though I think it would look wrong and lame to do the otherwise.

    Shed your light, if you would, good sirs and madams. Thanks.
    What a fascinating question. I'm trying to think back over what I've written and I don't think I've actually had much in the way of screaming/shouting to write...which is also making me wonder why I haven't. But that's a question for me to ponder, back to the Actual Question.

    How to write screaming and shouting?

    The dialogue tags seem like the most conventional approach. I am not sure that all submissions guidelines allow for formatting like boldface type and I do think that usually all caps looks less than good.

    So without that, what can we do? Here are some ideas (and this could be suspect because i'm just thinking it through and throwing it in here):

    Scene setting - If the reader is sympathetic to the character they will feel the stressors or conditions that would make a character scream or yell, they will want to as well.

    Other character's reactions - If another character is shown maybe making a damping movement toward the character who is speaking, we know they're getting loud.

    Dialogue tags - I know this has been mentioned. Doesn't have to be fancy or complex. Exclamation points help.

    Just say it - If she screamed just say she screamed. It's to the point and has that slap-in-the-face quality of a scream.

    I can hear you thinking, "Okay, sure, fine, Foxee, but put your keyboard where your mouth is." Okay, I'll try!....(Stream of consciousness! Results not guaranteed)....

    From the moment Melanie's feet hit the cold dog vomit her day had tested her resolve to stop swearing.

    The children only had one sock each and apparently no idea how to do their morning routine, the only thing the Keurig would wet was the bed, and the neighbor's garbage cans had blown into the driveway right up against the back of her car, pushing her late morning even later.

    Half an hour later she dropped the kids off at school, noting their unbrushed hair waving in untidy mops as they scampered away and she surreptitiously felt to make sure she had remembered to put her bra on. Breathing a sigh of thanks she turned back out into the rush hour traffic, a headache twinging behind her left eye.

    She checked the clock, almost colliding with a red Honda that cut her off at the light, and saw that there was no time to stop for coffee. If everything went perfectly she could still be on time for work. She avoided her reflection in the rearview mirror, hurried grooming made her skin feel tight and wrong, imperfect.

    Swinging into the parking lot two minutes late, she saw that the lot was full.

    "Son of a...bean basket!" Unsatisfying. And the car's interior soaked up the sound.

    After parking at the far end of the lot, Melanie grabbed her things and speedwalked to the front doors, blasting through them in a way that lifted Grace, the receptionist a little out of her seat, eyes wide.

    "Good morning, Melanie, why-"

    "Why didn't I come in the side door?" Melanie's voice echoed through the atrium as she gestured sharply with one finger back toward where she had come, "Which is even further from where I had to park?"

    Gracie leaned well back in her seat, smiling and nodding, eyes still wide as she tried again.

    "Mr. Kelper is-"

    The door through to the office slammed behind Melanie, cutting Gracie's voice off.

    "There she is!" A voice boomed, "Wondered if you'd amble in today."

    Thomas M. Kelper III stood directly beside the timeclock, tapping the top of it with his finger. The headache sharpened to a spear that seemed to dig right through Melanie's head as she remembered one of the main items on her agenda today. Her yearly review.

    "Hello, Mr. Kelper," she said through teeth as tightly closed as though her fillings had been welded, "please pardon my lateness, I'll be with you in just a moment."

    No quick stop at the communal coffeepot, no pause in the restroom to correct any flaws, no ibuprofen or aspirin or honest-to-God morphine.

    "Mhm...mhm..." He had produced a clipboard and was busily writing.

    Nothing to do but clock in as though all was normal as her bra strap slid down her shoulder under her blouse. Thomas's pale blue eyes lifted from his busy work and he looked her over.

    "Five minutes," he said dryly, "in the conference room. If you can make it."

    ****

    I could go on but this does have a few spots with a raised voice and I think some of my listed ideas worked out for them. I would have to experiment more to perfect this but what do you think?
    Last edited by Foxee; November 28th, 2019 at 02:24 AM.
    We'll burn that bridge when we come to it.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmmaSohan View Post
    PUT ANOTHER WAY, the idea that all-caps means just shouting doesn't work well.
    Pretty much agree with that.

    I don't think there's a general rule about it.

    I personally won't put a whole sentence in caps just because it's shouted. I would say to myself: "come on, Tom: you can do better than this!"; and then go with description, comparison, allegory, rage or joy, panic or fear, anything to make "the volume & the sentiment" transpire through the narrative.

    That doesn't mean I won't use caps, or italics, for emphasis here and there, maybe even different fonts like Terry Pratchett for his Death character's speech.

  7. #17
    Patron Foxee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomkat View Post
    That doesn't mean I won't use caps, or italics, for emphasis here and there, maybe even different fonts like Terry Pratchett for his Death character's speech.
    One of the best uses of all-caps ever!
    We'll burn that bridge when we come to it.

  8. #18
    Well, since Foxee posted some scenery-ness...

    I wrote this one last night. There's no dialogue tags on the ALL CAPS, so I'm curious what volume/tone they're read as. Italics are used to convey direct thoughts, telepathic communications/dialogue, and (intrusive thoughts). I've also experimented here with all lowercase sentences and a great deal of parataxis.

    Situation is such that 1) there are two men stuck in one body (Beau and David), 2) they've just come off one flashback and haven't quite regained themselves before slipping into another one of sorts, 3) stuff in parentheses isn't happening now; it's either bits of dialogue he/they're remembering from a previous conversation with a deceased lover, or it's not... (intrusive thoughts that may or may not have been uttered as dialogue in his/their past).

    Disclaimer:
    While "nothing happens," there is some sexually suggestive phrasing that readers may find disturbing.


    The smell of woodsmoke, of barbecue—oh, it smelled so good—

    (So, you’ve missed me after all?)

    We tilted our chin up, felt his breath on our neck; felt his nose, his lips on our skin—so gentle, the softest touch we’d ever known, the path to wholeness and healing—so gentle, so gentle

    (You want this, don’t you?)

    The smell of cigarettes—his cigarettes—oh, such pretty smoke

    (She can’t give you what I can, Surrey.)

    —oh, he would never hurt us, and we wanted him so badly, wanted him to drain the pain away, to take the weight away; wanted him to fill us and make us whole—

    (Oh, Surrey, I’ve missed you, too. I knew you’d come back for this.)

    —oh, we wanted to be filled and whole and beautiful; to feel weightless and delicate and submissive—

    (You want me inside you again, don’t you?)

    David? Beau?

    (Turn around.)

    A wash of concern—absinthe and apple cider; bitter, sweet and sour; somehow creamy but watered down—

    (Turn around. Turn around. Turn around. Turn around. Turn around.)

    —oh, we wanted it so badly, wanted it so badly, wanted it so badly—

    (Turn around. Turn around. Turn around. Turn around. Turn around. Turn around. Turn around. Turn around. Turn around. Turn around. Turn around. Turn around. Turn around. Turn around. Turn around. Turn around.)

    —oh, we wanted it so badly, wanted it so badly, wanted it so badly—

    (Turn Around. Turn Around. Turn Around. Turn Around. Turn Around.)

    —oh, we wanted it so badly, wanted it so badly, wanted it so badly—

    (TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND.)

    —oh, we wanted it so badly, wanted it so badly, wanted it so badly—always wanted it so badly—such dirty little whores we were—always wanted it—always wanted it—always wanted it—such a filthy, dirty boy we were—

    (TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND. TURN AROUND.)

    —filthy, dirty boy—always needing things—always making messes—always having to want things we didn’t want—take things we didn’t want—want things we didn’t want but had to want, had to take—had to bend over—had to turn around—had to thank him—had to say we were sorry—all the time—all the time—turn around—bend over—open wide—sorry and thank-you and please—please, don’t hurt us—we’ll be better—we’ll be your dirty boy—please don’t hurt us—

    (TURN AROUND. BEND OVER. OPEN WIDE. TURN AROUND. BEND OVER. OPEN WIDE. SORRY. PLEASE. THANK-YOU. TURN AROUND. BEND OVER. OPEN WIDE. SORRY, PLEASE AND THANK-YOU. TURN AROUND. BEND OVER. OPEN WIDE. LEGS UP. LAY DOWN. ROLL OVER. SORRY, PLEASE AND THANK-YOU. SAY YOU’RE SORRY. SAY ‘PLEASE.’ SAY ‘THANK-YOU.’ HOW DO GOOD BOYS SAY ‘THANK-YOU’? YEAH, LIKE THAT. YEAH, LIKE THAT, DAVID. YOU’RE SUCH A GOOD BOY, SO SMART, SO SPECIAL. YOU’RE SO BEAUTIFUL—TOO BEAUTIFUL. OH, GOD, YES, YOU BEAUTIFUL BOY. THAT’S THE SPIRIT. KEEP GOING. YOU’RE SO GOOD AT THIS. YOU’RE SUCH A CHAMP. SORRY, PLEASE AND THANK-YOU. SORRY, PLEASE AND THANK-YOU. SORRY, PLEASE AND THANK-YOU. SORRY, PLEASE AND THANK-YOU. LAY DOWN. LEGS UP. ROLL OVER. TURN AROUND. BEND OVER. OPEN WIDE. TURN AROUND. BEND OVER. OPEN WIDE.)

    Fingers—rough ends, smooth nails—soft—hard—on chest, on the bone—through the skin—through the bone—slipping inside—inside—insideinside of us

    Beau? David? Come on back, you two, said that voice—the other voice, the soothing voice like slipping in rose oil and melted chocolate. It’s okay now; nobody’s hurting you; you’re safe now.

    A hand—long, rough, warm—sliding over our cheek—fingers over our ear, in our hair, palm on our cheek, breath on our face—warmth, so much warmth, coursing through us—draining the pain—making all of our hard go away, all of our pain, all of our hurt—making us soft and warm—

    We breathed in. We hadn’t known we’d stopped breathing.

    There you go. Just breathe; just breathe for a bit, he said, his voice so soft and warm like a blanket, like someone had wrapped us in a blanket, like we’d been drowning, and someone had pulled us out and wrapped us in a blanket. I’ve got you. It’s safe now; you can come out now.

    (Open your eyes, Surrey; you’re so beautiful—too beautiful—but you shouldn’t fear that. Not with me. I’ll protect you, Surrey; there’s nothing to be afraid of anymore.)

    We opened our eyes… and, inches from our face, we saw their vivid Laguna blue reflected in the gleaming, gray mirrors of his narrow, long-lashed eyes. And we wept.
    "Ammonia will disinfect sin."
    --adrianhayter

    "Art is life, just add bull****."
    --Chris Miller

  9. #19
    Member Sir-KP's Avatar
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    My (most common) concern when using dialogue tag is that the shout's pace/impact could be broken.

    What I'm saying is that the voice in our head could read the speech closer to what it is meant to be (because of the 'venom' as mentioned in last page), while the tag that helps readers understanding the written sound will be read in different tone, thus breaking the pace.

    Just sharing since I realize I often stuck when this happens, puzzled up over rewriting and removing words...

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Sir-KP View Post
    My (most common) concern when using dialogue tag is that the shout's pace/impact could be broken.

    What I'm saying is that the voice in our head could read the speech closer to what it is meant to be (because of the 'venom' as mentioned in last page), while the tag that helps readers understanding the written sound will be read in different tone, thus breaking the pace.

    Just sharing since I realize I often stuck when this happens, puzzled up over rewriting and removing words...
    Try to save tags for the beginning or end of said dialogue instead of breaking it up. The venom's important, but so is the volume because both communicate a wealth about the emotional state of the character. You can have venom without volume, and volume without venom. In some cases, tags are the best option to make certain the reader doesn't get confused and mistake exactly how the dialogue sounds.

    Although, this is one of the reasons I avoided tags in the above bit because I didn't want to ruin the sense of motion--that these intrusive thoughts are overlapping and drowning out the POV's thoughts. Still not sure about what mental volume any of it's read at.
    "Ammonia will disinfect sin."
    --adrianhayter

    "Art is life, just add bull****."
    --Chris Miller

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