a "maybe thing"


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  1. #1

    a "maybe thing"

    I have a character that needs to contrast term for a "sure thing", and it would fit his style to say it was a "maybe thing".

    Yeah, lotsa ways that can go bad, but thatís a maybe thing, the sure thing is that...
    I'm unsure if I should leave it as is, or use hyphens or perhaps single quotes around 'maybe thing' and 'sure thing'.

    How should I handle this bit of dialogue?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by indianroads View Post
    I have a character that needs to contrast term for a "sure thing", and it would fit his style to say it was a "maybe thing".



    I'm unsure if I should leave it as is, or use hyphens or perhaps single quotes around 'maybe thing' and 'sure thing'.

    How should I handle this bit of dialogue?
    In dialogue it completely depends on the type of character, their personality and whether that would fit their voice. With that in mind, it reads just fine.

    If this wasn't dialogue, I would not use it, personally. I would either scratch the 'thing' and write 'as maybe' instead of 'a maybe' for better grammar, or rewrite the sentence completely.

    Yeah, lotsa ways that can go bad, but thatís as maybe, the sure thing is that..

  3. #3
    Makes sense and I like it a lot -- good voice, interesting character.

    I think you are using maybe as an adjective, so the punctuation you gave seems right.
    English is a good language for people who like to be creative and expressive, not for people who want words to fit into boxes and stay there.

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  4. #4
    I love the idea of contrasting a "sure thing" with a "maybe thing." Here's how I'd handle it:

    Yeah, lotsa ways that can go bad, but that’s a maybe thing. The sure thing is that...

    From there on after that point, I'd just plain say "a maybe thing." The reader's been alerted by the italics and the contrast with "sure" to understand what you're talking about from that point.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by indianroads View Post
    I have a character that needs to contrast term for a "sure thing", and it would fit his style to say it was a "maybe thing".



    I'm unsure if I should leave it as is, or use hyphens or perhaps single quotes around 'maybe thing' and 'sure thing'.

    How should I handle this bit of dialogue?
    I like it as is and I think it's understandable in context without calling it out. If you think it would help to have another character question the term that could work, too. But for me it wouldn't need quotes or italics or anything. Especially if he uses it again later, the reader will get it without a problem. I like it a lot, sounds like a great character to write.

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