Author Topic: Which Way Would You Write This?  (Read 512 times)

Al Macy (aka TromboneAl)

Which Way Would You Write This?
« on: September 23, 2018, 01:35:32 AM »
Which do you think is correct?

"I’m hoping that you—” he dipped his head toward me “—can offer an approach ..."

or

I’m hoping that you” —he dipped his head toward me— “can offer an approach ..."

Al Macy | Web Site | Facebook | Twitter
 

TimothyEllis

  • Forum Owner
  • Administrator
  • Epic Novel unlocked
  • ******
  • Posts: 1481
  • Thanked: 619 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Earth Galaxy somewhere, 2616
    • The Hunter Legacy Universe
Re: Which Way Would You Write This?
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2018, 01:38:46 AM »
"I’m hoping that you,” he dipped his head toward me, “can offer an approach ..."
 
The following users thanked this post: Attention

Tokio

Re: Which Way Would You Write This?
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2018, 02:06:14 AM »
I know that this is Choice C that you didn't offer, which usually I don't do because when given a choice between this or that, offering an additional option often does not apply to the original question. Since this is writing, though, I think it's kosher to suggest an alternative.

I'd go with:

"I’m hoping,” he dipped his head toward me, “that you can offer an approach ..."
Wildman banana on a four-legged slug.  :banana-riding-llama-smiley-em
 
The following users thanked this post: Attention

TimothyEllis

  • Forum Owner
  • Administrator
  • Epic Novel unlocked
  • ******
  • Posts: 1481
  • Thanked: 619 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Earth Galaxy somewhere, 2616
    • The Hunter Legacy Universe
Re: Which Way Would You Write This?
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2018, 02:11:22 AM »
As I understand it, the - is used a lot in professional documents.

But its not standard in novels. One of my co-authors uses them a lot, and I had to take them all out during editing.

Max

Re: Which Way Would You Write This?
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2018, 02:40:51 AM »
I write Option A. My first editor changes it to Option B. I change it back to A. The next editor changes it back to B.

Shrug.
 

VanessaC

Re: Which Way Would You Write This?
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2018, 03:08:44 AM »
"I’m hoping that you,” he dipped his head toward me, “can offer an approach ..."

This is what I'd do, too.  But then I believe my approach to dialogue punctuation and tags can be a bit, er, creative at times.  grint
 

Genre: Fantasy
 

dgcasey

  • Short Novel unlocked
  • ***
  • Posts: 347
  • Thanked: 115 times
  • Gender: Male
  • I will not forget one line of this, not one day,
Re: Which Way Would You Write This?
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2018, 03:13:40 AM »
Which do you think is correct?

"I’m hoping that you—” he dipped his head toward me “—can offer an approach ..."

or

I’m hoping that you” —he dipped his head toward me— “can offer an approach ..."

"I'm hoping you can offer an approach," he said, dipping his head toward me.
All available at Amazon, some available at B&N and some available God knows where
Dave's Amazon Author page | DGlennCasey.com | TheDailyPainter.com
 

Llano

Re: Which Way Would You Write This?
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2018, 03:18:07 AM »
“I’m hoping that you”—he dipped his head toward me—“can offer an approach . . .”

CMoS 6.84
 

guest390

  • Guest
Re: Which Way Would You Write This?
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2018, 06:36:59 AM »
Which do you think is correct?

"I’m hoping that you—” he dipped his head toward me “—can offer an approach ..."

or

I’m hoping that you” —he dipped his head toward me— “can offer an approach ..."
You don't really need to say "toward me". "Dipped" suggests a forward motion. Tilted or leaned would be sideways or back.
Depending on what's leading in, there are several ways to approach it.
He dipped his head. "I'm hoping......
"I'm hoping that you can offer an approach," he said, dipping his head.
There are other variations. But the point is be careful to use the words needed. The reader can easily infer direction in your example.
 

Al Stevens

  • Novella unlocked
  • **
  • Posts: 222
  • Thanked: 33 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Coffee-drinking, insomniac binge writer
    • Al Stevens, Author, Musician
Re: Which Way Would You Write This?
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2018, 08:11:33 AM »
"I'm hoping you can offer an approach," he said, dipping his head toward me.
This way. Anything that makes the reader stop and say Huh? diverts attention from the story.
Genres: mystery, music, programming, science fiction, historical fiction


Author Central | Facebook Page | Mailing List Signup | Home Page |

Al Stevens is a retired author of computer programming books. For fifteen years he was a senior contributing editor and columnist for Dr. Dobb's Journal, a leading magazine for computer programmers. Al lives with his wife Judy and a menagerie of cats on Florida's Space Coast where he writes by day and plays piano, string bass, and saxophone by night.
 

HSh

Re: Which Way Would You Write This?
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2018, 08:43:14 AM »
"I'm hoping that you can offer an approach."  He nodded towards me.

 

EC Sheedy

  • Tag Line unlocked
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • Thanked: 1 times
  • Gender: Female
  • Always trying. Yoda is not pleased.
Re: Which Way Would You Write This?
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2018, 05:02:13 AM »
“I’m hoping that you”—he dipped his head toward me—“can offer an approach . . .”

CMoS 6.84

I vote for this one.
"I don't know where my ideas come from, but I know where they come to. They come to my desk, and if I'm not there, they go away again." Philip Pullman
 

Lex

Re: Which Way Would You Write This?
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2018, 05:44:18 AM »
I use the comma method, as outlined by Timothy. But I have a co-writer that does it the first way: "I’m hoping that you—” he dipped his head toward me “—can offer an approach ..."
 

Jeff Tanyard

Re: Which Way Would You Write This?
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2018, 07:03:24 AM »
"I'm hoping you can offer an approach," he said, dipping his head toward me.


Seconded.
v  v  v  v  v    Short Stories    v  v  v  v  v    vv FREE! vv
     
Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy (some day) | Author Website
 

Al Macy (aka TromboneAl)

Re: Which Way Would You Write This?
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2018, 02:21:48 AM »
"I'm hoping you can offer an approach," he said, dipping his head toward me.

That's nice, but it doesn't convey the interruption of speech that I want to show.

I like

"I’m hoping that you—” he dipped his head toward me “—can offer an approach ..." because it's consistent with:

"I'm hoping that you—"

She slapped me.

My editor doesn't agree.But I use too many emdashes anyway, so I think I'll change it to:"I’m hoping that you,” he dipped his head toward me, “can offer an approach ..."





Al Macy | Web Site | Facebook | Twitter
 

Llano

Re: Which Way Would You Write This?
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2018, 02:34:31 AM »
"I'm hoping you can offer an approach," he said, dipping his head toward me.

That's nice, but it doesn't convey the interruption of speech that I want to show.

I like

"I’m hoping that you—” he dipped his head toward me “—can offer an approach ..." because it's consistent with:

"I'm hoping that you—"

She slapped me.

My editor doesn't agree.But I use too many emdashes anyway, so I think I'll change it to:"I’m hoping that you,” he dipped his head toward me, “can offer an approach ..."

IMHO that would be the worst of the choices. It makes "he dipped his head toward me" look like a dialog tag.
 

Vijaya

Re: Which Way Would You Write This?
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2018, 02:38:56 AM »
If you have to show the interruption, go with the em dashes or comma, depending on how much you want to emphasize it (the em dash for more emphasis, the comma for less) but if it doesn't matter to the story, why not write it more simply as dgcasey suggested?

Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces, primarily for children
Vijaya Bodach | Personal Blog | Bodach Books
 

TinkSaid

Re: Which Way Would You Write This?
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2018, 09:27:28 PM »
Second vote to go with dgcasey's suggestion.

The sentence is uncomplicated, takes a couple of seconds to read, and it's easy to envisage - speech accompanied by a head dip.



"I'm hoping you can offer an approach," he said, dipping his head toward me.

If it's essential to use the head dip as a beat, go with Vijaya.
If you have to show the interruption, go with the em dashes or comma, depending on how much you want to emphasize it (the em dash for more emphasis, the comma for less) but if it doesn't matter to the story, why not write it more simply as dgcasey suggested?