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Using the {small} format tag to show a lower volume within dialog.

lichtyd

My heroine is talking to her boyfriend on the phone. She had sent him some naughty selfies and she wants to ask him about the pictures. However, her mother is around, so the heroine whispers her question. I wanted to use a smaller font to represent that she was even quieter when she spoke the last word. My heroine is a good girl and isn't comfortable using the word, "slutty."

Is this something that the readers would understand? Is there a better way to do this?

The line of dialog:

Rebecca dropped her voice to a whisper, "Are they OK? You don't think I'm acting too, {small}slutty?{/small}"

If reducing the font size would work for my purpose, would a font size change in the html code pass through or be ignored?

If this use of the tag, {small}{/small} is incorrect, then how is it used?

I welcome all suggestions.

Crumbly Writer

Generally, it would be too easy to miss for me to change the font, though I would emphasis the word--probably by italicizing it.

Readers just aren't accustomed to people whispering in lower case, but you're correct to specify the action "she dropped her voice to a whisper".

Replies:   lichtyd
lichtyd
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

I never considered using italics for this. That will work.

Thank you.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@lichtyd

I never considered using italics for this. That will work.


Putting words in italics is typically done when the word is emphasized. That's the opposite of saying it softer.

Rebecca whispered, "Are they OK? You don't think I'm acting too...slutty?" The last word could barely be heard.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


Putting words in italics is typically done when the word is emphasized. That's the opposite of saying it softer.


Emphasizing a word doesn't imply it's shouted, only that it's spoken differently from the other words around it. I sometimes use italics to emphasize which word a character emphasizes in his delivery (ex: "I won't surrender!" he shouted with his dying breath.).

In your example, your final sentence might be considered telling.

P.S. the ellipsis also emphasizes words, here it would emphasize a delay before the word is spoken, which shows how the character emphasizes it, rather than telling the reader how it's spoken.

By the way, you should have spaces around the ellipsis.

Replies:   Switch Blayde  Grant
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


By the way, you should have spaces around the ellipsis.


Depends which style guide you use. CMoS does have spaces around it, but that's because it has spaces between the dots.

EDITED TO ADD:
Never mind what I just said. I was thinking of the em-dash (which every style guide except the AP Style Guide says not to have spaces). There should be a space on both sides of the ellipsis.

Replies:   lichtyd
lichtyd
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

I've been wanting to ask about the CMoS. A friend who is a technical writer told me not to buy a copy, that it was "... more of a text book." From what I read here, it is nearly a necessity.

Crumbly, you're right about the spaces before and after the ellipsis. Thank you.

When I type an ellipsis, should it be space dot space dot space dot space or space dot dot dot space?

EDIT: How do I reply to more than one person in one post?

Ernest Bywater

@lichtyd

For display at SoL you need to comply with the available codes noted in this:

http://storiesonline.net/doc/Text_Formatting_Information_Guide

If you have the whole of the file Text tagged, then the use of small you have should work. If the bulk of the file is in another format like html or plain text, the small tags will not be seen as format tag code.

Ernest Bywater

@lichtyd

Rebecca dropped her voice to a whisper, "Are they OK? You don't think I'm acting too, {small}slutty?{/small}"


I would simply use the above text without the tags, and rely on the fact she whispered.

Grant

@Crumbly Writer

I sometimes use italics to emphasize which word a character emphasizes in his delivery (ex: "I won't surrender!" he shouted with his dying breath.).

And as Switch Blayde posted, emphasising something is very different from saying it softly.

Unless it's mentioned as "she whispered" or "barely audibly she said" or something along those lines I wouldn't take a word that is italicised in that context as being whispered on first reading.
I might have to re-read it to make sense of what was being said, which detracts from the story.

Grant

@lichtyd

EDIT: How do I reply to more than one person in one post?

Highlight the block of text you are replying to & copy & paste it in to the reply box. Also make sure to either type in or copy & paste the name of the person you are responding to and put it at the top of that block, otherwise people (such as myself) tend to get very confused.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Grant

Highlight the block of text you are replying to & copy & paste it in to the reply box.


You don't have to copy and paste. Highlight it and click on the bent arrow. The software will copy and paste it into the reply box with "quote" around it.

As to replying to a second person in the same post, I don't know.

Replies:   Grant
Switch Blayde

@lichtyd

I've been wanting to ask about the CMoS. A friend who is a technical writer told me not to buy a copy, that it was "... more of a text book."


I don't actually own a copy. When I say I follow it, it's when I Google something and the article quotes the CMoS. From what I hear, it's long and not easy to use.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Grant

@Switch Blayde

As to replying to a second person in the same post, I don't know.

That's what I posted about in response to the question,

EDIT: How do I reply to more than one person in one post?

Crumbly Writer

@lichtyd

When I type an ellipsis, should it be space dot space dot space dot space or space dot dot dot space?

If you post in html, it's better to use an actual ellipsis ("…"), if you're using a Word Processor like WORD or OpenOffice, you should have it set to automatically convert punctuation marks (which SOL accepts (for the most part). If you post in text, then yeah, use space dot dot dot space.

@Switch

As to replying to a second person in the same post, I don't know.

As the above shows, the accepted convention (among many of us, is to list the user manually with an @name, followed by the { quote}text{ /quote} command, then your reply.

Replies:   madnige
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@lichtyd


When I type an ellipsis, should it be space dot space dot space dot space or space dot dot dot space?


Depends on the style guide you follow. For example:

AP Style Guide = xx...xx

CMoS = xx . . . xx

I have Word automatically convert 3 dots to an ellipsis (the font character). I think the next time I create the XHTML for an ebook I'm going to convert that font character to

nbsp;.nbsp;.nbsp;.nbsp; (with an & in front of the nbsp;)

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

From what I hear, it's long and not easy to use.

NOT EASY TO USE??? It's a 1,000+ word example of what writers (technical or fiction) should AVOID doing if they want others to understand their writing!!!
However, other editors who feel they have a need to know the bloody thing says may send me questions via my link at 'Find Volunteer Editors".
... just remember you'll owe me one, big time!

Ross at Play

As the above shows, the accepted convention (among many of us, is to list the user manually with an @name, followed by the { quote}text{ /quote} command, then your reply.

I though that was why God gave us the new 'Quote' button above where we type in our posts. So ...
list the user manually with an @name, paste in your quote, highlight that and hit 'Quote'. If that works, the following experiment will look okay.

@Switch

As the above shows, the accepted convention (among many of us, is to list the user manually with an @name, followed by the { quote}text{ /quote} command, then your reply.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
madnige
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


As the above shows, the accepted convention (among many of us, is to list the user manually with an @name, followed by the { quote}text{ /quote} command, then your reply.


...of course, if you want to make this even more like the links that Lazeez has the forum put in, find a link to the post you are second replying to (either 'Replies' from an earlier post, or the '@user' link at the top of a forum-mediated reply to it), copy the URL, select the '@user1' you've just enetered, hit the 'link' button above the reply entry box, and paste the copied link. What this still lacks is the link from that post to your reply (the 'Replies: line at the bottom of posts) which you can't do anything about; that would require extra, and probably extra messy, code by Lazeez; and also the font sizes are a bit different. For an example, see this post

ETA: If it's an orphan post, you can generate a link to it by entering a dummy reply then deleting that when you have the link, but why not then just reply separately? Another way would be to copy any reply link in the thread, then when entering the URL manually edit the post number in the link ( the trailing ?a=a_threadID#po_postID ) to the post number of interest gleaned by examining the source for the top of that post ( < div class="post-wrap" id="pd_postID">< a id="po_postID">< /a> ). Also, to add a bit of relevence to the post topic, if we had HTML tags for small, they could be used to match up the link font sizes.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@lichtyd


Is this something that the readers would understand? Is there a better way to do this?


I think most here would agree will readers understand is the wrong question.
The general principle is never use any font or other gimmick if you can use words.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I think most here would agree will readers understand is the wrong question.
The general principle is never use any font or other gimmick if you can use words.

I'm not sure using punctuation the way it was designed (the ellipsis in fictional dialogue to denote a pause in speech) is considered a "gimmick". Otherwise, I think everyone agrees that changing the font size, or even italicizing it, isn't the best choice.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

So ...
list the user manually with an @name, paste in your quote, highlight that and hit 'Quote'. If that works, the following experiment will look okay.

Typically, if you're quoting more than one source, you've got to cut and paste the quotes yourself, since the system won't know what to use. If you select text in another message and hit the quote button, it may create a reply to that message (depending on which quote button you press).

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

My: The general principle is never use any font or other gimmick if you can use words.

Your: I'm not sure using punctuation the way it was designed (the ellipsis in fictional dialogue to denote a pause in speech) is considered a "gimmick".

CORRECT.
Ellipses for pauses in speech are not a gimmick.
I amend my statement of the general principle to:

The general principle is never use any font or other gimmick if you can use words and/or punctuation marks for one their widely accepted functions.

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