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Inner dialogue - grin

tendres

I was working on some inner dialogue, where the MC grins (but not outwardly). Can I put (grin) like this?

I'm pretty sure the vid-recordings will confirm what I said. (grin) They don't have anything on me.

Ernest Bywater

I'd picture the guy smiling in the middle of that.

I'd word something like - Although I kept the smile off my face I was pretty happy about it, because the recordings would .....

Replies:   Not_a_ID
samuelmichaels

@tendres

I'm pretty sure the vid-recordings will confirm what I said. (grin) They don't have anything on me.

A slight variation on Ernest's suggestion:
I'm pretty sure the vid-recordings will confirm what I said. I kept the smile off my face. They don't have anything on me.

Replies:   tendres
Not_a_ID

@Ernest Bywater

I'd word something like - Although I kept the smile off my face I was pretty happy about it, because the recordings would


Yeah, I'd probably run in that vein.

"I had to struggle to keep a smug grin off my face" or some other such way to convey the personality of the character.

It's one of those things that differentiates levels of writing. Shortcuts will almost universally lower the quality. What was initially proposed in the OP is certainly a shortcut.

Replies:   Ross at Play
tendres

@samuelmichaels

I'm pretty sure the vid-recordings will confirm what I said. I kept the smile off my face. They don't have anything on me.


This was inner dialogue (in italics), what he was saying to himself in his head. He would not say "I kept the smile off my face. " to himself.

Also, there is no struggle to keep a smile off his face, it never was on it.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@tendres

Well, if he "grins" during his thoughts (but not outwardly), he's not really grinning. Grinning is a physical thing. You need to come up with the words that would pop in his head that would represent holding back a grin.

ETA: I assume he's trying to pull a fast one over someone, so maybe:

I'm pretty sure the vid-recordings will confirm what I said. Those idiots don't have anything on me.

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@Switch Blayde

You need to come up with the words that would pop in his head that would represent holding back a grin.


Maybe he shagrins?

Ross at Play

@Not_a_ID

It's one of those things that differentiates levels of writing. Shortcuts will almost universally lower the quality. What was initially proposed in the OP is certainly a shortcut.

I am sometimes accused here of looking for rules to follow slavishly. I do not think that is really so, but the principle you suggest is one that I'd hope to be fairly slavish in my adherence to it. :-)

@Switch Blayde

I assume he's trying to pull a fast one over someone, so maybe:
I'm pretty sure the vid-recordings will confirm what I said. Those idiots don't have anything on me.

I think your suggested wording is getting it about right.

The inner thought @tendres was hoping for with the shortcut (grin) could be:
I must keep a poker face.

Replies:   Not_a_ID  tendres
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@tendres


I'm pretty sure the vid-recordings will confirm what I said. (grin) They don't have anything on me.


Is this all first person, as the results will vary depending on whether it's 1st, 3rd Omni or 3rd limited. However, going with the 1st, how about:


Keeping the smile from my face, I felt pleased with myself over what I intended. I'm pretty sure the vid-recordings will confirm what I said. They don't have anything on me.


Otherwise it would be:


He kept the grin from his face, presenting a steeling reserve, despite taking pleasure in their predicament. I'm pretty sure the vid-recordings will confirm what I said. They don't have anything on me.

In either case, the (grin) belongs in the narrative, rather than as a footnote in the character's internal thoughts.

Replies:   Ross at Play  tendres
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

In either case, the (grin) belongs in the narrative, rather than as a footnote in the character's internal thoughts.

In this case the story is 1-POV.
I think you are right that showing MC succeeding in not showing a grin externally can only be in the narrative.
But what about planning to not show that externally? Wouldn't I must keep a poker face be a valid way to do that instead?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Ross at Play


Wouldn't I must keep a poker face be a valid way to do that instead?


It would, but admitting he's nervous wrecks the idea he finds the situation humorous. If he's amused, it means he thinks he's in control and feeling confident. You want to play that up as a way of showing it rather than telling your readers.

Worst case, mention something about his 'twinkling eyes', an old catch all of mischievous humor (terribly overused, enough to be a cliche, but it still works). Either that or:

These guys think they've got me under the gun, but they have no clue I've got them over the barrel. I'm sure the videos will confirm what I said. They don't have a thing on me!

In this case, his humor is implied by his confidence.

Replies:   samuelmichaels
samuelmichaels

@Crumbly Writer

I'm pretty sure the vid-recordings will confirm what I said. (grin) They don't have anything on me.

How abut:
I'm pretty sure the vid-recordings will confirm what I said. They don't have anything on me. I should probably avoid smirking.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@samuelmichaels

I'm pretty sure the vid-recordings will confirm what I said. They don't have anything on me. I should probably avoid smirking.


...They don't have anything on me. I just need to make sure I don't get too cocky before they're toast.

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Ross at Play

I am sometimes accused here of looking for rules to follow slavishly. I do not think that is really so, but the principle you suggest is one that I'd hope to be fairly slavish in my adherence to it. :-)


The operative part is almost always. Sometimes you do need to make shortcuts, or the reader might be wishing you did so. The trick is knowing when it's acceptable to take one, as it probably won't be most of the time.

But that's the case with many things, it often is more about learning when you can break the rules rather than simply adhering to them.

tendres

@Crumbly Writer

Keeping the smile from my face, I felt pleased with myself over what I intended. I'm pretty sure the vid-recordings will confirm what I said. They don't have anything on me.


It is not about avoiding showing a smile. There is no trouble keeping a straight face. The MC is inwardly grinning, he could even be laughing his head off. I had a first wife who was also a realtor, and was skilled at that kind of thing :)

In the book Shogun, they talk about how Japanese kept their true feelings to themselves, hidden behind a mask. Emotions on different levels. Something like that.

tendres

@Ross at Play

I'm pretty sure the vid-recordings will confirm what I said. Those idiots don't have anything on me.


I kind of like that, although the inner grin is lost. I know I need to add more contempt the MC feels for 'those idiots'.

Switch Blayde

@tendres

I don't know if it will help, but I was just re-reading a story I'm writing and, lo-n-behold, this sentence was in the first paragraph:

I held back a chuckle when I thought, It's a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it.

Replies:   tendres
tendres

@Switch Blayde

Thank you for the suggestion. The MC does not hold back. It is more like a kind of multiple personalities. Inside he is grinning or laughing, but outside he is calm. I know a few people like this in real life. All you ever see is the mask, unless they choose to share with you.

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