In today’s Journal
* Quote of the Day
* Another Story, and a Contest
* Whoop or Whip?
* Of Interest
* The Numbers
Quote of the Day
“I never don the glistening white Authorial robes or ascend into the ivory control tower. I just take a deep breath and roll off the parapet of the story. Then I run through the trenches of the story with my characters, recording what happens and what they say and do in response. Great fun and authentic, unmanipulated stories. Can’t beat it.” Me in a comment on a TKZ post
Another Story, and a Contest
A really easy contest.
Yesterday, Friday morning, a new short story went out. It’s titled “Someone You Will Never Have to Be” and I found a stupid typo in it. Actually, it’s a wrong word. (Also, there might be more than one typo in the story.)
The main typo is a four-letter word, but it’s not a curse word. It’s a wrong word, but it isn’t a homophone, like waist/waste or their/there (or a southern homophone like all/oil). (grin)
Anyway, the first two letters of the word are correct, but the last two are wrong. Plus, the correct word is only three letters.
If you find the typo I’m talking about (not difficult), email to let me know two things:
1. The error and the correct word.
2. Which short story collection or novel you would like from my vast offering over at StoneThread Publishing. Browse the story collections and novels herehttps://stonethreadpublishing.com/. I can send any book in .epub, .mobi or even .pdf, so be sure to let me know which format you want too.
3. Bonus: If you find more than one typo, you may request more than one short story collection or novel.
Oh, and I hope you enjoy “Someone You Will Never Have to Be” despite the stupid typo.
If you didn’t see the story in your inbox, that’s because you haven’t subscribed yet. You can correct that AND see the story If You Click Here. There’s a subscribe button at the end of the story.
Whoop or Whip?
Okay, this is a personal pet peeve. It has to do with the dumbing down of the citizens of the USA.
Multiple times over the past several days, on merchandise from coffee mugs to t-shirts and an actual label on a fake food can, I’ve seen “whip” spelled “whoop.” You know, like in “whooping cough” or the similar “woops” or the cousin “oops” from which it was derived.
Some of the merchandise bragged about “opening a can of whoop-ass” on someone.
Okay, so lemme ask you, whattayou gonna do? You gonna tell a joke that’s so funny the victim will laugh until he whoops? Or until he’s whoopin’ non-stop? Is that what you mean? An’ then what? How’s he gonna keep laughin’ if he’s whoopin’ all over the place?
Or did you actually mean you’re considering opening a can of “whipass”? Because that would be much more serious. For that one I’d sell tickets. A lot of people enjoy watching a good fight.
If you beat a foe in a fight, it may be said that you “whipped” him (okay, or her). But I’ve never heard anyone say that one combatant “whooped” another, at least not without busting a gut laughing. “I’m sorry. He did what?” (grin)
It’s whip, not whoop.
Probably the initial transition happened down south somewhere when some writer overheard some guy say something like, “Y’know whut? ‘At ol’ boy at the end of the bar needs a good whuppin'” or even “Yup. That man’s headin’ for a whuppin’.”
Just in case anyone’s wondering, “whop” is a similar word that means “hit,” but with a more comical connotation, as in “She whopped him upside the head with a wrench.” Actually, being whopped might cause a guy to whoop (audibly), if it didn’t cause him to lapse into a coma.
Anyway, in both of those cases “whup” was a southern pronunciation of “whip.” It has nothing to do with “whoop” or any other sort of comical utterance (Brick’s whisper on the sitcom The Middle) or malady (again, whooping cough).
But our zany writer, having heard “whup” misspelled it “whoop” because s/he has zero skill at spelling phonetically. The fact is, “oop” has a distinctly different sound than “up.” Say both of those aloud and you’ll hear it.
Which leads me to this: If you want to learn to write dialect (and if you do, trust me, less is more) practice mimicking your characters’ speech patterns aloud. How they pronounce words, their intonations and rhythms.
When you speak your characters’ lines aloud, you will hear the similarity, for example, between “whip” and “whup” and the complete dissimilarity between either of those words and “whoop.” And if you can’t hear it and discern that difference, my advice is Don’t Write Dialect.
Characters are different. Like other real human beings, they’re individuals and until you get to know them (and sometimes even after you get to know them) they display certain stereotypes. Among those stereotypes is their pattern of speech.
For example, Wes Crowley says nothing with the same intonations and rhythms that Joey “Bones” Salerno uses and vice versa. And neither Wes nor Joey could create even an adequate impersonation of the other. If they even tried, it would result in sheer comedy.
I, on the other hand, can imitate either of them. There are characters I’m not able to imitate, which means I can’t write phonetically on their behalf. There are no phonetic markers for a high-pitched (think Seinfeld) voice, for example.
By the way, up above in the paragraph that starts with “Okay, so lemme ask you,” that’s Joey Bones talkin’, a’right? So you gotta listen up. (Wes would have said “y’gotta” or “you really ought’a.”)
Talk with you again soon.
See “The Cost of Starting Your Own Publishing Venture” at https://www.youtube.com/live/JRYSi0j-ckE. We talked about this back in late June, remember? See the next link.
See “Advice on Self-Publishing” at https://hestanbrough.com/advice-on-self-publishing/. And as long as I’m sharing refreshers, see the next link too.
See “The Essential Elements of a Story” at https://hestanbrough.com/the-essential-elements-of-a-story/.
See “Upping Your Word Count” at https://killzoneblog.com/2023/07/upping-your-word-count.html.
See “The Right Publisher for the Right Book” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/the-right-publisher-for-the-right-book/. Bear in mind that YOU are always the perfect publisher for your book.
The Journal…………………………………… 1050
Writing of “Marvin McTavish Decides”
Day 1…… 326 words. Total words to date…… 326
Day 2…… 346 words. Total words to date…… 672
Writing of “A Midnight Sketch”
Day 1…… 1341 words. Total words to date…… 1341
Writing of Rose Padilla (WCG10SF5)
Day 1…… 4283 words. Total words to date…… 4283
Day 2…… 3963 words. Total words to date…… 8246
Day 3…… 1463 words. Total words to date…… 9709
Day 4…… 2445 words. Total words to date……12154
Total fiction words for July……… 2013
Total fiction words for 2023………… 112035
Total nonfiction words for July… 9180
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 140730
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 252765
Calendar Year 2023 Novels to Date…………………… 2
Calendar Year 2023 Novellas to Date……………… 0
Calendar Year 2023 Short Stories to Date………… 4
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 73
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………… 221
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31
Disclaimer: I am a prolific professional fiction writer. On this blog I teach Writing Into the Dark, adherence to Heinlein’s Rules, and that following the myths of fiction writing will slow your progress as a writer or stop you cold. I will never teach the myths on this blog.