Bobby Detrick's picture
Bobby Detrick from Bakersfield CA is reading World War Z and The Hunger Games April 13, 2012 - 12:35am

Is it me or is there some new writing trend that involves using multiple And's instead of comma’s in a sentences?

Someone school me here.

PandaMask's picture
PandaMask from Los Angeles is reading More Than Human April 13, 2012 - 12:56am

Depends on the person's style. I use commas, maybe an "and".

Renfield's picture
Renfield from Hell is reading 20th Century Ghosts April 13, 2012 - 12:52am

Maybe they're aping Cormac McCarthy.

Matt Attack's picture
Matt Attack from Richmond, Va. is reading As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner April 13, 2012 - 1:05am

Cormac McCarthy"

He does use a lot of them. It can be sloppy and repetitive if you don't do it right. 

Bobby Detrick's picture
Bobby Detrick from Bakersfield CA is reading World War Z and The Hunger Games April 13, 2012 - 1:40am

I just can't seem to fit the style in my writting, but I must say some people pull it off well. Others though make me want to pull my hair out.

 

PandaMask's picture
PandaMask from Los Angeles is reading More Than Human April 13, 2012 - 1:43am

Yeah I see it a couple times. Usually I see it done well. I guess it's how and when you decide to use it.

 

Grigori Black's picture
Grigori Black from US is reading Radium Girls by Amanda Gowin April 13, 2012 - 2:07am

I just turn it into a drinking game. It makes doing reviews so much easier.

Matt Attack's picture
Matt Attack from Richmond, Va. is reading As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner April 13, 2012 - 3:16am

Well it's like submerging the 'I' , some people can do it, some can't. If you do it right, you won't even notice. 

""He turned South along the old war trail and he rode out to the crest of a low rise and dismounted and dropped the reins and walked out and stood like a man come to the end of something.""

I don't even notice the 'and' in this....it just sort of flows along....plus it's just stylistic....if I see it and it works, then I won't grade so poorly....just like simple or repetitive dialogue...if it works, it works...

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs April 13, 2012 - 3:48am

It's lazy. I can't enjoy a McCarthy book until I get used to the ands and stop being annoyed by them. Writers are just aping him. I'm going to notice the ands every time, regardless of how well written something is. It's like a fucking gong.

http://www.spineroad.com/2-10.html#anchor_23

Grigori Black's picture
Grigori Black from US is reading Radium Girls by Amanda Gowin April 13, 2012 - 4:12am

""He turned South along the old war trail and he rode out to the crest of a low rise and dismounted and dropped the reins and walked out and stood like a man come to the end of something.""

 

FFS. That's thirty bucks worth of shots in one sentence.  How can you NOT notice that? I'd be dead by the end of a paragraph. That's not a writing style, that's the Patron challenge disquised as a sentence. A death sentence.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. April 13, 2012 - 4:16am

And what is the problem?  It's like starting a sentence with the word...BUT!   Or using literary devices such as (interior thoughts in parentheses) or making them in italics to signify subtext.

It's the literary equivalent of typing IN ALL CAPS IN A FORUM.

Matt Attack's picture
Matt Attack from Richmond, Va. is reading As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner April 13, 2012 - 4:18am

Well, some people like it, some don't. Simple as that. Also, STOP YELLING~ 

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters April 13, 2012 - 4:54am

I think it depends on how it is used.  In the sentence Grigori posted above, well, that is annoying.  However, I think in a list it can sometimes be used to create more tension.  I'm trying to think of a good example, but I can't.  Maybe later.

 

Grigori Black's picture
Grigori Black from US is reading Radium Girls by Amanda Gowin April 13, 2012 - 4:55am

That was all Matt. Not me.

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters April 13, 2012 - 4:57am

Sorry.  Okay, Matt's was annoying.  I'll finish at least one cup of coffee before I make any more comments - promise.

Typewriter Demigod's picture
Typewriter Demigod from London is reading "White Noise" by DeLilo, "Moby-Dick" by Hermann Mellivile and "Uylsses" by Joyce April 13, 2012 - 5:21am

tis called polysyndeton and its used to give a run-on effect. you:re allowed not to use it.

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs April 13, 2012 - 6:02am

It's a good literary device to use when you're writing in first person and your protagonist just snorted a lot of cocaine.

Until recently, I also thought a run-on sentence was a sentence that was too long, but that's incorrect. So  now I refer to them as "stupid sentences that are too long" instead of run-ons.

This is a run-on sentence, it has a comma splice.

This is a run-on sentence it contains two independent clauses that aren't joined by a punctuation mark or a conjuction. 

Utah's picture
Moderator
Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry April 13, 2012 - 6:10am

That's not a writing style, that's the Patron challenge disquised as a sentence.

Mr. Black, I'm going to have to start reading your work.  That shit was funny.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like April 13, 2012 - 7:55am

McCarthy was aping the Bible

Matt Attack's picture
Matt Attack from Richmond, Va. is reading As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner April 13, 2012 - 7:56am

^^ 

this too

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. April 13, 2012 - 8:01am

I mean I understand the idea of it.  It is to create an intense melodic effect to sort of make the reader feel like they are trapped in a moment and can't get out of it and there is a sort of whimsy to their madness like if they were trapped in a burning building and can't get out and there is smoke everywhere and there is a little girl screaming and you can't reach her and Spiderman comes through the window and then he gets lit on fire and you have to become Spiderman and suddenly you hear laughter behind you and realize the Green Goblin is there and you punch the little girl in the face and throw her at him to get away and then you are running down the stairs and suddenly you fall and break your leg and you realize you have to gnaw it off to get away and the Green Goblin turns out to be Mr. T and then you say "Hey Man, I liked you in the 80's" and he is like, "I pity the fool that don't like me now" and you are like, "Whatever, you are just a bad joke now" and then you get to the street where the firefighters greet you and you notice one of them looks like William Baldwin and then you puke--

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like April 13, 2012 - 8:02am

lol

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs April 13, 2012 - 8:09am

Makes sense to use it occasionally. Not when it's the entire book.

Dorian Grey's picture
Dorian Grey from Transexual, Transylvania is reading "East of Eden" by John Steinbeck April 13, 2012 - 8:09am

Bret Easton Ellis does it a lot too, at least in American Psycho, but it seems to work.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. April 13, 2012 - 8:13am

Yeah, Rules of Attraction is like that.  It's kind of annoying.

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books April 13, 2012 - 8:17am

Hm. Only thing I have read by McCarthy was a 78 word story he did for Esquire. I have seen the "And" thing and enjoyed it,  I've likely used it more than once. I think certain scenes call for breaking the rules, or making new ones and Danny's example is a really good one. If the whole book was like that, it might mess me up, but I think I'd get over it. I can usually stop reading as a critic about 1/4 of the way into a book.

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books April 13, 2012 - 8:17am

double post.

Bekanator's picture
Bekanator from Kamloops, British Columbia is reading Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter April 13, 2012 - 8:32am

I tried doing the "and" thing in one of my short stories.  Nobody seemed to enjoy it.

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. April 13, 2012 - 8:39am

Polysyndeton?  How the fuck did you know this word?  

I'm just amazed.

Ches Smith's picture
Ches Smith from Houston, TX April 13, 2012 - 11:22am

I like the ands, particularly how McCarthy uses them. He's a contemplative author and it slows the pace,  makes it more methodical. To me, it somehow conveys the lonely existence of his characters. I read McCarthy's style as a big fuck you to the fast talking, manic, "please pay attention to me" tone that constantly bombards me from all directions. But its really just a matter of taste. If an author understands the effect of any device on a reader, they can utilize that device well.

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch April 13, 2012 - 11:32am

McCarthy is too much of a craftsman to be aping anything.

XyZy's picture
XyZy from New York City is reading Seveneves and Animal Money April 13, 2012 - 11:39am

Polysyndeton?  How the fuck did you know this word? 

I'm just amazed.

I can't speak for typie... but this is one of my favorite pages on the whole of the internet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Figure_of_speech

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. April 13, 2012 - 12:13pm

Well, there goes my whole day.

Matt Attack's picture
Matt Attack from Richmond, Va. is reading As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner April 13, 2012 - 12:24pm

But its really just a matter of taste."
'

Exactly. 

Dave's picture
Dave from a city near you is reading constantly April 13, 2012 - 12:46pm

Hemingway immediatly comes to mind.  Mine anyway.  It works sometimes, others not so much.

Bobby Detrick's picture
Bobby Detrick from Bakersfield CA is reading World War Z and The Hunger Games April 13, 2012 - 3:18pm

I've never read McCarthy. The Ands I've been seeing have been in columns, written advertisments, also in some reveiws in mags like Gameinformer. If I could master this to where it didn't seem noticeable, the word count in my writings would double (I'm very ocd about my word count).  

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs April 13, 2012 - 4:01pm

I don't know about other people, but it's ALWAYS going to be noticeable to me and the idea that it's ever not noticeable perplexes me. The only way it will stop being noticeable is if everyone starts doing it all the time and I get used to it.

Bobby Detrick's picture
Bobby Detrick from Bakersfield CA is reading World War Z and The Hunger Games April 13, 2012 - 4:12pm

God I hope it dose'nt come to that. Maybe it will be like ADD and everyone will have it then it just disappears. 

Hey whats your take on word count. I feel like I have to hit a goal, but my wife is like "Just write and don't worry about it." Done that once and when I was finished, I was so under in the count I rewote the whole thing and didn't seem as good as the first time. :(

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. April 13, 2012 - 4:16pm

I'm of the belief that the fewer words you use to tell the story right, the better.  More only makes for slop that should be cut.  

Some people love superfluous prose, though.  To each his own, even if they are dead wrong.

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs April 13, 2012 - 4:35pm

Use a word count goal each time you write if you need to motivate yourself to write a decent amount. Don't use it if you don't need the motivation. I use a word count goal myself. 

Or instead of trying to hit a specific word count, you can aim for getting to a specific point in your story or book each time you write.

Not sure if I misunderstood you, but rewriting something to make it longer just for the sake of making it longer doesn't make any sense. But cutting out everything that is unnecessary from a piece of writing will make it stronger.

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters April 13, 2012 - 5:02pm

"To each his own, even if they are dead wrong."

Love it!!!

Bobby Detrick's picture
Bobby Detrick from Bakersfield CA is reading World War Z and The Hunger Games April 13, 2012 - 5:36pm

Bradley you understood me perfectly thank you. Feedback is encouraging
 

Howle I'm with you about the fewer is better. The thing that gets me is how some agent’s and publishers say they will only read manuscripts of a set amount of words. (like 55k +) Get me? 

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. April 13, 2012 - 5:55pm

Got ya.  Throw in a sex scene.  It's the 80's way of padding out a story/movie.  

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters April 13, 2012 - 6:02pm

Nothing moves the plot forward like a well placed sex scene.

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs April 13, 2012 - 6:51pm

Bobby: Most novels published by large presses are around 300 or more pages. Most books published by large presses have 100 or more pages worth of material that should have been deleted because it's filler. This convention has been detrimental to many books. This is one of my reasons why I usually prefer small press books.

Bobby Detrick's picture
Bobby Detrick from Bakersfield CA is reading World War Z and The Hunger Games April 13, 2012 - 7:40pm

Now are you talking 300 pages on the final product or double spaced manuscript. I've seen several novel in final form having 300 pages and differing from 50k to 75k word counts. Granted the page sizes were altered to make for more pages on the lighter. 

Howle: I have two interrupted sex scenes in a zombie outbreak.

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs April 13, 2012 - 7:41pm

Final product. And it varies, but 300 double-spaced pages of manuscript would probably be around 300 pages in a conventional book. It depends on a lot of factors.

Covewriter's picture
Covewriter from Nashville, Tennessee is reading & Sons April 13, 2012 - 8:01pm

Do you think it's a slowing-down pace thing. When you want the reader to linger sometimes have longer sentences -- this is slow and easy and I want you to stay here and visit and see what I have to say. When you don't, make them short and quick with commas, not "ands," like stay here visit, now get the hell out.  Does that make any sense?

Bobby Detrick's picture
Bobby Detrick from Bakersfield CA is reading World War Z and The Hunger Games April 13, 2012 - 8:02pm

True. Dam I'm way off my topic now. I'm going to look up some before and afters so to speak.

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs April 13, 2012 - 8:56pm

It speeds things up for me rather than slows them down. Unlike ands, commas convey a pause.

Bobby Detrick's picture
Bobby Detrick from Bakersfield CA is reading World War Z and The Hunger Games April 13, 2012 - 9:01pm

Hmm heres something. I have a few scene where the protagonists' adrenalin is going so everything slows around him during a car accident, would Ands be a good thing to try to use here?