Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dialogue Tags of DOOM

Okay, like any other human being, I like to think of myself as being pretty sharp. But, I am also willing to admit that there are just certain things that take a long time to compute with me... if at all. A case in point: Dialogue tags.

For at least a year, I have been a little foggy on what dialogue tags were exactly, and being a writer of fiction, I figured I should probably figure it out. Eventually. And I did, completely by chance. The downside to this, is I learned that I had been using said Dialogue Tags all wrong... And published two books that way. -_-

Dialogue tags are nothing complicated... They are simply the "he said" or "he shouted" that comes after some dialogue. Well, in the cases where my dialogue would end with a series of dots, an exclamation point, or a question mark (anything but a comma, really) I would capitalize "he said", so it would look something like this:

"Your strut is so ridiculous, you look like a peacock in stilettos!" He laughed.

And the correct way is:

"Your strut is so ridiculous, you look like a peacock in stilettos!" he laughed.

If I ever learned the correct way to do that in school, it must have been forgotten. Fortunately, I don't think a tiny mistake like that is too detrimental to my writing... at least it shouldn't be... Like anything else, writing is something that you never stop learning about. I just hope there isn't anything else that is utterly wrong with my writing style... o_o;

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Woozlebar in My Car is Broken...

Having been after a driver’s license recently, it’s actually turned out to be pretty helpful to look up a thing or two about cars and where to get repairs…. Because let’s face it, I don’t know the difference between an alternator and cylinder. I know my first car will be a used one. That’s inevitability. So, another unavoidable truth about used cars is that they will need repairs and a lot of them. That’s where RepairPal.com would come in handy.

RepairPal.com makes it convenient to get estimates on your specific car and model, and they let you select it by maker, year, model, service type and zip code. Along with the estimate, they tell you the best ways to avoid or detect that specific problem with your car, such as the check engine light. Which would spare me a lot of grief with what little I actually know about cars… What is a carburetor anyway? <.<;

It’s because of my car illiteracy that the encyclopedia on their site makes a difference… They have FAQ’s and not so FAQ’s listed to help you find a solution to your problem. Sure, if you don’t know something about a car, you could always Google it. I normally would. But now that I know about RepairPal.com, I know that the explanation I get is more likely to be reliable. If smoke was coming out the tail pipe of my car and some random site told me to plug it up with a potato… I might do it. More out of curiosity than gullibility probably, but the fact remains that the end result might be amazingly disastrous.

You can easily find your local car repair shop in their auto shop directory , and whatever location you choose, they tell you a thing or two about the place itself if you’re not already familiar with it. The San Diego auto repair, is a good example of this. There’s also a page for every car type and model with reviews from actual owners, like the Ford F-150. It’s interesting to see the wide range of reviews that are between the extremes of “I love this car!” to “I’d have this car towed, smashed and recycled as a pan just so I could bang my head on it as punishment for buying it in the first place.”