Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Setters and Pointers


Title stolen from cheezy, yuk-yuk, washroom designations.

My wits are still a-begging because of the Curse of the Black Screen - else I would have mentioned these yesterday.
Please Note - Good Things:

Bonnie has begun a series of pointers based on Donald Maass' workbook, companion to Writing the Breakout Novel.
Think I'm going to keep score.
Passed the first one yesterday - on immediately investing one's main character with special and/or heroic qualities.
Fourth line of Trio of Dragons: Tres chic, he thought, but she walks like a warrior.
Heh. Heh.

Jason begins his second short fiction contest, Midnight Road, tomorrow.
Meet nice people. Win prezzies.

Flood continues her generous role as interviewer of assorted Bloggers and Gonnabes each Monday.
Scott, the Metaphorist, is the prime candidate this week.

Crabby Cows is/are taking 500 word middle scenes from WIPs for professional critique until Sunday.
Moooove it. Don't be a Cow-ard.

Been asked several times to explain the ambiguous difference between those buggery verbs: sit/set, lie/lay, rise/raise.
It goes like this:
Sit has no object. Sit describes the action of occupying a seat.
One sits ( present tense) down, on a tack, somewhere.
One is sitting ( present participle)
One sat ( past tense)
One had sat (past participle)

Set requires an object that is put or placed.
He set ( present tense) the timer, a trap, whatever.
He is setting ( present participle)
He set ( past tense)
He had set ( past participle)

Two intransigent exceptions to the intransitive/transitive verbs are traditional, possibly, but irrelevantly, explained as a reflexive remnant:
The sun sets.
He set out on a journey.

22 comments:

Erik Ivan James said...

Well, I'm still confused about them. Then, there are the lay, lie and laid's.

"E" never did equal "excellent" for me in english class.

Bernita said...

Men often get confused about lay, lie and laid.
How about I continue the lesson tomorrow?

Erik Ivan James said...

Yeah, we sure do!

Jane N. said...

Tres chic, he thought, but she walks like a warrior. Now, that is special and memorable.

Here’s one of my favorites (character intros) from Chandler’s Farewell My Lovely:

"She swished before me in a tight dress that fitted her like a mermaid’s skin and showed that she had a good figure if you like them four sizes bigger below the waist.”

Bernita said...

Thank you, Jane.
I'm fond of that line.

Your comment quote brings to mind something that's often missing from romance novels.
We usually get detailed descriptions of the heroine's breasts and nipples, but little about her behind.
Wonder if this is yet another instance of the lamented lack of male POV.
As I understand it, guys often classify such.
Have heard comments about "built for comfort, not for speed, and once heard a classmate's bottom described as an "atheletic ass."
Hmmm, maybe this deserves a post on its own: Body parts from the male POV...

Flood said...

Thank you for the ad space, Bernita. :)

I would also like a refresher in lay/lie.

I am completely in love with the writers community today. Thanks for the links.

Bernita said...

No problem, Flood.
You give great interviews.

Two votes. Will do lie/lay tomorrow.

S. W. Vaughn said...

I bow to your impressive English skills. That actually explained a lot -- thank you!

And thanks for all the news. :-)

Ric said...

So nice to have you back.

And, now, I have tomorrow to look forward to - haven't been laid in a long time. Sitting here in quiet anticipation.

Curious about the "Men often get confused about lay, lie and laid."

Not enough coffee or do you really believe this is a concept women comprehend better?

Bernita said...

Naw, SW, certainly not "impressive."
In spite of what I learned at Miss Bustlewhistle's bony knee, I still carelessly screw up appositives and antecedents and numerous other items.

Hee, Ric.
I have no idea, never gave it a thought - was just exercising a cheap double entendre.
However, if guys display a tendency to use more...um..sexual slang, one can see confusion about parts and proper usage arising...

Jane N. said...

Looking forward to tomorrow's lie/lay.

This passage was put up for critique on a writing forum a while ago.

“We lied on the beach…"

Another poster offered this comment: “I wondered what they were lying about, and to whom?”

I’m still laughing, but I also need help with this.

Bernita said...

Hoot, Jane!
Lie/lay IS the most confusing of the set.

Dennie McDonald said...

One of the founding members in my critique group is the authority on lie/lay - we all get initiated with quizes and example and it is firm set in my mind - maybe...

archer said...

"Gonnabees." I love that. It's the nicest thing I've heard anyone say in months.

Bernita said...

You're fortunate.
I am not claiming to be an "authority", Dennie - I just hope this simplified version helps someone a little.

December Quinn said...

Can't wait for lie/lay. It's one of my huge problems (that and the way I can never figure out how to spell "rhythm" or "ecstacy". And I think I got one of right there, but that's incredibly rare. And you can just imagine how many times those two words pop up in MY work.)

Bernita said...

Not original, Archer, but I forget where I saw it and so cannot attribute.

Bernita said...

Hee, December! I have a Merriam-Webster bungee-corded to my left wrist because I have exactly the same problem.
Have to look up the same words over and over and over.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

LOL...reference to Crabby Cows...sooo baaaaaad...egads, I sound like a sheep!

Oooh, I like the ambiguous verb thing....those are a reall sticking point with a lot of people....good for a study, there's so many of them!

Method to my madness....I'm making notes for myself on the workbook.

By the time I'm done, I'll have boiled the whole thing down to a manageable reviewable...at will...size! *insert maniacal laughter here*

Bernita said...

So glad you're doing the series exercises, Bonnie.
I expect to learn a lot.

jason evans said...

Thanks for the mention, Bernita! I'm posting the contest photo and rules at midnight tonight (it is the "Midnight Road" short fiction contest, after all). Hope to see everyone there!

P.S. I drill into my head those transitive verb/intransitive verb distinctions!

Bernita said...

Mum tries, my son...