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I'm finding and destroying writing tics in my MG WIP tonight, and I'm stuck on "like." It's often used inappropriately as a conjunction in my ms, but the ms is in 1st... and I can't think of a time when I've heard a child at that age use "as" or "as if" instead of like. 

 :bighelp  Any suggestions?
#1 - January 30, 2014, 07:33 PM

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Because the manuscript is in first person, I think it's best to keep the voice consistent with the way the character would think and talk. This is especially important in the dialogue. While you don't want to overdo the slang, I think you're probably fine with that usage of "like."
#2 - January 30, 2014, 08:14 PM

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Thank you, Barbara! I appreciate your advice.

I've noticed "as if" used in contemporary 1st person MG, but I've noticed because it seems so uncharacteristic. I'll reword as many phrases as possible so it's not an issue and leave the rest.
#3 - January 30, 2014, 08:22 PM

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I agree with Barbara. I think, above all, you want the word usage to be authentic to the voice of the character. This is especially true when writing dialogue.
#4 - January 31, 2014, 06:06 AM
"Every word must be an essential brushstroke, and every word must beg to be read aloud." - Ginger Gibson

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Years ago, decades actually, there was a popular saying that went   Tell it like it is.  A political candidate (whose name escapes me) used the phrase in a speech but corrected the usage to    Tell it as it is. The backlash was immediate. Derision was absolutely heaped upon his head for being stuffy and out of touch with what the phrase was really trying to communicate. And I think that's the key. You want to communicate. If your character is speaking in an unauthentic voice, it will take the reader out of the story and diminish what you are trying to communicate.

As someone else said, you have to walk a fine line between too much and too little slang, but your character will lead the way.

#5 - January 31, 2014, 10:22 AM

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Thanks so much, Laurel and John. I love wisdom on these boards.
#6 - January 31, 2014, 11:03 AM


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