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February 8, 2013


Replies: 67

Using caps

TEANO Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013
Characters can shout, and characters can shout really loudly. Do you think the use of caps is sometimes appropriate to show someone is shouting really, really hard?

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Devious Comments

Pedigri Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I've seen the example in your work. In your work it works, because you used it sparingly (only once) in a situation that justifies it and you've established the emotional baseline before. The readers know that he screamed and raged before, so this one all caps tells them how much stronger and louder his shouting is in this case. It works well as a way to stress how this shouting varies from previous moments of shouting.
The problem with other writing is that the authors often establish all-caps as their baseline and it makes it look like the characters are hyperactive like the old hyporactive ferret girl or the youtuber Fred. It makes it look like his shouting all the time. And you know what they say - if you stress everything (with all caps or bold font) then you aren't stressing anything. Hyperactive people are annoying because their tone of voice suggests justified excitement even before they say what they want to say. After they say it it becomes clear that the payoff did not justify the excitement... and every other of their messages follow the same pattern. It's basically a callous and continuous abuse of human attention-directing mechanisms.

PS. Terry Patchett's death speaks in allcaps. Always. But it has been established that it is his normal, hollow voice. A voice that you can hear in the brain without it going through your ears. Allcapsing is here basically a way to differentiate it and remind the reader in what voice to read his lines (yes, Death is a HE in Pratchett's world).
kayanne21 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Depends entirely on the book, I think.
Dr-Vergissmeinnicht Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Yelling is often times followed with an exclamation point. If you write well enough, readers will be able to feel how angry the characters are by their dialogue as well as by their actions.

Personally, I think Caps are for immature arguments in chatrooms and for childish role-play.
yourdoom243 Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Professional Writer
Earl Gray Tea. Hot. Engage!


If the book could be considered in the genre of comedy than I think its okay. But that's personal preference.
saintartaud Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013  Professional General Artist
Echoing some previous comments, I've not seen the particular technique used much in published work.  More often, I've seen exclamation marks and "s/he yelled" used sparingly.
SonAmyFan362 Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013  Professional Writer
Instead of trying to use all caps, describe your character's rage or intense emotion, instead. Then, that way, it won't be so intimidating for someone to read what the character is shouting.
DorianHarper Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013  Professional Writer
I personally hate characters speaking in ALL CAPS. There are plenty of other ways of getting across that a character is speaking loudly, yelling, etc. It comes off as very amateur and highly unprofessional. The only time I like to see all caps in writing is when used for company names, abbreviations, etc. where it is grammatically correct to have them capitalized. Aside from that, however, it makes me cringe and turns me away from pieces.
Beccalicious Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013   Writer
I'm not really a fan of people doing things for the sake of doing things to look aesthetically like someone is shouting. The words you chose and the way you write it should indicate the stress alone.

Rowling and Pratchett have very good grasps of language choice which is why the examples work- if you can say the same about your own work then go for it, but use sparingly.
witwitch Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013  Student Writer
Personally, I don't like it. I think it looks unprofessional. :shrug:
DamonWakes Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013   Writer

Being serious, ~Hurricaneclaw is really on to something about genre. I almost never have a problem with caps lock shouting in comedy, provided it's not used excessively. I almost never like caps lock shouting in serious work, even if it's used just once or twice.
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