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).
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.
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.
There's the now-famous Harry Potter example--'NOT MY DAUGHTER' etc etc. Which I found narmy but many fans seemed to find emotionally poignant.
On the other hand, it's possible that relatively younger readers would relate caps-usage with ALL CAPS INTERNET POSTS I FEEL VERY STRONGLY ABOUT THINGS AND THINK THAT 'SHOUTING' WILL STOP PEOPLE FROM ARGUING WITH ME. That kind of thing.
In general I don't like reading caps-as-shouting in books. It seems cheap. It seems like bad writing, that the author can't convey shouting without a font change.
Big battle in the final book, Molly Weasley vs Bellatrix, just after Bellatrix tries to kill Ginny. Except now I'm wondering if it was all in caps, or just the word bitch? I thought it all was, but someone with the book will have to check for us.
Lucy-MerrimanFeatured By OwnerFeb 9, 2013Student General Artist
I agree with you about the Harry Potter example! I have so many mixed feelings about that series. Like a lot of people found that scene shocking (it's also the only swear word in the entire series) but I didn't think it was as provocative as all that.
I'd only use it in non-published stuff that you're posting on the interwebs or something. And even then, only in certain genres, like comedy or crack. It wouldn't do well in a tragedy or drama, I don't think.
YTcyberpunkFeatured By OwnerFeb 8, 2013Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yes, but use it sparingly. If you're writing an adventure story, characters will be yelling and shouting a lot. So only use capps if the yelling is supposed to really affect the reader emotionally. Like, if you're "up close" to the character, and she's screaming at the top of her lungs at someone who's inches away from her. (As opposed to yelling across a ship or a mountain to someone.)
The only time I've seen it done was in a V.C. Andrews book many, many moons ago. I personally wouldn't use it, as I think there are more effective ways to indicate someone is hollering other than using all caps.
The only time I could think of to justify the use of all caps is when the "loudness" of an individual's voice changes drastically to the point of not even being an outside voice very quickly.
i.e. People protesting or cheering at a stadium: use an exclamation point at most, but no caps lock. Politician yelling like this one (note: language and this isn't as good as the one I wanted): [link] : yes, but sparringly. When the guys voice goes up is at the time for all caps. After that, exclamation point as like the previous example (it is rather difficult to yell that loudly for a period of time.)
Um, a lot of people might argue with you that sometimes considering other people's opinions is worth it, especially when you are treading on ground you know you may not have the best information about.
If your boss is showing you around your new workplace on your first day, for example, and warning you about the machines that could potentially kill you, it's best to listen to his, and co-workers' advice. Or if you're not sure which sandwich to pick, someone with experience going to the bar you're at might be able to tell you which ones are the best, and which ones are completely terrible (and if it's a really crappy bar, he might even tell you to look someplace else).
You see, there's lots of situations where other people's opinions can be helpful / informative. Even when someone completely disagrees with me, self-reflection happening through discussion or simply the discussion itself can give rise to new insights you might not have considered before.
If think you need to use allcaps to communicate shouting, that's a pretty good indication that you're not ready to be using allcaps. The context, the character's choice of words, and the author's tone can all be used to indicate a shouting situation without having to resort to tacky formatting. Learn to tell stories using just your words, first. You know. Learn the rules before you break them.
I didn't ask whether you 'need' to use caps for shouting, I asked whether people here think it could be used to indicate the volume of the shouting, to create a distinction between speech that is already being shouted, in certain (rare) situations. That doesn't even have anything to do with me considering using it or not. I am aware commonly you're supposed to get shouting across with 'he / she shouted / appropriate synonym for shouting' or metaphors like 'his voice was so loud he imagined it sending a ripple across the water' at the end of the speech or even putting something in front of the sentence like 'he jumped up' to already show the character is stressed out and about to shout, but to get a very urgent, very direct, very loud shout (so, one that tops your regular ones) across, especially when in an urgent situation, a long metaphor or even a synonym might not be the best approach, especially not since it's only read at the end, when the reader has already read the written speech. Personally, I would avoid it must of the time, but in very rare situations consider using it when having no caps just doesn't 'feel' right. This doesn't happen often, but again, the situation might present itself from time to time.
If you can't build your prose so that certain areas of shouting feel even shoutier than ordinary shouting, then you need to get better at writing, not switch to all caps. Calling it a "special situation" is making an excuse. The use of scale is an essential skill in writing. Also, based on your description of how you communicate shouting, it sounds like you could be a lot more proficient at making shouting feel bigger without resorting to all caps.
I can do it without caps, I just think it can be appropriate sometimes. Becoming a better writer includes keeping options open and considering them even when you're not 100 percent sure you're going to use those options, and it certainly doesn't include dissing others or misinterpreting them.
Although the words "diss" and "disagree" sound similar, they are not the same thing. Telling people that they have room to improve, when their skill level is relevant to the discussion at hand, is also not dissing them.
Speaking of people misinterpeting people, or putting words in their mouth, I never said that I though you were definitely going to use all caps for shouting. I also I never said that using all caps isn't an option. In fact, I like to imagine that with the whole "not ready," "learn the rules before you break them" spiel, I was making it clear that it is an option for people who know what they're doing, if they do it for the right reasons. My argument is that while using allcaps can be appropriate in some circumstances, but using all caps under the circumstances you're describing is unnecessary and amateurish.
If you go from my expression of interest in people’s opinions on whether or not the use of caps is sometimes appropriate in written speech (without pointing out whether or not it's something I'd be planning to do) to this:
If think you need to use (so, not 'can use') allcaps to communicate shouting and the whole assumption (why else the 'spiel') that I was going to use it inappropriately, and that I'm not ready, based on one expression of interest, and that I'm not aware of the basics of indicating a situation through other means (why else would you describe them to me) to this:
I never said that I though you were definitely going to use all caps for shouting
It gets pretty confusing, because you're basically just contradicting yourself, and then trying to return on your steps when it suits you by trying to write sentences off as meaning whole different things, things you would have said differently and more clearly had you meant them like that at the time. Maybe your communication and reading comprehension have room for improvement, too?
First claiming a 'special situation' is an 'excuse' and then saying you can do it 'for the right reasons' (thus, when a situation presents itself) is also a contradiction, hermano.
Use of the proper verbs to indicate the sound of someone's voice, character behaviour right before the speech (someone who's clearly already angry is more likely to speak in an angry voice), use of metaphors, recognizing the limitations of metaphors put behind the written speech when you desire an immediate effect as the reader is reading the speech (not behind it) aren't circumstances of which the consideration points to amateurism (although I am obviously an amateur, I'm sure you mean something else by it than the literal meaning), they're basic methods, things you need to be aware of, things I am aware of. That's not a bad thing, yet you're writing it off as one. Why? I don't know.
I merely described these basics, and you don't have enough information to act upon to make a proper assessment of my grasp on these basics, yet you make negative assumptions either way. Why? I don't know.
Everyone always has room to improve. I'm a perfectionist, and am rarely satisfied with what I write. That's why I open topics like these, preferably without the conversation becoming aimed at me, but rather, people's own methods, experiences and opinions. But there's a difference between stating that someone has room to improve and assuming someone has the writing capacity of a 14 year old practically right off the bat. Your problem is that you assume too much, too quickly.
Saying you should avoid advanced methods (caps, in this instance) by default if you're 'not ready' for it is also a dangerous business. You wouldn't be able to differentiate being ready and considering using them when you strolled past a sequence where you weren't happy with it and caps came to mind as a viable solution (which could, and I do say, could mean that you've reached the point where you're able to recognize situations where the caps are a good option, so it's worth taking a shot) from not being ready and potentially using them wrongly, upon which someone can always tell you your use of the caps in that instance was wrong (and why), and you will have learned something, because you're avoiding using them by default. Or should a writer simply at one point decide 'from this point on, I feel ready, so I'm changing my writing style dramatically. From now on, I'm doing things differently, and I will use caps rather than trying to find a way around it.' I don't think so.
I think for comedic effect caps can work if it is sparingly used. The rest of the time, no. When you need to use caps to emphasize a character's tone or volume, then the dialogue and/or reaction is in need of revision or an edit.
I never did associate all caps with shouting. I read it as meaning I'M FOURTEEN YEARS OLD AND I HAVE YET TO DEVELOP THE WRITING SKILLS TO DRAW ATTENTION TO A STATEMENT OR SOUND AUTHORITATIVE WITHOUT USING GREAT BIG FUCKING LETTERS.