Do you all understand this paragraph?

Started by Lin Treadgold, June 11, 2018, 08:40:55 AM

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Lin Treadgold

I am editing my war novel.  I just wanted to check you all understand this paragraph. 

'Oh right ... that sounds a lovely idea. Why yes, pet, you can go.' Agnes relented.

As the daughter of a Durham miner, Ellie had learned to listen hard to the way her parents spoke, it was often more Tyne than Wear, and the sweet Geordie tones were an affectation in front of Mr Dean and the other two women in the queue. Ellie knew it wasn't genuine.

Comments welcome.  Not sure if everyone understands the unspoken meanings within this text. By the way Ellie has been brought up in Yorkshire.  Also would you use inverted commas for 'Tyne' and 'Wear'?

Having a 'does it make sense?' moment, a few more heads are better than one.




The extent of my understanding Yorkshire lingo (or any English lingo) is entirely from novels. That said, I personally only understand the gist of this because of surrounding information. I don't actually know what 'more Tyne than Wear' means. Nor 'Geordie tones'. But I understand Agnes (I think?) is speaking in a way Ellie recognizes as fake.
So, it still makes sense, but the nuances of what she's saying are lost on me.

(Although, I'm more curious why being a daughter of a Durham miner gives her any particular reason to listen to a person's tone harder than usual.)


Since  you are editing and not still writing this. I will suggest this.

'Oh right ... that does sounds lovely. Why yes, pet, you can go.' Agnes agreed.

Ellie knew he/she wasn't genuine. As the daughter of a Durham miner, Ellie had learned to listen hard to the way her parents spoke, it was often more Tyne than Wear, and

His/Her sweet Geordie tones were an affectionate front for Mr Dean and the other two women in the queue.


I thought that last paragraph was too thick.


There's no need for inverted commas, but you should probably start a new sentence after 'spoke'. I know there's a subtle difference between a Newcastle accent and a Middlesbrough one, but I'm curious why Ellie had to listen hard to the way her parents spoke unless she had been raised by a different family. Don't we all have a natural ability to understand the way our close family speaks without having to listen more closely?
Also, the phrase 'an affectation in front of Mr Dean etc.' is rather clumsy and doesn't make sense - maybe because it's presented out of context long after Agnes has been forgotten. Whose Geordie accent are you writing about here?
I assume you're suggesting Agnes intentionally spoke with a broader accent than normal in front of these people in order to appear as someone or something she isn't.


Lin Treadgold

Okay some of you understand it and some don't so perhaps it needs changing.  Hillwalker got it right as he is conversant with the Geordie accent, but not everyone understands that.  So I can see that changes are needed.  This was my reason for asking the question.  Thanks everyone for your feedback, I can get on with it now. So glad I asked. 


Jo Bannister

No problem with understanding it.  But you've got "Agnes relented" in the wrong place.  She relented before she started giving permission for the trip.  So either start with this, as a two word sentence, or use what an old editor of mine described as "a verb of utterance" as a tag at the end, following a comma and closed quotes.

Also, start a new sentence after "spoke".

Lin Treadgold

Ha ha, great minds think alike, I saw that too and have changed it, but so glad you mentioned it.   ;D ;D

Thanks Jo,

Lin x x x


All the thread's I'm commenting on are old :( but, though late, I'll say what I think.

From the perspective of a very casual reader, an average joe, I understood what you're trying to convey, but not the words you chose to use.

Patrick Wood

While writing a novel start a new paragraph with the change of speaker. Begin a new paragraph each time the dialogue shifts to a different character. To probe deeper into the same subject, summarize, alter emphasis or focus, change the tone, begin new paragraphs with a shift in mindset, or change course. Furthermore, within paragraphs, sentences and phrases should be logically connected.
You can also learn how to write a paragraph:
A character in dialogue, on the other hand, may jump from subject to subject inside the same paragraph. Full sentences, phrases, or a blend of the two can make up a paragraph. You don't have to compose a whole sentence every time. The beginning and ending sentences are the most significant parts of a paragraph. Readers are more likely to notice and retain information offered in these places. Place it at the start or conclusion of a paragraph if you want the readers to take note of anything. (Readers pay careful attention to the last lines of paragraphs that finish scenes or chapters.)