Thursday, November 15, 2012

Contractions - To Use Them or Not?

Contractions are a part of every day life, especially with today's teens. My own daughter and her friend use them constantly. I use them all the time when I write blog posts, and then I go back over my post and take most of them out.
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So what is the problem?

Well I have heard in a bunch of places that you should use contractions when writing YA, because that is how teens usually talk anyways. Fine, in dialogue I get that. But then I question it constantly when it comes to the internal thoughts of the protagonist. My inclination is to leave them out, but I have had critique partners say it sounds funny and does not flow well. So I put them back in only to be irritated with it myself.

As I edit the heck out of this manuscript I find myself wavering between having contractions scattered throughout or taking them out unless they are in dialogue. It is about to knock my poor brain over the side of a cliff. 

So my question today is what do you prefer to read? Contractions only in dialogue? Or contractions in both dialogue and internal thoughts?

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