Storium Style Guide 4


When it comes to communication, writing has become one of the most common ways of doing so, whether it be online, or on a physical medium. Looking back, society has taught us early on that proper grammar and spelling usage is an integral part of writing, as one can remember their grade school grammar and spelling classes. Yet, even though many have gone through the education in order to use proper grammar in writing, improper use has been becoming more and more frequent in occurrence. This, in turn, could lead to multiple possibilities for issues, whether it be the confusion of what is being said or having a wrong interpretation of a given message. Such could easily happen when it comes to writing a fictional story, in this case, in the storium stories that were created in class. Though the authors did a good job of making sure to have proper grammar, those instances of proper use could also serve as templates for how a reader could become confused if improper grammar were to not be used. For example, in The Violin, there is a lot of dialogue that goes on between various characters in the story. Scene 1 serves as a prime example, as Jink and Arthur converse, saying:

“‘Jink, there’s a lot here that I think you need to see,” he said as he transmitted his visuals to her brain.

“That’s my mother, I forgot you’ve never been to my home. I always hated that space. Especially at night. Her sarcophagus is an entrance to her tomb but inaccessible by any normal means. It’s tighter than a bomb shelter.”

“Interesting, but that’s not what I was getting at.” He zooms in on the dark modernized SUV’s with turned off police lights.

“Is there something you haven’t told me about your family?”

“I don’t know but, I’ve gotta go you have 3 hours until my performance. Beam me in if you see anything that’s extremely unusual. Just try to make sure my father is okay, then my Violin.’” (“The Violin.” Storium. Scene 1).


In this case, the proper grammar usage would be creating a new, indented line for each instance that a person within a dialogue is talking. If there were to be improper grammar usage and such wasn’t done, and the lines of dialogue were instead typed one after another, it would be very possible for the reader to become confused in terms of who is saying what within the given dialogue. Proper grammar use doesn’t necessarily mean sentence structure, though, as it is also important to label when the writing is pertaining to certain characters. Such is the case for The Tape, as instances are constantly traded off between Stacy (the mother), Becca (Stacy’s daughter), and James (Stacy’s son/Becca’s brother). An example of such an instance is as follows:

S:I tried to make as minimal noise as possible so that my children would not wake up, but as soon as I touched the window it made a huge cracking noise.

J: There’s this movie that literally all my friends are talking about. It’s called The Fatal Cleansing, and we all planned on watching it tonight at our houses. Only problem, my mother definitely won’t let me watch a horror movie like this by myself, or at all really.” (“The Tape.” Storium. Scene 1).

The “S” and “J” allow for the audience to realize that the two paragraphs were from two different people’s points of view: Stacy’s and James’. If it weren’t for the “S” and “J” it would be very possible for the reader to become confused and think that it was also Stacy that was talking about the movie, and it was her friends that were raving about it. If such was the case then there would also be confusion as to why Stacy would be bringing up her own mother as well as why Stacy would be allowing her mother to tell her not to watch a horror film even though Stacy is a fully grown, dependent adult.

Albeit improper grammar usage can cause confusion, the argument could also be made that it could also be used to create a certain type of message to be passed along to the readers or to create a certain mood for the writing. A common example of this throughout the stories is the use writing of various words throughout the text using all capital letters. Though this isn’t an example of terribly improper grammar use, it is an unorthodox way of writing and could allow for one to see it as improper grammar. Unexpected Love serves as a great source of such instances. The sentence: “‘Yeah! Who even reads during prom? What a NERD’ gibes Steve.” (“Unexpected Love.” Storium. Scene 1). Though the use of all capital letters is most commonly used for an onomatopoeia, in this case, it could be argued that the all capital letters in a sense serve as an emphasis on that word within the character’s dialogue. This also allows for a certain setting/mood to be placed as it allows for the reader to almost imagine what the words would sound like coming from a teenager’s mouth and how he would have said “NERD” with a mocking tone. Another such example of the infamous “all caps” can be found in the sentence: “‘My god she’s SO HOT today!’ Max exclaims quietly, not wanting Marissa to hear.” (“Unexpected Love.” Storium. Scene 1). In this example, the word found in all capitals isn’t used in a derogatory or mocking manner, but rather in a gawking manner, or in a way of sheer admiration/lust, as Max is found describing Marissa. Such is also another example of typical a teenage type of acting, as it can be common for a testosterone-driven jock to find himself drooling over the hottest girl in school.

Words in all capitals don’t necessarily need to be used as in order to create a certain tone that the character is speaking in, however. They could also be used in order to put emphasis on certain words or actions. Such an example of this can be found in the sentence where Dexter’s brothers are described as “VERY large and muscular flies.” (“Unexpected Love.” Storium. Scene 1). Though “very” is used in order to put emphasis on words in agreement with it, putting it in all capital letters in a sense served as a comedic way of putting even more emphasis on the brothers’ size and possibly on the fact that they were being described as flies. Another example of an instance where all capital letters are putting emphasis on an action could be when Marissa told Dexter that “‘Prom night is a lifetime opportunity, that shouldn’t be WASTED.’” (“Unexpected Love.” Storium. Scene 1). In this case, this allows for the readers to in a sense feel the importance that Marissa feels about prom and how she wants to spend it with Dexter, even though Dexter may see prom as a waste of time.  

All in all, grammar usage can tend to be subjective to the author, the intended message, and intended audience. Even though there are always going to be instances where the message is going to be misunderstood, the most an author can do is at least make sure some of the audience/readers can understand the intended message.