The Writers' Group 8,567 members · 49,641 stories
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Huk
Huk #1 · Apr 4th, 2018 · · ·

OK, I know that http://www.thesaurus.com/ is an excellent site for finding synonyms for words, but is there something similar for entire phrases. For example, say, we have a “she sighed” in our story, but would like to write a more elaborate version. Depending on the mood we have many options:

Astonished:
She let out an audible gasp.

Sad:
She sighed heavily.
She heaved a heavy sigh.

Embarrassed:
She took a deep breath, puffing up her cheeks before she let it all out in one quick burst as she pressed her hoof to her forehead.

So, I would input ‘she sighed’ (or just ‘sighed’) and the tool I’m talking about would show something like the above.

Do you know of anything like that? If not, do you think it would be useful (from your perspective)?

6385120
Don't forget that folk's eyes widen in surprise too.

Also don't forget you have chars with tails and ears.
That is if you're dealing with a creature with moveable ears and tail.

6385120
I find dict.cc helpful. Yes, it's actually a dictionary, not a thesaurus, but when you offer it a word that you need translated, it will give alternatives about idioms and phrases as well, so you just need to pick the right one to translate back.

Another option is dictionary.reference.com, which will also offer full sentences for context, which will sometimes be helpful in the sense you are looking for.

Huk
Huk #4 · Apr 5th, 2018 · · ·

6385148

Now that you mentioned it, I mostly use breathing, eye movement, neck movement and so on, ears would be good too – will keep that in mind.

6385272

Thanks, both of those will be useful… Especially the http://www.dictionary.com looks very promising (how the hell did I overlook that...)

Still, neither of those are exactly what was looking for – so the question remains: do you guys believe a tool like that would be handy or is it just my imagination?

6386178
Honestly, chances are you won't find anything that's precisely what you're looking for, mostly because there is a literally infinite number of possible sentences and there's no point in it when you can just invent your own - as opposed to words or idioms, where you explicitly can't do that.

6385120 If it doesn't exist yet, we can make it together as a community. I've already put the foundations in place. Let me show you.

I took your post as a text and the program showed me the paragraphs where you used the phrase that can be replaced with a different phrase.
It works based on a thesaurus resource. Anypony is welcome to add more synonyms in this document. The more synonyms that get added, the more powerful the tool becomes.

You can download my program —> here <—.

I'm also happy to supply anypony with the code if interested.

PS. I also wrote a blog about this community project. Anypony is welcome to join and improve it further.

Huk
Huk #7 · Apr 6th, 2018 · · ·

6387340

Actually, I already have something similar although, a bit more complex:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1vDL6EcFpAD83Vs8yueOL7t2q4HAgkayrpcz25nRXCjY/edit?usp=sharing

Also, I have created something of a ‘helper for writing’ app:

So, I can, for example, write either the mood tag: [Sad] or action tag: [Breathing;] or a combination [Breathing;Sad] and then after clicking on the tag I will get a list of hints on the right.

I planned on publishing it, but then the little thing called ‘real life’ got in the way… I’m looking for a way how to port it to Google Firebase so I could publish it but it can take time…

Anyway, while this sort of works, I’m not sure how reliable FimFiction stories are for this sort of thing. I mean, if you take a look at the Spreadsheet above, you’ll see that I took most of those phrases, from some stories – but I have no idea if that is a proper English, for example. That’s why I ask this question – hoping there is something out there that already has a database of (correct) phrases…

Perhaps I’m overthinking it… as usual…?

6387186

Question is – how do I know if my invented sentence sounds OK to a native speaker? Inside the spreadsheet, I posted above, there are quite a few examples of pretty complex action descriptions I took from the FimFiction stories. For me, they sound good, but I have no idea of knowing if a native speaker won’t raise an eyebrow with the ‘wait, what?’ expression on his face :rainbowhuh:

Or would you say, I’m trying to overdo it and that I should not dwell on such minutia? I mean - If it sounds OK to me, it should be OK for a native speaker too… right? :unsuresweetie:

6387897
That's actually a very good and sensible question to ask, but I'm afraid it can't really be answered by the kind of method you're looking for. Often, for us non-native speakers, our own language's grammar and idioms will sort of sneak into the English we write, even though it wouldn't make sense under proper grammar or to a native speaker. The best you can really do about this is to regularly refresh your knowledge of English grammatical rules and to get a good editor, preferably a native. Grammar is hard and not something computers can easily cope with as of now. I've heard of something called "Grammarly" that's apparently a very good and useful grammar tool, but it's no more infallible than a regular spell-check.

Huk
Huk #9 · Apr 8th, 2018 · · ·

6387906

I see… Well Grammarly is a must for me, and indeed it does help a lot (even the free version), but yes – there is no comparison (yet) to a real person checking your text.

Anyway, 6387340 blog has inspired me to finally start porting my helper to the pure JS/HTML version - if any of you are interested, the current duct-taped version is here (Note, this doesn’t work in IE):

https://demo1-4643d.firebaseapp.com/

To test, simply type [Sad] or [Breathing;] or [Breathing;Sad] or any other combination of ActionTag+ExpressionTag, that are present in the file I posted above:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1vDL6EcFpAD83Vs8yueOL7t2q4HAgkayrpcz25nRXCjY/edit?usp=sharing

Then press enter. This is only a part of the tool to demonstrate what I had in mind (the version from the screenshot, supports scanning for tags inside a textArea, so you can just write your story in there), perhaps somebody will find it useful.

6389415 I also have some good news. The community project I started is already growing. Besides spellchecking, it will now also support loads of synonyms suggestions from this resource file.

My program takes a while to process everything, but I hear the results are 'well worth it!'.

Anypony who wishes to improve her/his stories is welcome to use it. And if somepony wishes to help out with the community project, welcome to the herd! Any help is appreciated.

Huk

6389674

I will try to take a look tomorrow, and see if I can convert my Spreadsheet Doc to your text format (first I’ll need to check what those tags mean).

Nice file by the way - I see, I’m not the only one writing my own editor :trollestia:

6389736 The basics are really simple, actually. You don't need any tags. You just copy your story into one .txt file, and the words you're searching for into another. But if you want to know about the tags, there's an instruction document for that.

Edit: I also made a new version which works instantaneously:
http://www.pearltrees.com/dragor/textseparator/id17876303/item223443626

Huk

6389766

I played somewhat with the tool and tried converting my file to your format, but sadly I don’t think they are very compatible with each other :ajsleepy:.

However, I was able to finally port the full version of my tool to the JS, here it is:

https://writer-helper-js-vue.firebaseapp.com

I made a bigger post, describing it, over here:

https://www.fimfiction.net/group/213620/programmatical-editing/thread/357635/another-tool-you-may-find-useful

6398956

I don’t think they are very compatible with each other

Check this out!

I've assimilated your program's uniqueness and added it to my own. :moustache:

Anypony can get the newest version of my program here:
http://www.pearltrees.com/dragor/textseparator/id17876303

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