Using emboldenment to signify shouting/raised voice?

I hear it's not standard practice to do this, but I'm wondering if maybe it's a good idea? It would allow me to cut down on dialog tags (he shouted, he barked etc). I already use italics to signify words characters empathize in their speech, so why not use italics+embodiment to signal shouting? I feel it reads much more gracefully than ugly all caps text. It also lowers the need for emotion tags.

Example of empathized words using italics:

"I know where you were last night."

Example using italics+embodiment to show a word being shouted/yelled.

"Don't you dare say that!"

Will the reader figure out embolden words are shouts/yells or is this not good practice?

Re: Using emboldenment to signify shouting/raised voice?

I like bold text when used sparingly to express something supernatural in the one. Like someone using a form of truenaming or authority powers to speak words into reality. For example, its use in Cradle just sends chills down my spine.

I wouldn't use it to emphasize random words though. Exclamation mark, italics, punctuation, and all caps already do that in varying degrees of intensity.

Re: Using emboldenment to signify shouting/raised voice?

It's too much, and not necessary. And italicized word every now and then is fine, but I don't think either example you gave justifies it.

Use it too often, and it will start to attract attention to itself, which is bad, it breaks immersion. Same as you shouldn't use CAPS LOCK, bold or italic words have a similar effect, I think you should almost always avoid them. Use them very sparingly. 

Re: Using emboldenment to signify shouting/raised voice?

It depends on the frequency you use it. If you put an entire page of rage rant in bold just because the character is yelling, it will look strange and be taxing to read.

Quote:"I hate you!" He yelled.

Is still showing hate and yell implies at least some volume.

Quote:"I hate you!" He yelled.

Has the emphasis on a word that's stressed, giving the words more vitriol and punch without being overwhelming to read.

Such effects should be used sparingly, with care, and consistently. Treat it like nutmeg. Good in small doses, but if you dump it all over your work, it'll become unpalatable.

Re: Using emboldenment to signify shouting/raised voice?

Most of the time you will not need to use bold or italics. The exclamation mark already signifies yelling.

It is only in select web serials that I come across bolded words, and it's usually poor practice to use them. Italics are more acceptable, but are best used sparingly, as is caps lock. Too many and the emphasis will wear down.

Since you're mentioning an interest in avoiding dialogue tags, it might help to know that such tags can be replaced with action if needed. Action is also a good way to avoid telling one's current emotions by 'showing' them instead:

Quote:"Think of something like this!" The duck flapped his wings with furious speed. "Action is a good way to break up all those fangled dialogue tags!"

Re: Using emboldenment to signify shouting/raised voice?


splattenburgers Wrote:
SaadTheConjurer Wrote: The exclamation mark already signifies yelling.
Disagree. Exclamation mark merely signifies that a character is exclaiming something. The emotion doesn't have to be angry or even loud.

To each their own, I suppose. I've seen people who interpret the exclamation mark as anger or loudness, and some who see it as no more than emphasis. Some will also say the exclamation mark is unnecessary and will insist you use it only a few times in a single book/volume.

That's normal in writing -- everyone has their own interpretation of the wording and punctuation in a story. If it is in your interest to use bold, italicized words for shouting, you can. That is your choice as the author. 

Just make sure people understand that this type of text signals shouting (most readers should get it though). And do be careful not to overuse it, since readers tend to get tripped up when there's one too many words in bolded italics.