1. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Characters talking via notes, quotes yes or no?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by GingerCoffee, Jul 10, 2013.

    So I took all my style guides back to the library, and now I have a question that I couldn't readily found online.

    I have dialogue where my characters are writing to each other in the dirt to keep from being heard. Here's an example:

    She wrote in the dirt, You look like your grandmother.

    My mouth fell open. I spelled out her full name, Patarice?​

    So it's present tense dialogue but it's scribbling in the dirt instead of being said out loud. Quotes or no quotes?


    Thanks.
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    If it's dialogue, it should go in quotes like any other form of dialogue.
     
  3. iolair
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    iolair Active Member

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    Agreed.
     
  4. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I'm going to get shot down in flames here by a certain portion of the membership, but I'd use italics for this! It makes what's happening perfectly clear, without the clutter of quotation marks OR the confusion which could arise about whether these words are spoken or not. If the characters are also speaking to each other during this scene, but writing messages in the sand that no one else could hear at the same time, the confusion could be massive.

    She wrote in the dirt: You look like your grandmother.

    My mouth fell open. I spelled out her full name: Patarice?
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    that would make no sense whatsoever and wouldn't make it past any half-decent editor... there's no good reason to not put it in quotes, since no matter where it's written, it's still quoted material...
     
  6. jmhoffer
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    jmhoffer Contributing Member

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    I disagree fully. I see Italics regularly in best selling books when referring to written material. I don't think I've ever seen it done in quotes even once.
     
  7. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Since the example Ginger gave is a form of dialogue, I don't see a good reason to put it in italics. Written material like letters are different because they aren't a form of dialogue (they would go in a block quote).
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto that...
     
  9. danihh
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    danihh New Member

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    I personal like italics. I have seen in a few books them changing the font for that part too.
     

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