1. spartan928
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    spartan928 Member

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    Dialogue tag, long speech or sermon

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by spartan928, Feb 14, 2013.

    What is the proper way of tagging a sermon or longish speech that is multiple paragraphs by a single character? Just talking half a page. I'm having trouble finding an example in books as dialogue is generally broken up between several people.

    Thanks
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    You use quotation marks like you normally would, but you omit the quotation mark at the end of all paragraphs except the last one. You still need to include the opening quotation marks for each paragraph.
     
  3. BitPoet
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    BitPoet Member

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    Cogito has written a good article that also covers long speeches in his blog. Though, especially for sermons and public speeches, you can also consider leaving the quotes and setting the whole block of text in italics (in traditional booksetting, such kinds of block quotations are often also indented).
     
  4. UberNoodle
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    UberNoodle Senior Member

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    Metro 2033, I noticed partway through reading, has entire sections which are mostly long dialogue. It was a little bothered by it.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    punctuation and block indent were dealt with above, but i would caution you against boring the readers with a long oration... to avoid that you can insert what screenwrites call 'bits of business'... you can describe the speaker's movements/actions, the reactions of his audience, details of the setting and such, to keep the reader from skipping to the next 'interesting' part...
     
  6. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    What mamma said. I rarely have a character speaking for more than two paragraphs - short ones. That way, when I stumble across that odd instance where I really do need someone to go on at length - like a closing statement at a trial - I can do it. But even then, I use tidbits of narration to break it up.
     

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