1. CJ_Yates
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    CJ_Yates New Member

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    Format dilemma

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by CJ_Yates, Mar 21, 2013.

    Hi,

    I'm writing a story that revolves around texting. This may sound silly, but should I put the text dialogue in quotations? Even though it's not verbal talk?
     
  2. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    Yes, you should.

    And this thread belongs to the word mechanics section.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    no, not if you're using more than a line or two of dialog from the text... for conversations, the text messages are inserted as block indents, with no " "... and are typed as they are seen on the screen, but with no change of font...
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The bottom line is that conversation is conversation, whether its a face-to-face chat, a telephone conversation, test messages, smoke signals, or telepathy. Format it all like conversations.

    Block quotes, as Maia described are on way to present conversations. One difference, however, is that you can quote both sides of a visual conversation such as a chatroom log in a single block quote. The reason this is acceptable is that you are really quoting the shared content that all participants see on the screen.

    See He said, she said - Mechanics of Dialogue
     
  5. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'd go with what Maia said. Look at "I've Got Your Number" by Sophie Kinsella - the whole romance revolves around text messages.
     
  6. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    You can indent the test messages and

    put them in italics

    or another good way is to put them all in indented

    CAPITAL LETTERS SO THEY STAND OUT AS OBVIOUSLY DIFFERENT FROM YOUR WRITING.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i would never recommend putting them in italics... nor in all-caps...

    both would be annoying as bleep to most readers, are not needed, and would scream 'AMATEUR' to agents/editors/publishers...
     
  8. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Additional problem with all caps: in textspeak and e-comm, generally, it is interpreted as shouting.
     
  9. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    When i have text messages in my work, i present them like this:
    [..."text"...]
    If you are not writing about the actual messages though but rather you are quoting their content, then use what you use in any other conversation aka quotations.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i seriously doubt that will fly with any agents or publishers... and would probably be extremely annoying to most readers...
     

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