1. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Formatting chat/im conversations

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by VM80, May 2, 2011.

    What is the best way to format chat or instant messenger conversations taking place within a story?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm sure someone will come along and say "Like normal conversation or set them apart and indent them". In my teenagey fantasy thing I put them in arial in contrast to the times new roman of the rest of the text and put line breaks between the the bits of conversation, but I'm probably only going to keep it that way to amuse myself - I hear it's best not to do lots of funny tricks with your word processing software when you send stuff to publishers.
     
  3. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't really know, but I guess one way is doing it a bit like a script, for example:

    Person1: Hi, how are you?
    Person2: I'm good, what you been up to?
     
  4. TheIllustratedMan
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    TheIllustratedMan Active Member

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    I'd either put it in as a transcript (ie: blocked out from the rest of the text, formatted like Eunoia shows above) or just describe it as you would a normal conversation. Just use "wrote" instead of "said".

    So... Melzaar was right about someone coming along and saying that. :p
     
  5. Velox
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    Velox Senior Member

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    In the novels I've read that have had some sort of thing from a computer [be it email, IM, etc.], it's usually a different font and indented. Then I'd just do it exactly how it shows up on AIM [name (time): sentence].

    I've never seen it done like normal dialogue [with quotes and then "s/he wrote"], and I prefer the above better anyway, as it distinctly sets apart the novel from the IM script.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    they're best done as block indents and in whatever format they appear on the computer/cell phone/whatever screen...
     
  7. VM80
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    Thanks everyone.

    I'll need to do some thinking... Something I'm thinking of writing may include quite a bit of 'chat', so...

    I wouldn't want it to become annoying, but it's essential to the story (and based on fact to boot!)

    VM
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