1. hind11
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    hind11 New Member

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    help with dialogue

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by hind11, Jan 5, 2009.

    I am writing a voice piece, where in the main the narrator of the piece is addressing the reader, however occasionally to enable the piece progress the narrator engages in dialogue with three friends...when this occurs i have put her two friends dialogue in speech marks, would you do the same with the narrators speech to her friends ?
     
  2. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    When the narrator is speaking aloud to anybody other than the reader, yes, you put the narrator's speech in quotes.
     
  3. Hetroclite
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    Hetroclite Member

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    The narrator is you. Write what you want to say to the reader or to any other party. If you have so many other parties involved, turn yourself & all these parties into characters & create a stories around these.
     
  4. PBnJ
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    PBnJ New Member

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    Yes. At any point, and for any person who is speaking to another character, you have to use speech marks.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Narration and dialogue are distinct. Now, if you are writing a script, the writing conventions are very different. But for fiction, external dialogue is enclosed in double quotes. Internal dialogue is punctuated following the same rules, but omitting the enclosing double quotes. In the UK, the roles of duble and single quotes are sometimes reversed, although the double quote convention is taking over there as well. (this ignores block quoting)

    This article may help: He said, she said - Mechanics of Dialogue
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    we'd have to see an example of what you're asking about, to be able to answer your question properly, hind...

    what's not clear here is if the 'narrator' is actually speaking aloud to those characters, being present in the scene, or if you mean the narration is 'aimed at' characters, as it is at the readers... in the former case, it's spoken dialog and so must be in " " [or ' ' if uk usage is followed]... in the latter, it's still just narrative, although 'breaking the fourth wall' and is not spoken dialog, so in prose, it doesn't go in quotes...

    in a script, however, it would be treated as dialog...
     
  7. Daedalus
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    Daedalus Active Member

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    The narrator tells the story. Every word that is written down on the page is spoken by the narrator. I don't understand what you mean by the narrator speaking to the characters. Is this a novel? If so, I've never seen that style before.

    You'd really need to post an example, though.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    In character-driven narration, the story is told by a character in the story, or peripheral to the story. If the character is in a scene, that character can take part in dialogue.

    But the roles of narrator and dialogue participant are distinct. The narrator is telling the story, the dialogue partipant is IN the story. Even though they may be the same person, the roles are separate.
     
  9. hind11
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    hind11 New Member

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    Thanks guys!
    Hard to describe... What i was trying to explain was the story is told in the first person, with the narrator addressing the reader. However throughout the story, the narrator is actively engaged in snippets of conversations he has had with two friends regarding what he has just discussed with the reader, to add depth and to reveal insights into the narrator through the other characters.

    I have a new confusion now. If the narrator was doing an impression of someone else within his narration or speaking hypothetically about what he/she imagines someone else might say...would you place this in italics to set this apart?

    Sorry if this is all very confusing!
     
  10. Little Miss Edi
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    Little Miss Edi Contributing Member

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    If you decide to put his speech in speech marks and he decides to imitate someone, I would imagine he would comment on it in his narrative, perhaps like:

    - I couldn't help myself. I slipped almost naturally into Charlie's way of speaking, his turn of phrase if you will. "Whatever you do, don't eat that purple bread." The emphasis was heavily on the don't and my accent changed to accommodate his northern twang. Thinking about it now, I have to laugh. -

    As for what the other character may or may not say, wouldn't it make sense for you to just write that your narrator thought that character x would probably say y in this situation and then get the narrator to say it.

    Just a thought :rolleyes:
     
  11. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hind11,

    I had a story published, written in first person. The narrator tells the story, but includes his dialogue and that of others in the story. Also, during the story, one of the characters other than the POV character tells of events through dialogue, including what other people said to the secondary character.

    Thus I used a combination of double quotes and single quotes. Is this (or similar) is what is causing you difficulty? It is hard to tell from your description of the issue. If so, here is the link to my story: "Vegetable Matters"

    When Dennis is telling Marv (the POV character) what happened with his daughter...is the section that would concern you (about 1/2 way through the story).

    Terry
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    no... anything that is/was spoken aloud must go in " "...

    you really need to post a small section of what you're referring to, if you want us to give you answers, because we can't read your mind and know what it is you're referring to...
     

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