1. Flipdarkfuture
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    Flipdarkfuture Member

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    Is it good to put a action and a reaction in the same sentence? Or after one another?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Flipdarkfuture, Apr 14, 2013.

    I guess what I'm trying to look for is a opinion on a clear sentence structure.

    What I mean is this:

    She said. He said.

    She did. He did.

    OR

    She said.

    He said.

    She did.

    He did.

    I'm thinking the top one flows much better because the action and the reaction are in the same paragraph together.
     
  2. SwampDog
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    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    I believe the norm is to separate speakers to a new line. Your bottom example looks stilted because you haven't any dialogue.

    Any novel will show you the norm.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    did you mean'in the same 'sentence'?... or in the same 'paragraph'?

    sentence makes no sense, because you are showing separate ones...
     
  4. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    Things will quickly get confusing if you always have two or more speakers on the same line. New line should identify different speaker so that the reader won't have to read the dialog part again and again to understand who says what.
     
  5. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's not a set rule that new speakers need a new paragraph/line. It was much more common 20 years ago to read dialogues like
    "Did anyone call?" she asked. "No, why?" he said.
    all in one paragraph.

    Paragraphs tended to be longer and more complex not so long ago, although they often still are in more "literary" genres. It's hard to do it well, but I must say I can get fed up with novels too much like movie scripts, pages and pages full of one sentence paragraphs from people speaking and no exposition.
     
  6. Caesari
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    Caesari Member

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    Interestingly enough, madhoca is correct. Even reading the Bible, for pure literary example, and other old texts you can find more dialogue in one paragraph. However, the general consensus nowadays seems to be starting a new paragraph.
     

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