1. Grimga
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    Grimga New Member

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    Phone conversation in a book.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Grimga, Nov 23, 2012.

    I just want to know how would I go about a phone conversation. Is it like a normal conversation going down like this :

    Example

    Boy:hi

    Girl:Hi

    Or is it like italics

    Boy:hi

    Girl:Hi
     
  2. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    You'd describe in your action before the dialogue that he/she picked up the phone. Then it would be normal dialogue, with normal design. "Hello? Oh, hi!"

    Now if you want to put a few tags in there such as 'the line crackled' or something like that you can, but by describing and establishing the usage of the phone, then the conversation would just carry on like a normal one.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Dialogue is dialogue. You write it using quotes, and optional fialogue tags and beats: He said, she said - Mechanics of Dialogue

    Depending on the point of view, you might choose to present only one side of the conversation.
     
  4. Macaberz
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    Macaberz Pay it forward Contributor

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    Thanks for that Cogito, I read it earlier and it has helped me alot.

    Aside from that, I think it is interesting to see if you have to flesh out the dialogue as if it were a normal, physically present, conversation. Depending on the situation you might want to do what Cogito suggested, just letting one person talk and make the reader guess what the other person is saying. I think a good situation for this is to add tension.

    I know for one that in acting phone conversations are considered a cop out for not having a second actor. Of course writing and acting are not the same but there are similarities. Is it really necessary to have this conversation over the phone? It does make it more distant, then again that could be what you are aiming for.
     
  5. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I've never seen phone calls in books as anything other than just normal punctuated dialogue.
    - "Hi, Fred."
    "Hi, Angela."

    There was even a kooky children's book in the 80's called Phone Calls by R.L. Stine who
    told the entire story by phone calls. I don't know how the reprint is punctuated but in the 80's
    it was just all dialogue.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Hearing one side of a conversation is a good way to pique curiosity.
     
  7. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    I agree with all the others, just let the reader know that someone is talking in the phone, then just use regular ole dialogue.

    Example:
    (From 'So Long and Thanks For All the Fish' by Douglas Adams)

    I like the hangup and the end, though cell phones don't click when they hang up anymore.
     
  8. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    Yes it would be in Italics, published novels have had it written like that. I remember reading a few myself with that, i think it's better then bold text.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    no italics, no bold text. Normal text, standard dialogue punctuation.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto that!

    no italics, bold, or any other fancy fontery...
     
  11. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    +10 points for using the word 'fontery'! ;)

    ~ J. J.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    thanks, jj!... 'fancy fontery' is a favorite coinage of mine... so, what can i get with those points?
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You can trade them for air miles on flights of fancy. :)
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    super!

    clever you...
     
  15. Macaberz
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    Macaberz Pay it forward Contributor

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    Don't you know? Everyone writes phone dialogue in wingdings, size 48 bold, sans-serif.
     

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