1. Agatha Christie
    Offline

    Agatha Christie Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    6

    Presentation of Diary entries: Dare I ask for more advice?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Agatha Christie, Feb 23, 2012.

    throughout my novel, my main character reads excerpts from a diary. The excerpts will include the date of the diary entry and several lines of text.

    How should this be presented? Italics? speech marks? Advice please.
     
  2. jazzabel
    Offline

    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    4,273
    Likes Received:
    1,666
    There are many choices. Personally, I'd either leave it as normal text but separate chapters or change the font to smaller. Italics, for me, don't work for large chunks of text.
     
  3. AmyHolt
    Offline

    AmyHolt Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Messages:
    475
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Warsaw, IN
    Jazzabel beat me to the punch and said what I was going to say. Great advice Jazz.
     
  4. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    do not use smaller font, as mss must be in 12 pt throughout, for agent's/editor's reading comfort... and separate chapters would only work if all the parts being read are very long and need to be separate chapters for some reason [can't think of a good enough one, though]...

    the usual and most effective method is to insert them as block indents set off by line breaks... but, must the diarist be reading them aloud?... who would he be reading them to?

    i do agree that italics are a very bad idea, in any case...
     
  5. Agatha Christie
    Offline

    Agatha Christie Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    6
    My character is not reading the diary excerpts allowed. A typical block of text would be 200 words. I want the reader to know what is written in the diary. thanks for comments so far.
     
  6. jazzabel
    Offline

    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    4,273
    Likes Received:
    1,666
    Maia, I wasn't referring to her sending the manuscript that way, I was just saying what works for me in a finished novel. I read several where big chunks in smaller font worked beautifully.
     
  7. aimi_aiko
    Offline

    aimi_aiko Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Kentucky
    If this was me, I'd be using the block-quote format along with italics.
     
  8. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,684
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    If you are writing only for your own pleasure and do not plan to try to have the work published, I'd say italics are fine. Otherwise, no. Why hinder your work's chances any more than you have to?
     
  9. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    As the writer, only the manuscript should be your concern. The publisher will decide on the final presentation, and it may be presented differently in different editions.

    The only reasonable choice in this case is the block quote, given the length of the passages. Even if you have a few that are much shorter, better to be consistent about it.
     

Share This Page