1. Rayo
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    Rayo Member

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    Question about dialogue

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Rayo, Mar 23, 2011.

    Hello I am just learning about how to incorporate dialogue into my writing and I've googled the basics but there is one thing that I am not too sure of.

    I understand that each time someone speaks, there must be an indent. What I am confused about is if I wanted to start certain dialogue with a description (not just the quoted speech), do I also indent this as well.

    Random Example:

    "Hi Bob"

    Shaking his head, he shouts, "What do you want?"

    "Nothing dude. Just wanted to see how you were."

    "Well I'm good, thanks for asking."

    Confused at his snarky responses, he asks, "Did I do something wrong"



    Basically, I am trying to figure out if the two sentences where I didn't start with quotes, needs to indented as well.

    Thank you very much for all of your help.
     
  2. Rayo
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    Rayo Member

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    Ok so after posting I see that the two sentences I wrote did not indent. I am new at this so sorry about that. I'll just copy and paste the two sentences I am referring to--just to eliminate confusion:

    Shaking his head, he shouts, "What do you want?"

    Confused at his snarky responses, he asks, "Did I do something wrong"
     
  3. zaffy
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    zaffy Contributing Member

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    You indent each time a person speaks.

    (indent)They walked along the road laughing and talking all the while.
    (indent)Bob said, "I like ice cream and da de de da de da de da."
    (indent)Ann said, "Do you realy like ice cream and da de da de da de da?"
    (indent)Fred stopped and looked at his two friends and said, "I like da de da de da de da de de da de da de da da da dadadadadadaddadadadadadadadaddadadadadaddadada."
    (indent)Ann said, "You like a lot of things don't you?"
    (indent)"Yes," said Fred.

    Notice Fred's conversation is longer than one line and overspills to the next, this is not indented. If Fred spoke for ten lines, you would still not indent. The next indention comes with a new speaker or with a new descriptive piece.
     
  4. Rayo
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    Rayo Member

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    Thanks a lot. I appreciate your help.
     
  5. MLKerrick
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    MLKerrick Member

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    What zaffy said, yes. If Fred spoke for ten lines, you wouldn't indent unless you needed to start a new paragraph in the middle of his dialouge, which isn't very common, but it happens when the character is telling a very long story in one sitting.
    Example:
    indent"Blah blah blah blah blah. And then I went walking down the street with the ice cream in my hand. I was eating it very happily.
    indent"Sometimes, I feel like ice cream is the only thing that makes me happy."

    Maybe this wasn't the best example, but you might see what I mean. Notice that if the character is speaking, and you want to keep the same character going on into a different paragraph without interruption, you type the paragraph as normal, do not put a quotation mark at the end, and continue on with the next paragraph, placing the quotation mark at the beginning and end like normal.
     
  6. Rayo
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    Rayo Member

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    Thanks for that. This brings me to another question: If I wanted to write one sentence of inner dialogue (private thoughts) after a paragraph. Would I separate this one sentence and indent, or keep this with the paragraph.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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  8. Rayo
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    Rayo Member

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    Thanks!!!
     
  9. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it depends on how you do your inner thoughts. I tend to dislike them done as literal quotes, and instead just throw them into the narrative. For example:

    Joe asked, "How'd the meeting go?"

    Anne shook her head. "Nobody showed."

    "Ah." Joe leaned back. Comfy chair, this. Probably covered with cat hair, though. Anne was clearly a cat lady in the making. "Did you call them to complain?"


    ChickenFreak
     
  10. Rayo
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    Rayo Member

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    Thanks ChickenFreak!
     

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