1. Mike Cornelison
    Offline

    Mike Cornelison Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2012
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Mission Viejo, California, United States

    Quotation question

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Mike Cornelison, Apr 28, 2012.

    I struggle with the grammar of my dialog sometimes.

    I started out with:

    But there are four people in the dialog, and it seemed necessary for the reader to get the quality of the woman's voice as soon as possible, instead of reading both sentences and then realizing, oh, that's Susan saying that, so I went with:

    Too much asked and said for my taste. Finally:

    It reads okay to me, but I don't really get if I can have her say a complete sentence and then continue by ending with what would be a run-on sentence.

    I imagine a solution would be:

    That works grammatically I guess, but it just reads stiffer to me than the third version.

    And yes, I am trying to get some meds for my obsessive / compulsive disorder.
     
  2. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
  3. Mike Cornelison
    Offline

    Mike Cornelison Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2012
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Mission Viejo, California, United States
    Excellent work! Wow.

    So that's where James Joyce got that! He got it from the French? I was reading Ulysses and that was getting on my nerves so much I finally had to put the book down and pick up another.

    Still reading, but thanks for the link and making that available.

    Seriously, no quotes on thought dialog? Is that the convention? How do I not notice these things when I'm reading?
     
  4. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Yes. The Chicago Manual of Style does mention quoted dialog as an alternative, but it is very rarely used. The true standard is unquoted plain text, and you will never go wrong by sticking to that.

    For one thing, publishers are not even close to as consistent in what they print as in what they expect in manuscript. They render text in different fonts, italicize entire chapters with wild abandon, do all manner of things when packaging the writing for public consumption.

    The words you see in print, you can pretty much accept as a guideline. The punctuation, nearly as much. Fonting, the use of illustrations, everything else or that nature, is highly suspect.

    As a writer, you don't produce books. You produce manuscripts. Manuscript format is typewriter-friendly, because that is its origin. Typewriters, as a rule, support only a single, non-italicized font. So italics are traditionally indicated by underlining, although in modern submissions italics are generally accepted where appropriate. Font changes, including changes in size or between lower case and small caps are frowned upon entirely.

    So what you see in print can be misleading.
     
  5. Mike Cornelison
    Offline

    Mike Cornelison Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2012
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Mission Viejo, California, United States
    Wow, all this is new to me, good information, thanks.
     

Share This Page