1. mrieder79
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    mrieder79 Not a ground squirrel

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    Quotes for a text message?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by mrieder79, Sep 21, 2013.

    How do you denote a text message? does it belong in quotes.
     
  2. hughesj
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    hughesj Member

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    i would say put it in italics? on its own line?
     
  3. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I would not say that. At all. Definitely just put it in quotes.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the usual method is to insert written text as a block indent...

    if it's just a few words, then treating it like any other dialog is the correct way to type it... in " " with a dialog tag, or some other indication of who it's from...

    italics would be totally incorrect...
     
  5. Uberwatch
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    Uberwatch Active Member

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    [OMG LIEK LOL], sent by Coolgirl234. Awesome567 tapped her fingers on the cell phone rapidly to send a response. [SO U WANNA GIT WASTED? LUL]

    I have no idea how to write text messages in stories., but this might be a way.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it would be too hard to read/make sense of, without separating the parties' messages...
     
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  7. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    If you really want to convey to the reader that they are reading a text conversation do this:
    1. Set the margins to two inches in on both the left and right side.
    2. Write the words coming from the character whose perspective you are describing as right aligned text
    3. Write the second characters words as left aligned text.
    It only works for a block text conversation, but it will be instantly recognizable as such.

    But if it's just a couple of words use quotes.
     
  8. BillC
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    BillC Member

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    I'm currently writing something where internet message boards feature a bit. Try something like this?

    ---

    My phone vibrated. I excused myself from the conversation and
    put my coffee down, reaching into my pocket.

    From: Mom Saturday, 13/09/28 13:56
    Pick up some milk on the way home

    From: Me Saturday, 13/09/28 13:59
    Skim or full cream?

    From: Mom Saturday, 13/09/28 14:03
    Skim. Your dad's arse is big enough already.

    I sighed and thumbed the home key, muting the phone's display.
    "Who was that?" asked Sarah, her eyes flashing malevolently.
    "A crazy woman," I replied, picking up my now rapidly cooling latte.

    ---

    Does that help?
     
  9. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Actually reading the "from" and timestamp on every line made me want to slit my wrists. It's like Shades of Gray with those fucking emails.
     
  10. BillC
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    BillC Member

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    Thankfully having avoided that book, I wasn't aware they'd used a convention like that. I supposed it's more useful to time stamp and include the "from" part if there are a number of people having the conversation and understanding timing is important.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there shouldn't be any bold anywhere in the ms, if it's not for self-publishing...

    and italics would be annoying as bleep, imo... plus, not make it past most editors...
     
  12. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Please, please, please...not another italics thread! :eek:
     
  13. Thornesque
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    Thornesque Contributing Member

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    I hate to hijack this thread in any way, but I would hate to start another thread just for this...and it's similar in context.

    My question is how to format a newspaper headline? Would you center it on the page? Use all capital letters?

    The way it's written is that the main character notes, "A large headline stood at the top of the page, demanding attention:"

    What would go after that?
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    just include it in the paragraph, as you would a line of dialog... there's no need to separate it, unless it's followed by some of the news item text...

    that said, your wording there does not read like it's from the character's pov... seems more like from a neutral observer's narrative pov...
     

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