1. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    Radio Dialogue

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Flying Geese, Apr 7, 2014.

    I am writing a story that is set in the future. I love dramatic scenes where important things are said over a radio headset. But I am curious about this.

    How do you write someone talking over a headset to the main character?

    For example:

    MC: "Hey, what's your ETA? We're getting our asses kicked!"
    Pilot: "You gotta hold out for 1o more minutes."

    In the example the pilot is talking over the radio. The reason I ask, is because in a show or movie, there would be times where the person on the radio would initiate dialogue. Is there anyway I can write their words so that the reader instantly knows that what's being said is coming in over the headset?
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    You can: refer to the headphones, the sound crackled, it was clear, wasn't clear. You can use the standard sign-out people use: roger, over, over and out.

    The reason for the signal you've stopped speaking is because radios typically transmit or receive but not both at once. One person speaking cuts the mike of the other as they receive and vice versa.
     
  3. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Don't they usually have to end their phrases with "over" to indicate they're done with their speech?

    Person A: "We request backup, repeat: we request backup, over!"
    Person B: "Rodger that, we're sending reinforcements over to your location now, over and out."

    I think they also use the words 'positive' and 'negative' to indicate 'yes' or 'no'.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if this is a novel and not a stage play, don't put speakers' names in front of the dialog, just write as normal dialog exchange, after letting the reader know they're chatting over a radio...
     
  5. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    Well in those futuristic movies where there is a mission and one person is navigating for the whole team, they don't say over or all that radio etiquette. That's what I'm going for. Nothing formal.
     
  6. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    But has the purpose changed? Can they send and receive at the same time?
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The medium is not relevant. It's dialogue, and that's how it should be presented.

     
    Flying Geese and GingerCoffee like this.
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    roger that!
     
  9. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This is a good question. I've understood the voice procedure is important with two-way radios.

    If they don't have radios, then they probably talk over the phone and you could write it like a phone conversation? @Cogito 's example is good.

    And yeah, I think they have specific terms in radio conversations, like negative and affirmative, roger that, wilco, come in, five by five etc.
     

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