1. John Locke The Cat
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    John Locke The Cat Member

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    Singing in dialogue

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by John Locke The Cat, Jul 16, 2009.

    What are the rules concerning a character singing a song?

    If I had a musician character singing a song on stage in front of a crowd, with different verses and a chorus, would it be okay to write the full song without quotation marks and italicized? Kind of like this...

    The musician started singing on stage.

    Verse lyrics
    Verse lyrics
    Verse lyrics


    The musician ran around on the stage, and sung the chorus.

    Chorus lyrics
    Chorus lyrics
    Chorus lyrics


    You get the idea for a full song. To me, it would just look silly having a full song written like this...

    The musician on stage sang, "Verse lyrics, verise lyrics, verse lyrics."

    The musician ran around on the stage, and sung the chorus. "Chorus lyrics, chorus lyrics, chorus lyrics."

    The second example ruins the effect, flow, and format/structure of the song, I think. Especially if it was a full song.

    I was just wondering what the rules were with a character singing songs. Does anyone have a good source site or anything concerning that?
     
  2. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    If I recall in Dune when Gerny or whatever his name was sang a song it was like this.

    Gerny sang,

    "Lyrics, Lyrics, blah
    Blah, lyrics, blah
    Blah, blah, lyrics."
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it should still have be enclosed in " " since it's in effect, 'dialog'... but sung lyrics are usually indented on both sides, as a block, unless it's only a single line...

    that said, be sure you're not using copyrighted work without permission!... citing the lyricist by name is not enough, if the copyright on the song is still active...
     
  4. John Locke The Cat
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    John Locke The Cat Member

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    Okay, that makes more sense.

    And nope, it's going to be an original song. I am so paranoid about the copyright Nazis that I will never use any brands or songs or anything like that.

    Also, this is kind of off topic, but doesn't underlined titles in novels just look awkward and stupid? I always thought so.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You could also do it as a block quote (an indented text block without quotation marks).
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    isn't that what i'd just said, cog? :confused:

    where have you seen that done?... i don't think i ever have, and i've read many thousands of novels, in the past 60 or more years...
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Oops. So you did. :redface:
     

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