1. Amanda_Geisler
    Offline

    Amanda_Geisler Contributing Member Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    Messages:
    320
    Likes Received:
    105
    Location:
    Australia

    Story Time

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Amanda_Geisler, Aug 13, 2014.

    Hi all,
    Strange title I know but I wasn't sure what to call it so that title is as good as any.

    Anyway I want to write in a bit more history of my werewolves and its going to be told by a character. It is going to have it's own chapter but I am not so sure about how to format the paragraphs and putting in the punctuation marks.
    I have put in history snippets before but they have only ever been a few paragraphs this one will probably be at least a few pages long.
    How could I start this off, do I start by saying that my character is going to tell the story then tell the story? Would it be with or without speech marks?
    I have read books like this before but I can't think of which books I've read that had chapters like this in it so I can't find an example of it to follow.
    Have you put in a chapter like this? How did you format it?

    Amanda
     
  2. MandyC
    Offline

    MandyC New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2014
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Pennsylvania USA
    It seems to me that the chapter(s) is being told from the story teller's point of view, subjective third perhaps, so therefore no quotation marks. If on the other hand the story teller is explaining something to someone else, then I would think it's dialog and in quotes -- but to avoid it running long and looking like an info dump, you might work in some action beats that could help build suspense.
     
  3. Burlbird
    Offline

    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    295
    Location:
    Somewhere Else
    As I remember, as far as quotation marks go, you should put the opening quotation marks at the first and each subsequent paragraph, but only end the final one with closing quotation marks. For speach within speach, use single quotes as inner quotation marks (that is, if you use double quotes as outer :))
     
  4. Amanda_Geisler
    Offline

    Amanda_Geisler Contributing Member Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    Messages:
    320
    Likes Received:
    105
    Location:
    Australia
    @MandyC I have actually just written the lead up to the story. It is the first time I have written something like this. It isn't my POV character telling the story, but she does however already know the story it just hasn't been fully shared with the reader yet. It involves how they're kind was created and the war that ensued between their people, demigods and vampires back in Greece before they made their way to America.
    I have made a section break in my chapter to mark the beginning of the 'story' I think it will be a third person section that doesn't have my characters in it at all, it is just the people in this story that will be in it.

    @Burlbird So if I'm understanding your reply correctly. For each paragraph I have open quotation marks (singular or double) then I have the opposite for speech inside the story, and it is only the final paragraph that has close quotation marks.


    thanks for the responses, I can't really move on now until this is done.
     
    Burlbird likes this.
  5. Annalise_Azevedo
    Offline

    Annalise_Azevedo Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Australia
    Well as you may already know, when I did my short brief on the history I had it from a mythical story book. As the story progressed there were more to the story, such as the troubles that everyone went through. But that didn't really answer the question.

    What you could do is have the starter point begin like "It all began when..." Then you can go explaining the story without dialogue but make the reader understand that your character is telling the story. I find writing historic parts much easier by doing this... if this makes any sense.
     
  6. MandyC
    Offline

    MandyC New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2014
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Pennsylvania USA
    Ah, okay, I think I understand. I agree with Burlbird that if the "story" is a direct quote, then there would be open quotes at the beginning of each paragraph and a close quote only at the end. This works nicely for a several paragraph quotation, but can get tedious if it goes on for several pages. If your overall piece is in omniscient point of view, then a digression block (without quotes) seems okay, but it seems to me that if the story is in the POV of the main character, it might be okay to sort of weave it into the narrative, too. But if nothing else, plop it in and move forward with the project -- you can always fix it later.
     
  7. Burlbird
    Offline

    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    295
    Location:
    Somewhere Else
    It only gets tedious if it really gets tedious - not because of an apparent change in narrative voice, and certainly not because of too many quotation marks. An average reader is quite capable of following a story within a story within a story - it was almost a storytelling rule once (back in the days when people were far less educated and less literate than today) :)
     
  8. Burlbird
    Offline

    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    295
    Location:
    Somewhere Else
    It only gets tedious if it really gets tedious - not because of an apparent change in narrative voice, and certainly not because of too many quotation marks. An average reader is quite capable of following a story within a story within a story - it was almost a storytelling rule once (back in the days when people were far less educated and less literate than today) :)
     
  9. daemon
    Offline

    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Messages:
    1,361
    Likes Received:
    982
    How about something like this? It looks pretty clean and easy-to-understand to me.

    "Well," said Character, "It's a long story."

    *​

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Fusce eget nibh nec urna vestibulum facilisis at vitae velit. Mauris dignissim est ac pretium accumsan. Nullam ut velit id diam iaculis bibendum. Donec auctor ipsum ac sapien condimentum, vitae aliquet felis gravida. Nam varius sagittis sapien ut lobortis. Nullam viverra eu enim in vestibulum. Praesent at vestibulum tellus, quis faucibus orci.

    Mauris in imperdiet augue. Donec justo risus, tristique in euismod non, pellentesque a velit. Donec ut sem ultrices metus adipiscing condimentum. Praesent blandit neque ac porttitor cursus. Pellentesque sit amet rhoncus elit. Quisque eget lacus non quam mattis ultrices id a eros. Proin turpis neque, facilisis quis aliquam quis, fermentum vel neque. Nam ultricies justo ut auctor consectetur. Nunc sit amet dolor et ipsum lacinia mollis. Nulla ac rhoncus nisl. Suspendisse consectetur, purus lacinia pharetra aliquet, tortor nisi placerat massa, non gravida lacus mauris aliquam massa.

    Fusce eu dolor ut lacus varius tincidunt. Cras neque purus, dictum in porta quis, vulputate nec eros. Aenean quis feugiat felis. Curabitur condimentum libero fermentum augue lobortis ullamcorper. Etiam sit amet felis eget tortor tincidunt malesuada ac a lectus. Aenean id semper odio, a vestibulum dolor. Vestibulum a nisi ultricies, porttitor metus congue, bibendum neque. Duis aliquet nisl vel ante tincidunt porta.

    Morbi rhoncus eleifend leo, non volutpat mauris elementum ut. Quisque a dapibus dolor. Quisque vitae turpis et tellus placerat pulvinar. Morbi eleifend feugiat odio, id fermentum nisi euismod in. Aenean rhoncus pellentesque erat. Quisque lacinia magna et nunc dignissim hendrerit. Nam congue porttitor facilisis. Integer sapien erat, ultrices a metus vitae, gravida aliquet dolor. Maecenas dui quam, eleifend eu molestie ac, adipiscing ut leo. Duis suscipit neque in metus facilisis condimentum vitae quis nisi.

    Quisque condimentum risus nibh, vitae sagittis tellus ullamcorper scelerisque. Pellentesque eget augue at quam commodo ullamcorper vitae eu lorem. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam erat volutpat. Nullam eu ultrices velit, ut iaculis ante. Nam elementum tristique dapibus. Ut facilisis ante orci, eu vulputate tortor lobortis ut. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Ut eu blandit lorem. Proin varius mollis purus, a iaculis dui cursus vel. In hac habitasse platea dictumst. Donec nec bibendum diam. Curabitur consequat dapibus rutrum.

    *​

    "And that's how werewolves came to be," said Character.
     
  10. AlannaHart
    Offline

    AlannaHart Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2014
    Messages:
    367
    Likes Received:
    201
    Location:
    Australia
    Interview with the Vampire. Most of it is Louis telling his story but it skips back to the interview every once in a while.
     
  11. maskedhero
    Offline

    maskedhero Active Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2013
    Messages:
    365
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    America
    Do it like 1984 did. There's a lot of exposition at one point about Airstrip One, which ultimately told nothing (those jerks), but did so in a very different way. It was made clear that this was being read.
     

Share This Page