1. Msuds
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    Msuds New Member

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    Text Messages

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Msuds, Aug 4, 2010.

    What is the proper way to put text messages in a novel? I'm thinking like a dialogue.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The best way is to show the entire text conversation as a block quote, but individual messages can be written as regular dialogue.

    A block quote is indented about one half inch, no first line indent, no quotation marks.
     
  3. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Also please don't use to much if any text speak. That just gets annoying to read after awhile.

    If I have to actually decipher whats being said, chances are I am just going to skim right over it.

    Though usually I don't have much of a problem reading most of it, but I don't expect lots of readers being to fond of it.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If you are going to quote text comminications at all, you should do so complete with the typos and the shortcut abbreviations. However, it is annoying to read, so you should limit it, and even consider understating it. As with swearing, a very small number of u's and r's and LOLs go a long way. You can capture the essence of texting without going to full annoyance mode.

    Even if you are comfortable with netspeak verbicide, many of your readers, even those who text on a regular basis, will not enjoy it. Use fragment to set the scene, but don't subject the reader to any more than necessary to advance your story.
     
  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Might be worth typinh txtlit into google, its a whole genre to itself. There are even txtlit short story competitions.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    That's not the point. The point is not to find a form of literature that accepts unfettered texting, it is how to use texting in mainstream literature.
     
  7. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    The websites I looked at also covered that aspect. I ran across them looking for short story competitions to enter. They were all Uk sites not sure if its a UK specific thing or not.
     
  8. Alex_Hartman
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    Alex_Hartman Contributing Member

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    I kind of agree to that. I would think that it depends on the type of person the character is.

    Personally, I spell "you" out in a text. And then again, maybe it's a crazy writer thing...So if you have a crazy writer character, they should spell out words in a text, whereas my lazy friends would be the people with half-word texts. I think it depends, you might not really care...either way, you should limit the texts.
     

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