1. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    Two giant blocks of dialogue by the same person... issue or no?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by agentkirb, May 3, 2012.

    I've run into a point in my story where one of the characters has this giant monologue. I wanted to separate the monologue into two paragraphs to make it easier to read and to add an implied pause in the talking. How do you guys normally handle this? Do you just put the blocks of dialogue next to each other like you would normally? It seems really weird to me and might confuse the reader unless I added some kind of indication that it was the same person talking again. Do you add a line of non-dialogue to help split the two giant paragraphs up better (something I would rather avoid doing unless it's truly the best way to go about it)? I've heard of some authors removing the ending quote mark and that implies that it's the same block of dialogue in a separate paragraph... but that just seems too weird to me.
     
  2. Man in the Box
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    Man in the Box Active Member

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    I add non-dialogue. Add a sudden thought by the one doing the speech, something about the ambient, anything could work. Then you continue.
     
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  3. Edward M. Grant
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    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    That's the standard method for splitting a monologue into paragraphs. I rarely write speech that long, but when I do I split it into paragraphs in that way as I would with any other text.
     
  4. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    I do this too, if I ever have to write a long speech. It can be simply the speaker waiting for a response, then continuing when the listener don't say anything, or something like that. Or make him say a few things, breaking up the monologue and elaborating on a few things, perhaps. But the bottom line is it should be easy to read, no matter how many people are doing the talking.
     
  5. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    If you have continuous dialogue split between paragraphs, you leave the end quotes off the first paragraph, and put open quotes at the start of the next one - it might look weird but it's correct punctuation.

    I've done this before (character was dictating a letter) but it did feel a bit heavy going, so in the end I decided to break it up with a couple of lines of narrative describing other characters' reactions, or the speaker's movements. You can add it like a beat, or make it a more substantial description, but I would recommend breaking it up with something at least.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Covered in He said, she said - Mechanics of Dialogue.

    Still, if you can break up the long-winded speech, you'll probably be better off. Even if the character stops just long enough to relight his pipe, or to stand up and start pacing.
     
  7. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    I have seen this many times. Most of the time I would break up long stints of dialogue but sometimes this ^ just works best.
     

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