Tags:
  1. Starbuck
    Offline

    Starbuck New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2014
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0

    Grammar When dialogue ends and starts a chapter, what goes in between?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Starbuck, Jul 10, 2014.

    If I end a chapter with a line of dialogue, which is indented, and want start the next chapter with dialogue, how do I distinguish between chapters/mark the end of chapter? Do I just leave a space?

    If I don't mark the end of chapter, the reader will think it's the same conversation.

    Example:

    He said:
    – Yes we should do that.
    NEXT CHAPTER
    – Another conversation and more dialogue
     
  2. Annalise_Azevedo
    Offline

    Annalise_Azevedo Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Australia
    Usually I do this, I end with dialogue in some chapters and follow up with more dialogue from different characters but I usually end a conversation before I switch POV or chapters unless I want a cliffhanger.
    So it goes like this with my writing

    Character 1: blah blah blah (convo over)
    Next chapter (Chapter whatever number)
    Character 2: ... Blah blah blah (totally new scene and topic)

    But I usually put the chapter on a new page so it's spaced but as long as it's clear I think it should be fine. I hope that helps :)
     
  3. Catrin Lewis
    Online

    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,673
    Likes Received:
    1,068
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Yeah, that's the usual. No sweat. And if you want, you can also do a narrative bit at the beginning of the next chapter setting the scene. Like, say, if we know that the conversation in the previous chapter took place on a cold winter night, the first line of the next could be:

    The July sun blazed through the south-facing window, revealing just how dirty Alphonso's kitchen really was.​

    Or have it as part of the first lines of dialogue, as in

    "Man, it's hot!" said Alphonso. "Want some iced tea?"

    "Wow, yes," Annabella said. "This must be the hottest day we've had all summer."
    Or whatever fits your plot, tone, etc.
     
    Annalise_Azevedo likes this.
  4. Starbuck
    Offline

    Starbuck New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2014
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks guys, I guess I have to do a narrative bit.
     
  5. daemon
    Offline

    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Messages:
    1,361
    Likes Received:
    982
    When chapter n ends in dialogue and chapter n+1 begins in dialogue, I assume that they are different conversations, not a continuation of the same conversation.
     
  6. Starbuck
    Offline

    Starbuck New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2014
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Damn, I meant what goes in between paragraphs! I'm really sorry, english is my second language :D:D This is embarrassing...

    If I end a paragraph with a line of dialogue, which is indented, and want start the next paragraph with dialogue, how do I distinguish between paragraphs/mark the end of paragraph? Do I just leave a space?

    If I don't mark the end of paragraph, the reader will think it's the same conversation.

    Example:

    He said:
    – Yes we should do that.
    NEXT PARAGRAPH
    – Another conversation and more dialogue
     
  7. Catrin Lewis
    Online

    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,673
    Likes Received:
    1,068
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Oh! You mean these two conversations are in the same chapter? In that case, yes, you have to have some narrative in between them. It's called making a transition (a literary term I should have known long ago but only recently learned). Otherwise, your reader won't have a clue. Something like


    "I don't see it that way at all!" Robin said belligerently. "You want your own way every time!"

    "Well, if that's how you feel about it," said Rufus, glaring at her, "you can just go by yourself. I'm outta here."

    And before she could say another word, the door slammed and he was gone. [End of first dialogue.]​

    She didn't go to the party either. She sat up all night drowning her sorrows in Skittles and reruns of The Rockford Files. By the time her sister breezed in the next morning, Robin felt like a wind-up toy, and the only thing keeping her wound up and functioning was how mad at Rufus she still was.

    "Hey, Robin, which of these cleaning products do you want to use on the cabinets?" asked Wren, rummaging under the sink.

    "Oh, I don't know. The Super All-New Cleenzo? I don't care."

    Robin always scrubbed down the house on Saturday mornings, and Wren always came over to help.

    Yeah, it's pretty bad. But the point is that you generally need to use transitions, at the end of one dialogue, at the beginning of the next, or, as I have it, at both, to show that it's now a different time and place and a separate conversation. You reinforce this fact with dialogue tags and other narrative bits, so your reader knows what's going on.

    I suppose you could also make the distinction by putting in a scene break; that is, triple-space between the two dialogues, or stick in little symbols, or scene numbers, or whatever. Like so:


    "That's what I think, too," I said, nodding towards the locked door. "Should we break it down?"

    "No," Loren replied. "We should wait until Merrick gets here. He knows where to find the key."



    "I'm sorry," said Merrick, shrugging his shoulders. "That key was buried in Grandpa's coffin, and the family secret with him."

    "But don't you want to know?" I was incredulous. How could he be so casual about the locked room?

    "Yeah, Merrick," said Loren. "And it's not like we can go on ignoring it. "Krissie and I know something you don't. Something happened in there, and if we don't find out what it was, the whole family could be ruined."

    "Why not leave well enough alone?" our cousin inquired.

    "Because," I said, "we think it's still going on."​


    But I think the typical reader would find such a device distracting if you used it too often.

    However you do it, make it clear by what the characters say and do that these are separate conversations, perhaps involving different people. Some authors seem to go out of their way to be mysterious about such things, I can't imagine why. You want your novel's form to keep your reader involved in it, not jumping out and saying, "What the dickens is this author up to now?" Give your characters places to move around in and things to do as they're talking, and you should be fine.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014
  8. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,604
    Likes Received:
    5,877
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Forgive me if I'm confused what is being asked but to show a new chapter use a #.


    He said, "yes we should do that."

    #

    She said, "another conversation and more dialogue ..."
     
  9. Catrin Lewis
    Online

    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,673
    Likes Received:
    1,068
    Location:
    Pennsylvania

    Yeah. That little symbol. Though @GingerCoffee, would you use it between chapters or only between scenes? Or both?
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014
  10. Mike Kobernus
    Offline

    Mike Kobernus Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    127
    Location:
    Norway
    Would there not be a chapter heading? And all new scenes can start with no indent on the first line.

    I really cannot understand why you would not start a chapter with the chapter number.
     
  11. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    You start a paragraph just like you would any other paragraph, i.e., indent it. For example:
    You know that the speaker has changed because of the final quotation mark at the end of each character's piece of dialogue. Some people like to think that knowing when one paragraph ends and another begins is enough to figure out when the speaker changes, but this is an incorrect way of looking at it. You can have multiple speakers in one paragraph, and one character's dialogue can be split among multiple paragraphs. I'll illustrate the latter point in the following example:
    Hopefully this answers your question.
     
  12. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,604
    Likes Received:
    5,877
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    I would use it wherever something else wasn't. In an otherwise undivided manuscript, it would go between both. But typically one would have a title and page break for a new chapter, so if you have a title and a page break, you don't also use the #.
     
  13. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    You only use it to show a scene break.
     
  14. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,604
    Likes Received:
    5,877
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    You don't need anything but a space between paragraphs. It doesn't matter if it is dialogue or not.
     

Share This Page