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  1. Roobear

    Roobear New Member

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    Speech

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Roobear, May 24, 2013.

    Hello, total newbie here, i haven't seen a thread yet that addresses the issue that i suffer with all the time with writing.
    This is speech. It might make me sound dumb when i ask but i've always had trouble with it.
    So when you're doing dialog between characters do i do a new line for every time someone different talks?

    For example

    "Blah blah blah" said John Doe
    "Blah blah" replied Jane Doe

    I think the answer is yes, but what happens when someone speaks then you follow with a paragraph and the end of it someone different speaks. Do i need to do that speech on a new line?

    For example

    "Blah blah" said John Doe. *Insert paragragh* "Blah blah" said Jane Doe

    OR

    "Blah blah" said John Doe. *Insert paragraph*
    "Blah blah" said Jane Doe

    I'm sorry if i'm not being very clear, i think that's why i've never been able to get it right.

    Anyway, if anyone can help me i'd really appreciate it
     
  2. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Whenever there is a change in person speaking, yes, you start a new paragraph. If Person A says something and the next paragraph is narrative which ends in Person B speaking, you need to use a dialogue tag or some other bit of narrative to make it clear that now Person B is speaking.

    Now, you're going to get other responses giving examples of authors who have done differently, where different people speak all in one paragraph and people telling you you can do whatever you want if you do it right.... Tedium. My answer presumes you are asking for what is standard. ;)
     
  3. blackstar21595

    blackstar21595 New Member

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  4. thirdwind

    thirdwind Member Contest Administrator Supporter Reviewer Contributor

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    You could also have something like

    "Blah blah" said John Doe.
    *Insert paragraph*
    "Blah blah" said Jane Doe.

    This would work better if the narrative expresses a different idea than the one in the dialogue and/or the narrative is about something/someone other than Jane Doe. Hope that makes sense.
     
  5. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    All the above people who made comments are correct. New paragraph for every change of speaker.

    I would like to add, don't be afraid to insert narrative into your dialogue exchanges. Opening a book and seeing pages and pages of dialogue, with nothing but 'he said, she said' to break it up, is just as off-putting to the reader's eye as pages and pages of narrative without dialogue. It's a good idea to mix them, whenever you can.
     
  6. Roobear

    Roobear New Member

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    Thank you everyone! It has all been very helpful
     

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