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Old 12-10-2011, 10:18 AM   #1
Spock96
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Putting Dialogue in a story.

Hey Guys,
I was looking over my story and a friend told me that I need to start a new "paragraph" every time someone new speaks. Does anyone know what that means/or how it should look?(sorry for being vague.)
Thanks,
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:45 AM   #2
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This comes down to style, someone speaking should begin on a new line, or at least when they are done, break to a new line or narrative.

Description of action or character attitude followed be dialog.
Reaction broken down on a new line.

Last edited by altworld; 12-10-2011 at 11:26 AM. Reason: Having a dumb moment
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Old 12-10-2011, 11:49 AM   #3
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Yes, you definitely need a new paragraph every time there's a change in speaker. That signals to the reader that a new person is talking and can help the reader keep track of who is speaking. It can be confusing if you have more than one person speaking within the same paragraph.

Grab a novel off your bookshelf ... any novel ... and you'll see exactly what this should look like.
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Old 12-10-2011, 12:29 PM   #4
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Thank you I'll try.
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Old 12-10-2011, 06:11 PM   #5
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I believe you're supposed to have 2 lines in between scenes too for the same reason. Otherwise one minute the reader is on board your spaceship for example and the next thing they're learning that they are on a planet without any warning.
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Old 12-10-2011, 08:52 PM   #6
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I'm stuck with that. And the story in general.
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Old 12-11-2011, 02:27 AM   #7
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On the subject of scenes, always try to keep the chapter you are writing concentrated on one characters perspective or one scene if it involved multiple characters. A two line break or the old favorite **** which indicates a different point of view coming.
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Old 12-11-2011, 03:46 AM   #8
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Two-line breaks don't work well in ebooks; if it occurs at the bottom or the top of a page, the reader isn't going to see it.
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Old 12-11-2011, 04:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crich70 View Post
I believe you're supposed to have 2 lines in between scenes too for the same reason. Otherwise one minute the reader is on board your spaceship for example and the next thing they're learning that they are on a planet without any warning.
If it's for an ebook you should really put some stars or blobs in there instead. Some ebook readers strip out extra blank lines, and you also have no way of knowing where the page breaks will be.
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Old 12-11-2011, 04:26 PM   #10
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Not for an ebook. I'm just writing it well...to write it. No real "format" in mind at this point.
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Old 12-11-2011, 05:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crich70 View Post
I believe you're supposed to have 2 lines in between scenes too for the same reason. Otherwise one minute the reader is on board your spaceship for example and the next thing they're learning that they are on a planet without any warning.
I dunno, I'd rather include some kind of transitional exposition, like "And then they beamed down to the planet..," or just break the chapter right there. Space breaks can be a bit of a headache in works longer than a short story.

It also depends on the POV of choice; in 3rd Limited Shifting you're expected to have a chapter break whenever you change who the narrator's following.
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