Dialog Separation


Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Dialog Separation

  1. #1

    Dialog Separation

    I have this paragraph:

    “Wonderful! My name is Yoko Asaki. I’m the landlord here. Let me show you around real quick and I’ll get you settled in your room. Follow me!” Without a second to waste, she turned on her heel and made her way down the hall. At a loss, I tagged along. “Since this building is so small, there isn’t much to show you. Those rooms back there were the kitchen and dining area. Down this hall are the girl’s rooms, as well as my own here.” She stopped momentarily at that last door on the left, placing a hand on it. “Feel free to come to me with any issue, no matter the time.”
    She smiled back at me, to which I simply nod in reply."
    From what I remember, you start a new paragraph when someone speaks, but if they speak again, you don't start a new paragraph. Is that right? Or should I split it up anyway? Like this:

    “Wonderful! My name is Yoko Asaki. I’m the landlord here. Let me show you around real quick and I’ll get you settled in your room. Follow me!” Without a second to waste, she turned on her heel and made her way down the hall. At a loss, I tagged along.

    “Since this building is so small, there isn’t much to show you. Those rooms back there were the kitchen and dining area. Down this hall are the girl’s rooms, as well as my own here.” She stopped momentarily at that last door on the left, placing a hand on it.

    “Feel free to come to me with any issue, no matter the time.”
    She smiled back at me, to which I simply nod in reply.


    OR, should I completely remove the dialog from the narrative?

    “Wonderful! My name is Yoko Asaki. I’m the landlord here. Let me show you around real quick and I’ll get you settled in your room. Follow me!”

    Without a second to waste, she turned on her heel and made her way down the hall. At a loss, I tagged along.

    “Since this building is so small, there isn’t much to show you. Those rooms back there were the kitchen and dining area. Down this hall are the girl’s rooms, as well as my own here.”

    She stopped momentarily at that last door on the left, placing a hand on it.

    “Feel free to come to me with any issue, no matter the time.”


    She smiled back at me, to which I simply nod in reply.
    "
    I don't really like the dialog and narrative all cluttered together like in the first one, but I don't really know to what extent I should separate them. Thanks for any reply.

  2. #2
    The second one. You start the new paragraph when someone begins speaking, generally only if it changes person though. So:

    "No. No way, you're not getting this." Jack caught his breath, clinging onto the vase.

    "No, darling... I always get what I want," Lindsey smiled wide. She pointed the gun toward his face, "Say goodnight."
    If you ever need a second set of eyes on your work, PM me for a critique! I'm happy to help Hidden Content

  3. #3
    I agree with using the second one, but for a reason that Bishop didn't state. When the speaker remains the same but they've moved on to a new thought, or the subject matter has otherwise shifted, it's okay to break that dialogue up into paragraphs. Basically, use the same rules you would for normal prose, but with the added stipulation that new speakers get new paragraphs.

    And don't forget to include a new opening quotation mark for the new paragraph; the preceding one will remain unclosed, though.

    "...cat on a trampoline," he said. "And that's pretty much all you need to know about the first topic.
    "Next on our list is..."
    Weird-looking? Yep. But, those are the rules.
    "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." - Benjamin Franklin

    "I do not over-intellectualize the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story." - Tom Clancy

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Bishop View Post
    The second one. You start the new paragraph when someone begins speaking, generally only if it changes person though. So:

    "No. No way, you're not getting this." Jack caught his breath, clinging onto the vase.

    "No, darling... I always get what I want," Lindsey smiled wide. She pointed the gun toward his face, "Say goodnight."
    You say the second, but then you say "generally only if it changes person though." In this sample paragraph, only one person is talking the whole time.

  5. #5
    “Wonderful! My name is Yoko Asaki. I’m the landlord here. Let me show you around real quick and I’ll get you settled in your room. Follow me!” Without a second to waste, she turned on her heel and made her way down the hall.

    At a loss, I tagged along.

    “Since this building is so small, there isn’t much to show you. Those rooms back there were the kitchen and dining area. Down this hall are the girl’s rooms, as well as my own here.” She stopped momentarily at that last door on the left, placing a hand on it. “Feel free to come to me with any issue, no matter the time.”

    She smiled back at me, to which I simply nodded in reply.

    The blue text corresponds to anything Yoko is doing/saying. The red text corresponds with anything the narrator is doing/saying. Generally, you separate paragraphs in this manner (by subject matter). I say "generally" because there are exceptions, but for the purpose of this thread, it seems like this is the main distinction you're concerned with.

    Hope that helps.

  6. #6
    It might come down to personal preference, but I don't like your formatting, Kyle. In my mind, "At a loss, I tagged along." is directly related to the preceding paragraph, and doesn't offer enough in the way of new subject matter to deserve its own paragraph. In the second instance, actions from both Yoko and the narrator are offered, and since the sentence begins with a reference to Yoko, it could easily be combined with the paragraph before.
    "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." - Benjamin Franklin

    "I do not over-intellectualize the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story." - Tom Clancy

  7. #7
    Well, it's good to see that none of you really have the same opinion...hahaha.

  8. #8
    Member A_Jones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    in the written word
    Posts
    938
    Generally what Gamer said. But there are other styles. Tolkien did some crazy stuff with diologue.

    Another thing is diologue wich ends in: she said. Ends in a comma not a period.

    "I love your blouse," she said.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
This website uses cookies
We use cookies to store session information to facilitate remembering your login information, to allow you to save website preferences, to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.