Formatting

Read our latest author interview on Flashes >>HERE<< .

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: Formatting

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Sofiya, Bulgaria
    Posts
    666

    Formatting

    Dear all,

    I've been writing for the first time and preparing my story for a betaread, but also to let some friend of mine read it.
    I haven't written much before and I have some issues with how to format it to make it readable. I don't want to send them walls of text that will discourage the reading.
    However, i.e. for conversations, I do not have a specific way of formatting it and I have a lot of sentences split up with actions and expressions that flavour the story.

    I can not find a solid solution for the formatting to make it reader friendly.
    Was hoping anyone has tips and tricks for this.. or some general guideline.

    A short example:

    Skat massaged the blackened, burned skin on his forehead as he turned to Gert. "Woert is sitting over there," he gestured in Woerts' general location. "It seems I might have actually hurt.. "He bit off what he intended to say as Woert got up and was took several big strides towards them. Even though Glima had always shown contempt for Skat, his Battle-Twin partner had never mirrored his dislike towards Skat.
    "I congratulate you on your almost win," Woert smiled, "I don't think you ever managed to hit Glima twice in a row. And in the face!" His expression grew more stern as he saw Skats lips curl into a smile. "It would be better not to smile like that when Glima is around. He is determined to make you pay the first opportunity he gets. He feels you made a fool of him."He sat himself down onto the bench next to Skat, the bench sagging down significantlly. " We all know how proud you Myln are." he tapped Skats' shoulder with his huge fingers, leaving painful reminders of his physical strength on Skats' upperarm. "Sosmall, yet you consider yourselves so important. Good thing you haveus Murn to keep you with both tiny feet on the ground." Thesmile returned to his face, he gestured towards Skat as he directedthe next remark at Gert. "Or in your case, keep them off theground. Shortly." Both Gert and Woert roared with laughter athis jest, Gert slapping Woert on the back. The bench both Woert andSkat were seated bent down dangerously as the slaps impacted onWoerts back.
    Gert laughed, "They do need some serious amount ofsupervision."

    As I have no experience and I see a lot of different options, I'm kind of stuck in this.

    Any feedback would be appreciated.
    Last edited by Ultraroel; April 11th, 2016 at 12:08 PM.

  2. #2
    I suggest that you paste it in again using the 'go advanced' button on the lower right.
    When you have done that, start a new line for a new speaker so that it's easier to see who is saying what.
    Then post it again. It will be easier to give tips on further formatting with that done.
    It probably won't be me as I'm going out to work in a minute.


  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Sofiya, Bulgaria
    Posts
    666
    That was my question, In the example posted, 3 people say something and the other parts are elaborations.
    If I do it as you suggest, the result is the example part of the original post.
    It didn't do much in chopping the wall of text, this is exactly why I posted the question

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Ultraroel View Post
    That was my question, In the example posted, 3 people say something and the other parts are elaborations.
    If I do it as you suggest, the result is the example part of the original post.
    It didn't do much in chopping the wall of text, this is exactly why I posted the question
    I guess it shows how much of a solid wall the text is if I didn't notice .

    I made a start on editing when I realised that the way the piece is laid out makes it an effort to follow. A reader would have to focus too much on figuring it out to be able to enjoy the story - or maybe I'm in lazy mode today.
    I appreciate that some writing styles try to avoid the 'xxx said ... yyy said' mantra, but it does have a place - particularly when there are more than two participants in a dialogue and/or where that dialogue is slightly complex. Both styles have a place, I feel, but I think that in avoiding dialogue tags, you may have gone a long way to complicate things for a reader.
    Perhaps mixing them in would help?
    Also, there are some spaces either side of quotation marks where ought not be any. This can cause a pause in reading while the reader carries out a double check regarding which text is in and which is outside the quotes.
    With your permission, I may have a crack at editing this tonight to show you what I mean (hopefully I won't be too tired).


  5. #5
    I'm not saying this is correct, or necessarily the "right" way, but a change in action can be a great place for a paragraph switch even in a longer dialogue. I made some corrections as well. Hopefully you get some more responses with this!

    Skat massaged the blackened, burned skin on his forehead as he turned to Gert. "Woert is sitting over there," he gestured in Woerts' general location. "It seems I might have actually hurt..." He bit off what he intended to say as Woert got up and was took several big strides towards them.

    Even though Glima had always shown contempt for Skat, his Battle-Twin partner had never mirrored his dislike towards Skat.

    "I congratulate you on your almost win," Woert smiled, "I don't think you ever managed to hit Glima twice in a row. And in the face!" His expression grew more stern as he saw Skat's lips curl into a smile. "It would be better not to smile like that when Glima is around. He is determined to make you pay the first opportunity he gets. He feels you made a fool of him."

    He sat himself down onto the bench next to Skat, the bench sagged down significiantlly. "We all know how proud you Myln are." he tapped Skats' shoulder with his huge fingers, leaving painful reminders of his physical strength on Skat's upper arm. "So small, yet you consider yourselves so important. Good thing you have us Murn to keep you with both tiny feet on the ground."

    The smile returned to his face and he gestured towards Skat as he directed the next remark at Gert. "Or in your case, keep them off the ground. Shortly."

    Both Gert and Woert roared with laughter at this jest; Gert slapping Woert on the back. The bench both Woert andSkat (maybe say they)were seated on bent down dangerously as the slaps impacted (maybe made impact?) on Woert's back.

    Gert laughed, "They do need some serious amount of supervision."

    Hope this helps!
    TeaLynn

    "Don't panic." Douglas Adams
    Hidden Content

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Sofiya, Bulgaria
    Posts
    666
    Thanks a lot both of you!

    Ofcourse you may have a go at it! Please!

    I will see if I can process this like this. As you have done it tealynn, How would you indicate a new paragraph?

  7. #7
    Tealynn did a good job with the formatting. I just noticed one other little glitch -- "Woert is sitting over there," he gestured in Woerts' general location. Should be: "Woert is sitting over there." He gestured in Woert's general direction.

    The second sentence is not a dialogue attribution, so it needs to be capitalized and there needs to be a full-stop after 'there.' You could combine them into; "Woert is sitting over there," he said, gesturing in Woert's general direction. But without the, 'he said', they should be separated.
    “Fools” said I, “You do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows
    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you”
    But my words like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed in the wells of silence : Simon & Garfunkel


    Those who enjoy stirring the chamber-pot should be required to lick the spoon.

    Our job as writers is to make readers dream, to infiltrate their minds with our words and create a new reality; a reality not theirs, and not ours, but a new, unique combination of both.

    Visit Amazon and the Kindle Store to check out Reflections in a Black Mirror, and Chase

    Hidden Content






  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Ultraroel View Post
    How would you indicate a new paragraph?
    If printing it, I would simply start a new line with an indent to indicate a new paragraph.

    For online or e-formatting, I would skip a line between paragraphs. Indents rarely work and the blank line is needed to break up the wall of text.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Sofiya, Bulgaria
    Posts
    666
    Thanks guys <3

    This made it easier for me to determine how to do this.
    Really appreciate it

  10. #10
    I hope it's okay to add this little teensy edit a few weeks late At the end of the first line of dialogue:

    "It seems I might have actually hurt..." He bit off what he intended to say as Woert got up and was took several big strides towards them.

    I always feel like a piece of dialogue being interrupted reads better when it ends with a dash instead of an ellipsis, especially with your next sentence stating that "He bit off what he intended to say". I think if it was written with a dash, it would deliver the message of being interrupted or biting off his own words:

    "It seems I might have actually hurt-" He bit off what he intended to say...

    That might just be my personal preference though! I agree that it's definitely useful to see the multitude of ways other people format their writing since there are so many possibilites.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

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.