Writing Indirect Speech, Chatter, Narration

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Thread: Writing Indirect Speech, Chatter, Narration

  1. #1
    Member Sir-KP's Avatar
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    Mar 2018

    Writing Indirect Speech, Chatter, Narration

    Perhaps the title is a bit misleading. What I mean to bring up is that how to write indirect monologue/dialogue, such as speech over radio. Or even a surreal one, such as dialogue in dream, listening to hallucination, inspired by message from the past, or reading a letter with head-voice.

    Currently I'm writing them with centralized alignment (with italics). Is this the most correct way to deliver it?

    Merry Christmas.

  2. #2
    Those kinds of dialogue coming from outside the story I think are called an “aside.” Typically, you would italicize and indent as a block. You can also indent the right hand margin as well. Often, the font size is smaller.

  3. #3
    Generally speaking, you don't use central alignment for indirect dialogue. It's usually justified like normal text (to the left) and then put in quotation marks if it's written or spoken. If it's internal thoughts or unspoken reactions, it's italicized. For example, let's say I'm writing a scene in which a man is making lasagne and finds a letter.
    Bending down, Gary pulled out the lasagne pan and eyed it skeptically, noticing the tiny baked-on bits still stuck in the corner. Jesus, Lorraine, he thought. Did you ever think to wash this damn thing the right way? Christ. He'd have to live with it, though. There was no time to wash the pan and get dinner on the table by the time the kids got home. With a sigh, he turned on the TV and dragged out the pasta pot. He frowned as he drew out a half-crumpled letter from someplace that might be Springfield or Springberg -- the writing had faded a little bit and part of the paper was torn.

    His eyes scanned down the page. "And then of course after he's gone, we can..." he read, but the rest of the sentence had been torn away. Who the hell wrote this? Gary wondered.

  4. #4
    Centralized alignment would be more for text, like a letter or email, that is being presented in the story. My novel includes email messages that are centrally aligned.
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