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  1. #1
    Fiction Novels
    Guest

    "Chunking" dialog paragraphs

    Question...

    From the examples below, which is correct?

    Example 1:

    "What do you think?" she said. She was thinking about hard it is to organize dialog effectively in a novel.She bit her fingernail, then looked around.

    "Well," he said...
    (where the narrative for the first speaker runs after the dialog)

    OR

    "What do you think?" she said.

    She was thinking about how hard it is to organize dialog effectively in a novel. She bit her fingernail then looked around.

    "Well," he said. "There's a few correct ways to do it."

    (where you hit a new paragraph after the speech)

    Thanks! I've seen it both ways. Was just wondering.



  2. #2
    Mya Bell
    Guest

    Re: "Chunking" dialog paragraphs

    I've seen it both ways too. I think it's partly a matter of evaluating the overall pace of the passage and the relationship between the text and the dialog. Too many breaks and the writing feels choppy. Too few and the chunks get "heavy" and difficult to read.

    In this case, I like the first example, because the "What do you think?" dialog is directly related to the following descriptive explanation.

    --- Mya Bell

  3. #3
    Fiction Novels
    Guest

    Re: "Chunking" dialog paragraphs

    Thanks, Mya.
    I'm kind of letting my eye be my guide.

    I think in case 1 - it's okay to let it follow if there isn't a whole long paragraph after. A line or two is okay.

    It seems like whatever makes it easier to read on the page. And of course, keeping it clear who's talking and who's thinking and when it shifts POV.


  4. #4
    Jeanne Gassman
    Guest

    Re: "Chunking" dialog paragraphs

    I like the first example best. In fact, if I were critiquing this, I would move the narrative text up to the first speaker's dialogue--for clarity's sake. Otherwise, you risk the confustion on the part of the reader: Is this what the speaker was thinking, or is this another person thinking this?

    If you have a long section of narrative after a bit of dialogue, you can break the narrative into paragraphs. But keep the immediate references to the character's speech in the same paragraph as the dialogue.

    Jeanne

  5. #5
    jayce
    Guest

    Re: "Chunking" dialog paragraphs

    I keep reading this as "Chun-king" dialog...

  6. #6
    SpookyDude
    Guest

    Re: "Chunking" dialog paragraphs

    "What do you think?" she said. She was thinking about hard it is to organize dialog effectively in a novel.She bit her fingernail, then looked around.

    "Well," he said...
    (where the narrative for the first speaker runs after the dialog)


    "Well?" she paused. "Don't keep me waiting. What do you think?"

    Jarod stood. "It's okay. I mean there's nothing technically wrong with it. But honestly, I think it lacks flavor."

    "I don't understand. What is flavor?"

    The tension in her stance showed when she clipped her fingernail. Jarod felt relunctant to tell her the truth. He didn't want to hurt her because they've been friends for so long. But he knew that if he didn't say something now, she'd wouldn't let the subject die.

    "I...think you spent too much time talking and didn't show me the characters. Sorry, I know you spent a lot of time on it but I just wasn't interested in what they were saying. It was...well, boring." Jarod reached over and touched her arm. "Don't get discouraged. I do the same thing all the time. You just need to practice. I can help, if you want?"

    Ellen pushed away from Jarod. She hadn't expected her best friend to betray her. She wanted him to love her work. She knew it was good and had thought Jarod would approve. She didn't know what else to say or do, if he didn't love it, she wanted to just cry.

  7. #7
    Rachael Elg
    Guest

    Re: "Chunking" dialog paragraphs

    I think it is another one of those preference things, as both are correct it all comes back to what you like. I also like number uno.

    I always spell it dialogue--just looks better.

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