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  1. #1
    Author Pendragin
    Guest

    Dialog to Narrative Part 2(Better formatting)

    I am posting this for the second time. This is the first time I have tried writing dialog without tags attached to every sentence. One person commented that I could place Narrative anywhere, so I am trying it here. I changed something's based on the comments I received. Here it is again:

    “Begin at the beginning and continue until you get to the end. Then stop.”

    “Alice in wonderland.”
    “Isn't that how it goes detective?”
    “I wouldn't know, I am not walking that path.”
    “Oh come now, detective Sawyer, you read kids books?”
    “No. My four-year-old niece does.”
    “Maybe we should all follow the white rabbit.”
    “Why don't we talk about kid's books downtown Brian?”
    “The Mad Hatter, if you please.”

    Brian stood in the corner of the room, on a crate, peering through a set of blinds, his face half illuminated by the lights flashing outside.

    “Ok, Mad Hatter,” Sawyer said inching forward. A few more feet and he would be in range. His face suddenly shifted directions, and she stopped dead in her tracks.

    “Don't you think it would be easier to discuss Alice someplace else?”

    “Why? I like it here,”


    Brian released the blinds and hopped to the floor letting the blinds snap sharply. Laser sites danced across his cream shirt as six swat members pointed fully automatic rifles at him.

    Brian stepped closer to Sawyer, and the swat members closed in around him. He maintained a vice-like grip on the detonator in his hand, leaned forward, shifted his weight like he was about to take a step, and then leaned back. His face beamed as the swat team mirrored his movements.

    The situation was becoming more dangerous by the second. As long as she had Brian's attention things were good. “It doesn't have to end like this Brian,” Sawyer pleaded, drawing his attention back to her, “Come with me and everyone walks away from this.”

    “Maybe it's not that simple,” Brian said, twirling around like a ballerina.
    Out of the corner of her eye, Sawyer saw one of the swat members' fingers reach into the trigger wield of his weapon.

    “All you have to do is give me the detonator.” Sawyer said, stretching her hand out.
    Brian began to back away. She saw one of the swat members muttering, with one hand to his ear piece. Her instinct told her that he was asking for authorization to fire.



  2. #2
    Author Pendragin
    Guest

    Re: Dialog to Narrative Part 2(Better formatting)

    I know that I should have placed the, "It doesn't have to end" line on a new paragraph. Formatting got jacked up. The last sentence has an error as well, I think. Mainly, my concern is if the shift from dialog to narrative is too abrupt.

  3. #3
    Jeanne Gassman
    Guest

    Re: Dialog to Narrative Part 2(Better formatting)

    Author P,

    Think of it this way: The narrative functions as a frame for the dialogue. If the action comes before the speech, then put the narrative first, dialogue second. If the action occurs after the speech, insert the narrative immediately after.

    Action before speech:
    Jacob reached for the bottle. "Have a drink. It'll make you happy again."

    Speech before action:
    "Give her the book." Roger raised his gun, pointing it at the librarian.

    In general, the narrative clarifies who is speaking and what action the speaker is taking. Keep narrative and dialogue together when they refer to the same person.

    You can also imbed the dialogue with the narrative:
    We scrambled up the hill and stopped at a ridge overlooking the valley. "This is the place." I grasped the flagpole and jammed it into the earth.

    Hope that helps.

    Jeanne

  4. #4
    Cathy C
    Guest

    Re: Dialog to Narrative Part 2(Better formatting)

    I have to admit I'm disappointed at the dialogue tags. This short of a section should have ZERO tags. But it's your story. I will say that the first eight lines really need at least the same amount of narrative as the following lines (actually, they need more.)

    But again, it's your story. Good luck with it.

  5. #5
    Author Pendragin
    Guest

    Re: Dialog to Narrative Part 2(Better formatting)



    Jeanne - Is there a right or wrong way to add action after dialog? Is there anyway to ensure that there won't be any confusion?

    Cathy - Cathy, the whole Idea was to see if I could get away with starting a story with just dialog. How would you have added narrative and dialog?



    How about the content of the story? Does it have problems?

  6. #6
    Don Daffron
    Guest

    Re: Dialog to Narrative Part 2(Better formatting)

    “Out of the corner of her eye, Sawyer saw one of the swat members' fingers reach into the trigger wield of his weapon.”

    I don’t know what a trigger “wield” is. Did you mean trigger guard? Cops (and soldiers nowadays) are trained to keep their trigger finger straight along the side of the weapon until ready to shoot. In this situation they would have had their fingers already in the trigger guard because this is a deadly force scenario.

    I think “members’ ” should be member’s because you are referring to one of the members, not all of them. Gary may say I’m wrong though.

  7. #7
    Author Pendragin
    Guest

    Re: Dialog to Narrative Part 2(Better formatting)

    No, you're right Don. I mistook it for a plural possessive pronoun. What you said about swat is true. I should have said, "Out of the corner of her eye, Sawyer saw one of the swat members tighten finger around the trigger." Or just taken that out all together.

    I am more concerned with the flow though, does it have some tension?

  8. #8
    Author Pendragin
    Guest

    Re: Dialog to Narrative Part 2(Better formatting)

    *plural possessive

  9. #9
    Don Daffron
    Guest

    Re: Dialog to Narrative Part 2(Better formatting)


    "Does it have some tension?"

    Yes. Could be better I think.

  10. #10
    Author Pendragin
    Guest

    Re: Dialog to Narrative Part 2(Better formatting)

    Better how?

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