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Dialogue between two characters.

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Old 04-08-2010, 08:21 PM
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Default Dialogue between two characters.


Is is necessary to always confirm after one piece of dialogue, between two people and the reader is informed of such a thing, have to be confirmed with a tag right after? I mean, the dialogue could mention the name of one, so you know that they wouldn't refer to themselves in third person, y'know what I mean?

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Old 04-08-2010, 08:30 PM
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"Hi," Joe said.

"Hello," Bob replied.

"Are you going to the baseball game?"

"No, but I'm going to watch it on tv."
When you switch back and forth like that, it's saying that Joe is asking the baseball game question, while Bob is replying with the tv statement. No need for those extra tags. Usually, a new paragraph of dialogue means a new speaker. If you wanted Bob to ask the baseball game question, you'd keep it on the same line...

"Hi," Joe said.

"Hello," Bob replied. "Are you going to the baseball game?"

"No, but I'm going to watch it on tv."
Again, because the game line is in the same paragraph as Bob's other dialogue, you can educatedly guess that he's asking the question. The sentence below is now spoken by Joe. No need for tags after each exchange, as long as it's written clearly.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:18 PM
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And you could even do it this way:

"Hello," Bob said. "Are you going to the basketball game?"

"Hi Bob." Joe waved. "No, but I'm going to watch it on TV."
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Old 04-09-2010, 02:35 AM
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There's no need to have a dialog tag after each person's spoken, like Firefly and Cassiopeia mentioned.

So, just establish who the characters are and then avoid using the tags. The only time I do use them after introducing the speakers is to say a character shrugged or something along those lines.
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Old 04-09-2010, 04:15 AM
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Here's another one:

"I can't believe the Vikings blew that game!"

"Don't talk to me. Your Steelers didn't even make it to the playoffs!"

"Quit your sniveling. At least when we get there we make the most of it."

"You're such an ass, Gaines."

"That's not nice Firefly."
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Old 04-10-2010, 04:59 PM
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I just came in here on a lark, but I actually have a question about this stuff. I tend to create conversations between multiple characters at a time, and I was wondering how explicit you need to be in connecting the character to the dialogue.

Example:

Sergeant Taylor threw up his hands.

“We already know that!”
As a rule I always start dialogue on a new line unless I say that the character said it, i.e. "bob said 'yadda yadda yadda'". So my question is, if the character in question hasn't said anything immediately before throwing up his hands, is a simple description of his actions enough to clearly indicate that he is saying the next line? If it's not, should I bump the dialogue up to the same line as the action? Or should I just clarify with another "said"?
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Old 04-11-2010, 03:06 AM
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Well, if Sergeant Taylor is saying that, it should be joined with the previous paragraph in my opinion like so:

Sergeant Taylor threw up his hands. “We already know that!”

You only really need the speech tags if you think it might be unclear who's speaking. Likewise, you can have dialog interspersed with prose for an entire paragraph. You know: start with dialog, some prose, then dialog continues etc.

If you have an entire paragraph composed of mostly dialog though and the paragraph ends while the same speaker is talking and he continues on the next paragraph without any prose breaking it up, the punctuation rules change a bit.

While the example is far from perfect, it'll showcase how to punctuate it:

"I knew Bob."
He was the best."

At least I believe the punctuation rules to be like that. So, if I am mistaken (which I don't think I am), then feel free to correct me.

Edit: Actually, might have the " from the end of the first paragraph removed as well, now that I think of it. Trying to look it up.

Got it. Correct punctuation would be:

"I knew Bob.
"He was the best."

I knew it was something like that. http://www.iolani.honolulu.hi.us/Kea...ationMarks.htm
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Last edited by DavidGil; 04-11-2010 at 03:47 AM..
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