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scribbler1382
06-14-2005, 07:06 AM
Just came across something I have no idea how to deal with. My characters are having a discussion in an online chat. How would you format that in a manuscript?

Jonny Ryan Mac
06-14-2005, 07:29 AM
I think that mentioning in the begining that the dialog is ona computer is good for starters. Then instead of the he said, she said breaks,you can use, he typed she sighed and pressed enter type of stuff. That may work to remind the reader that the converstion is still online. But eventuall we will come to terms with the fact that two people are talking, like a phone sequence or a letter, and not really care what the medium is.

Hope that helps

arainsb123
06-14-2005, 07:42 AM
I'd format it as follows (this is how I've seen it in books)

[screenname1]: blah blah
[screenname2]: blah blah

etc. Except without the []

scribbler1382
06-14-2005, 07:46 AM
I'd format it as follows (this is how I've seen it in books)

[screenname1]: blah blah
[screenname2]: blah blah

etc. Except without the []
Yeah, that was how I was doing it, but the indenting of paragraphs was making the longer "posts" look weird in the manuscript format.

I like Jonny's suggestion of treating it as dialogue, too, though.

I know, I know. Just write the stupid thing. :)

arainsb123
06-14-2005, 07:48 AM
People don't generally chat in paragraphs; they break them up into small chunks, so you shouldn't need to indent.

scribbler1382
06-14-2005, 08:18 AM
Okay, since I couldn't decide, I wrote it out both ways. Treating it as dialogue definitely wins. Not only does it look better, it allows me to slip in prose between "posts", as you would with normal dialogue.

This is for a short story I'm working on. I might very well go the other way if I had the luxury of space to play around with, like in a novel.

Thanks for both angles, guys. I couldn't have decided without them.