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Old 02-12-2013, 09:50 PM   #1
megascribe
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Format

I’m writing a novel in a running first person narrative. However, there is also a descriptive narrative telling the reader what is actually going on – both in real time and in some instances the recent past. There is also of course the dialogue between characters in quotes both in real time and the recent past as well. My question is how do I separate the two narratives format wise? This is actually a screenplay being converted into an ebook for Amazon - I know, it’s backwards. If I were doing this in the opposite direction it wouldn’t be a problem. There are a lot of devices in script writing format to deal with this, but novel writing requires a much different toolkit.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:00 PM   #2
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in Duma Key I believe, if I recall correctly, King does some of this, but when he does, he has specific chapters of second-person to describe some paintings and stuff.....everything else is in first.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:02 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by megascribe View Post
I’m writing a novel in a running first person narrative. However, there is also a descriptive narrative telling the reader what is actually going on – both in real time and in some instances the recent past. There is also of course the dialogue between characters in quotes both in real time and the recent past as well. My question is how do I separate the two narratives format wise? This is actually a screenplay being converted into an ebook for Amazon - I know, it’s backwards. If I were doing this in the opposite direction it wouldn’t be a problem. There are a lot of devices in script writing format to deal with this, but novel writing requires a much different toolkit.
On Kindle you pretty much have only one typeface to work with, so you can't do it with styling.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:32 AM   #4
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Maybe I wasn't clear about I'm trying to do. I'm trying to figure out if I need to do something format wise, like add quotes or something? I think you can see what I'm talking about with these two paragraphs. The first one being descriptive narrative, the second being first person narrative.

Twenty-thousand miles above the surface of the Earth, a sweeping panoramic view of the Moon and stars slowly materialize before us. An advanced version of the space shuttle is hurtling out of orbit at maximum performance trajectory. A sleek and stealthily ingénue decked out in her sexy charcoal colored nightgown of radar absorbing tiles. We drift slowly through a small window into the ship’s dark interior. A military flight crew methodically executes a preprogrammed itinerary in silence, like a card trick rehearsed a thousand times. JOSHUA KANE is sitting in shadow following their movements, like a voyeur with a dispassionate eye.

No one knows where it came from. Some say from beyond the seven Sisters, but it really doesn't matter. In hindsight, I guess we all should have seen it coming. Rumors of the big lie have been leaking out for as long as I can remember. It seemed like everyone but the Pope was having a special relationship with an extraterrestrial or writing a fuckin' book about it. We were being groomed for the inevitable.

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Old 02-15-2013, 01:01 AM   #5
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Mega.

Based on your example in your second post, I would say to just write and not use any special formatting.

Also, when you have 50 posts, you can post your excerpts in the Share Your Work forum for feedback.
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:09 AM   #6
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Thanks, Sue.
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:44 AM   #7
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I'd say write it all in 1st-person, just filter the descriptive parts through the character's "lens". If the action goes away from the main character, consider 3rd person limited instead.
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