Author Topic: Formatting online conversation...  (Read 5428 times)

Offline koji

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Formatting online conversation...
« on: June 30, 2017, 07:08:29 AM »
My new work contains a lot of online conversations (chat rooms, pm, etc). I've been denoting them with italics. But I have a few pieces of inner dialogue I want to "think" which is traditionally denoted with italics.

So-

How do you denote online communication in your novels?

Offline mgmystery

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Re: Formatting online conversation...
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2017, 07:12:03 AM »
Since italics are stripped by a lot of programs, I stopped using them for online talk. I'm writing MG so I'm only using text messages but I use <text here> to offset the messages.

Offline Falthor

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Re: Formatting online conversation...
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2017, 09:57:58 AM »
I've been using justifications...   so sone person is left justified and the other is right justified...   gets stripped a lot though and then I need to work out spacing Etc. , in the end, it's totally up to you though.
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Offline Waterfall

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Re: Formatting online conversation...
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2017, 11:28:35 AM »
Quote
I've been using justifications...   so sone person is left justified and the other is right justified...

My last book had a fair amount of texting exchanges. I know that a publisher will do it however they want, but in Word, I did the following:

  • Use 11pt sans serif (Helvetica) instead of 12pt serif (Garamond).
  • Format one speaker's text at the left margin, with the right margin set at about mid-page.
  • Format the other speaker's text at the right margin, with the left margin set at about mid-page.
  • Use the border tool to enclose each text block in a box.
  • Use the table formatting tool to change the background of each speaker's boxes to a slightly different color, to mimic texting bubbles.

The folks who've read it found that it communicates quickly and "natively" as a text message conversation.

I do similar things to designate e-mail, when that's the natural mode in which a character communicates something.