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Texting Conversations : FAQs • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Texting Conversations

Frequently asked questions. Go HERE and read the first thread.
Laycrew
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Texting Conversations

Postby Laycrew » Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:55 pm

How would you suggest formatting a texting conversation in a manuscript? At the moment I have it all in italics. I just wondered if there was any other suggestions.

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DrG2
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Re: Texting Conversations

Postby DrG2 » Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:24 pm

I don't know if there is a standard form (I couldn't find one on my first page of google results).
You could always do it as dialogue, with the tag being: John texted.

If it's one short text exchange, that's probably what I'd do.

If I'm writing a short story as an exchange of texts, I might do something more extreme like starting them all with the name followed by a colon, and have one person's texts be left justified and the other person's texts be right justified.

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Re: Texting Conversations

Postby MookyMcD » Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:48 pm

I have a few texts scattered throughout my MS, so I tried to find the answer to this question. There isn't one.

I only had a few, scattered throughout. I introduce them with a colon after the attribution and they are all one sentence long, so I didn't end up changing anything for the content (based entirely on how it looked felt under those circumstances). I'd hesitate to use itals, because if you also have any internal monologue that could get confusing. I probably would have gone with an alt typeface if I were doing anything. Ultimately, if you sell it, it'll be dictated by the publisher's style guide, anyway.

Which is a pretty verbose way of saying I feel your pain, and I don't know either.

Laycrew
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Re: Texting Conversations

Postby Laycrew » Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:05 am


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MookyMcD
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Re: Texting Conversations

Postby MookyMcD » Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:23 am

I just scanned through my MS searching for the word text. It's in there fewer times than I even thought. Most of them were in the vein of, "He sent a text saying he would call her in five minutes and ran to the elevator." The one thing I noticed, though, that is different from your example is the tight POV. The conversations are nothing like conversations. My POV character will send a text and then do something or wait. The phone beeps or vibrates, and the POV character reads the response.

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Re: Texting Conversations

Postby Laycrew » Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:53 am


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AibreanShowers
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Re: Texting Conversations

Postby AibreanShowers » Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:19 am


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pls
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Re: Texting Conversations

Postby pls » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:26 am

I can't agree with "converting" texted conversations to italics. I make computer-speak sections look as much as possible like actual texts of e-mailed conversations (Facebook balloons are impossible to reproduce, and the left- and then right-justified layouts are awkward). Just use a san-serif font, indent about five spaces, and then truncate each text body about halfway across the page. Boldface the names.

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mammamaia
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Re: Texting Conversations

Postby mammamaia » Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:18 pm

use same font as rest of the ms, no italics...

just insert the texting 'dialog' as a block insert... and write it exactly as it would have been texted... showing the 'speaker' before each exchange:

tom: do u wanna go?
joe: y but will b l8

and so on... that's how it's usually done...
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Laycrew
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Re: Texting Conversations

Postby Laycrew » Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:44 pm

Thanks everyone. Maybe in this situation claiming ignorance would have been best. ;) I am probably a bit more muddled than I was to start with. Some of that is my own stubborness of what I like to look at even if the advice is sound. I'll be sure to get it formatted correctly before submitting though.

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