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Hello, dear friends! I'm looking for an opinion from you all. The last chapter of my T/C series involves a one-sided telephone conversation, and I'm not quite sure how to depict it. Would you let me know what you think?

In an earlier chapter I got around it by having reactions interspered, but I don't want to do that this time around; I just want the one-sided quotes of conversation.

Here are the options I see.

1. Have the character's responses just be separate lines of dialog to imply conversation, like this:

"Yes, I agree."

"No, I don't see what you mean."

"Are you sure?"

But that makes it look like a conversation between two people.

2. Have the conversation captured in one set of quotes with the responses divided by my old arch-enemy, the ellipsis, like this:

"Yes, I agree... No, I don't see what you mean... Are you sure?"

If I do that, do I capitalize the beginning of each new thought as in the example?

3. Same as #2, but using periods instead of the ellipsis, like this:

"Yes, I agree. No, I don't see what you mean. Are you sure?"

But that makes it look like one complete speech by the character.

4. Same as #1, but using the ellipsis instead of periods, like this:

"Yes, I agree..."

"No, I don't see what you mean..."

"Are you sure?"

That sort of feels right, but doesn't appeal much to my eye.

5. Any other suggestions anyone might care to offer.

You do realize, I hope, that I feel incredibly, totally geeky for asking this! But I am curious.

Thanks for whatever thought you care to offer. Even if it's just to tell me I'm an incredible, total geek. Hee! :D



Mar. 17th, 2007 04:26 pm (UTC)
I like #3, but if you feel it doesn't give enough sense of time elapsing between statements you could try a combination of #2 and #3 with periods and ellipses, like this:

"Yes, I agree. ... No, I don't see what you mean. ... Are you sure?"

It may not be punctuationally correct, but I think it would clearly denote that there are words which are being left out - those of the person on the other end - which is what ellipses are meant to do, and yet also give the sense that the person who is speaking does finish his sentences normally, doesn't trail off.
Mar. 17th, 2007 04:46 pm (UTC)
I vote for derien's idea. It makes more sense.
Mar. 17th, 2007 08:49 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I hear ya. Just not sure i like the way it looks. I know; I'm too picky!
Mar. 17th, 2007 08:48 pm (UTC)
I agree; I think it definitely gives the feeling that I'm going for. But I just think I quite like the way it looks. I'm not anything is going to make me happy for both look and feeling!

Thanks for your thoughts on this! :)