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3

The answer is easy when the pronunciation of a single letter or acronym is known to your readers. For example, we all had maths in school, we know what what a "variable x" means and how to pronounce it. In a case like this you can use the conventions familiar to all of us and write the variable name as it is written in all the school books of the western ...


3

Honestly, I have no problem with writing single letters or numbers in dialogue, particularly if they are acronyms. All the following look fine to me: "The variable x is greater than the variable y." "I liked the TM1 better." "I drive a Mazda 2." "But there is no MI-6!" "Captain, the Klingons are at 132 mark 47." "Captain's log, Stardate 8130.3." I have ...


1

Adding to the answers already given: 1) If your POV allows it, you can add humor or pathos (or both) by continually interrupting the blathering with the main character's thoughts. Those thoughts can be internal commentary on the inane blather, or juxtaposed seriousness. 2) When people rudely interrupt the blatherer it can be quite humorous. Think Archie ...


2

Remember the law of conservation of detail: When a detail isn't important, don't waste time describing it. When literal speech does not contain any information which is relevant for the plot, get rid of it. You can instead describe the conversation in an abstract summary to convey that the conversation did happen, but the content wasn't relevant. Switch ...


2

I agree with the two other posters and would like to caution you from always using correct grammar for dialogue. When people are talking out loud, they don't use it. Off the top of my head, this is an example: "Something I said?" he asked. "Every time, another complaint," she said. "Try living with yourself sometime," he said. "Comm Ave," she said. ...


6

First, show the character - the introduction should present them in detail, following the inevitably boring blather. Once the reader knows the character and their vice, you can start skimming, letting the narrator replace the actual blather ("after ten minutes of introduction and catching up on recent gossip..."). Keep reminding the reader, exposing them ...


0

When in a continuing, back and forth dialogue, use boldface everytime you reference the speaker in question (additionally you can secure good formatting by always using NBSPs per speaker reference): Sailor/Pirate: Hello, scout! Where are you headin', matey? Ziska: Oh! I was just walking along the pier here to look down at the water. Sailor/Pirate: Nothing ...


2

I've wrestled with this too. Easy part: If you're writing in American English, what the character is saying should be enclosed in double quotes ("). Whenever the speaker changes, start a new paragraph. I think the hard part is making clear who is speaking. It gets tedious if you constantly write, "Bob said ... Then Mary said ... Then Bob said ..." etc. ...


8

Generally accepted structures, which are used for clarity: Each time the speaker changes, you start a new paragraph. The speaker may start and stop, and you can have narration and action tags, but as long as that person continues, it can be the same paragraph. You may start a new paragraph with the same speaker if it's clear that the person is continuing ...


0

Here's my shot at this since the other one was a script and maybe you're looking for an example of prose which is going to be different. Also, as Chekhov said, (paraphrase) "if you show something in the first scene it better be important later." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chekhov%27s_gun If you have the radio interrupting then it should be significant to ...


0

I recently completed my dissertation where the main character was German. The advice I was given was that if it was a common phrase people were likely to know, (for instance, 'Sì'), use it. If it's a less common phrase, put it into italics and translate it or explain in the next sentence. For instance if your character asks, '¿Que estas leyendo?' ('What are ...


0

I think it can work very well, used judiciously. It adds color and a sense of place. I write many stories based in Mexico, and ultimately I took inspiration from Hemingway, who often included local-language (often Italian and Spanish) phrases in his works, such as A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Old Man and the Sea, and many short stories. ...



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