New answers tagged technique
I agree 'freytag's pyramid' is most likely what he's asking for. The basic layout for this would be: 1:exposition 2:rising action 3:climax 4:falling action 5:dénouement. See Writing Drama: A Comprehensive Guide for Playwrights and Scriptwriters by Yves Lavandier.
When I am writing a manual, each topic has its own headline, whether the text beneath it is a paragraph, several paragraphs, a procedure, etc. If your subtopics can't support their own headline, then consider that they are really the same topic.
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 ...
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. ...
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 ...
As long as you make it clear to the reader where you are in time in relation to the previous scene, it's perfectly fine. (David and Leigh Eddings, writers of the Belgariad/Malloreon series, also recommend weather reports as a way to show time passing: "It rained the rest of the day" or "After three days of snow, we were ready for some sun.")
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