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Feedback not wanted

grandad_rufus

So, I recently read a story. Not a bad story really. There were a few spelling mistakes and so on, so I sent the author some feedback.

So the reply I get ?

"Sorry cousin, but you get what you pay for.

I wrote this over four days and didn't do any real editing other than optimizing a lot of prepositional phrases and running through a real obnoxious spell checker."

Well shit - if you don't want feedback guys - TURN OFF the feedback button, then we know who doesn't give a shit

To all those authors who do appreciate feedback and acknowledge it - Thanks guys.

Dominion's Son

@grandad_rufus

I appreciate most feedback, and I certainly wouldn't object to someone pointing out errors missed by both myself and my editor.

I also usually try to respond to most feed back.

However, many of us get some feedback that no or almost no author would appreciate.

For example, I recently got this:

Lose the [A] and [B]. Will narrow
your reader base significantly if you continue as
is. Nothing makes me drop a story faster than [a]
and [b].


The story in question is an in-progress story that I am posting as I write it. A and B are in the story codes and have been from the beginning.

The reader in question, was somehow under the delusion that this was constructive criticism.

However, I was well aware that certain content that I fully intended to include before starting to write the story would find a fairly narrow audience. I am writing the story anyway.

Do readers who send feedback to complain about types of story content imagine that it would be okay to send a fan letter to Stephan King saying "I hate horror stories, you should write romances instead."?

Replies:   Switch Blayde  REP
Switch Blayde

@Dominion's Son

The reader in question, was somehow under the delusion that this was constructive criticism.


Actually, it is. What he said was if you do "this" you will get more readers. You don't agree with "this" but it was constructive anyway. Not to make your story better, but to grow your readership.

richardshagrin

In approaching authors it pays to walk softly (carrying a big stick is optional) and mention things they might want to correct, like omitted words, the wrong word (sometimes spell check corrects a word to the wrong word),or homonyms if they make a difference. To, Two, Too aren't nearly as obnoxious as principle for Principal in a story about schools.

Plot elements, flashbacks and flash forwards, the presence or absence of story codes used, are not normally things a reader should try to correct. The absence of MM code in a story with it is a proper thing to point out. Occasionally it is optional to protest cliff-hangers, but not to suggest they are wrong for the author's story. Its OK not to like something but not OK to tell an author not to use it. Its his story, if you want to use a similar plot, write your own and leave out what you don't like and add what he leaves out if you like it.

Or you can ask Lazeez to make you a reviewer and present your views to anyone on SOL who will read them.

Switch Blayde

@grandad_rufus

"Sorry cousin, but you get what you pay for.

I wrote this over four days and didn't do any real editing other than optimizing a lot of prepositional phrases and running through a real obnoxious spell checker."


Since you appreciate feedback, here's some. You need to begin the second paragraph you're quoting with a quotation mark. Not having it confused me. So the second paragraph should be:

"I wrote this...

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

Actually, it is. What he said was if you do "this" you will get more readers. You don't agree with "this" but it was constructive anyway.


No, I disagree. This is tagged for content and he added "Nothing makes me drop a story faster than"

Okay then, why did you start reading it in the first place?

This kind of feedback is pure assholery.

Replies:   REP
grandad_rufus

@Switch Blayde

As I was quoting a whole chunk of his email, I would argue otherwise, as this would indicate I was just taking snippets from his comments.

I guess maybe it really is two different languages separated by the Atlantic Ocean. As an editor and proof reader, I would not have called an author up on that, but if I did, and got a reply that was at least civil, I would accept their stance.

To be told to "like it or lump it", tells me the original author really does not care to improve themselves. That being the case, why bother to ask for feedback?

grandad_rufus

I would wholeheartedly agree on that, I view story codes as no more than a general indication of content, especially if the story is still being written.

Ernest Bywater

@grandad_rufus

That being the case, why bother to ask for feedback?


He wants people to send him emails about how great is is! I thought that was obvious.

Replies:   grandad_rufus
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


Actually, it is.


EDIT TO INSERT - To DS: I went back to your original quote. My view now would be below if they had said "I suggest you lose the ..." I agree it's hard not to think "Lose the ..." was intended as offensive.

I agree it was INTENDED to be constructive, because it was making SPECIFIC SUGGESTIONS - despite the inelegance, insensitivity and stupidity of the "suggestion" DS quoted.

I say stupidity because of the reader's assumption that every author should be seeking the maximum possible readership for every story.

I would try to make a presumption of innocence (of malicious intent) if a reader states things they would prefer I did differently.

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

Since you appreciate feedback, here's some. You need to

:)
I've seen some really picky stuff here, but ... Wow!
:)
Seriously ... I am not really comfortable as an editor in using the convention that the end quote is not used at the end of a paragraph when the next paragraph is a continuation by the same speaker. How many readers even know about this convention? If someone described it to me six months ago I might have suspected an April Fool's Day prank.

My concern is that the absence of something that's usually present is so easy for a reader to overlook, brains often see what they expect instead of what the eyes see, the result being reader confusion until they figure out the speaker has NOT changed for this new paragraph.

There are ways writers can help readers out to avoid this, and I think they usually should.

If the speech is very long there is no alternative to using the standard convention. I would suggest the first paragraph is ended with an end quote, and the next begins with just, "He/She continued,". My hope is after one continuation of a speech, readers would at least be aware it may be continued again.

With up to about four paragraphs I might try to eliminate the need for a dropped end quote. I would consider joining the first two and last two paragraphs, then starting the (new) second paragraph with a simple gesture and identification the speaker was the same, or just, "He/She continued,". It seems that combining two ideas in one paragraph is a trivial disturbance for readers compared to the potential for confusion over which character is speaking.

Do any others think this is worth doing when practical?
Any other ways of doing it?

grandad_rufus

@Ernest Bywater

Sad to say, this is an author with nearly 120 stories to his credit. Someone who I have previously read and respected as a writer. All I can say is, thank the gods that most other authors I like here are not of the same mind

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

I've seen some really picky stuff here, but ... Wow!
:)
Seriously ... I am not really comfortable as an editor in using the convention that the end quote is not used at the end of a paragraph when the next paragraph is a continuation by the same speaker.


My comment had nothing to do with the absence of the ending quote (which was done properly). It was the missing beginning quote in the second paragraph.

Nitpicky? I had to read it multiple times to figure out what was being quoted and what was being said by the blogger. That's major.

Bondi Beach

@grandad_rufus

Sad to say, this is an author with nearly 120 stories to his credit. Someone who I have previously read and respected as a writer. All I can say is, thank the gods that most other authors I like here are not of the same mind


It won't change my view of the author's churlish reply to know this, but what are his top scores?

bb

Replies:   grandad_rufus
REP

@Dominion's Son

"I hate horror stories, you should write romances instead."?


I wouldn't be surprised to learn that he received such comments.

Replies:   Dominions Son
REP

@Dominions Son

If the reader didn't check the story codes, he should have and SB is correct. If he read and ignored the codes, you are right.

Replies:   Dominions Son
grandad_rufus

@Bondi Beach

High of 8.84 and a low of 4.25 - usually mid to high 7

Dominions Son

@REP

I wouldn't be surprised to learn that he received such comments.


Neither would I, but I would be very surprised if such comments were well received or got any response other than words to the effect of "fuck off".

Replies:   samuelmichaels
Dominions Son

@REP

If the reader didn't check the story codes, he should have and SB is correct.


Then he's an idiot and while the comment might not have been outright malicious, SB is still wrong and it's a long ways from being "constructive".

Crumbly Writer

@grandad_rufus

To be told to "like it or lump it", tells me the original author really does not care to improve themselves. That being the case, why bother to ask for feedback?

We've discussed this in the past. Many authors (names held to protect the guilty), consider finished works done, and they reserve any further work restricted to new stories. As one of the few who continually goes back to tweak or correct older works, I can certainly understand this perspective. Each time I return to change a single typo in an older book, I'm tempted to rewrite the entire thing. A single word change will often become a three paragraph rewrite before I can constrain myself, as such changes make the writing style more inconsistent than 'improved'.

It essentially boils down to how authors view their completed stories, as continually evolving documents (I fall into this category), as finished text which they'll 'correct' to a certain degree (obvious typos only), or 'dead works' to be avoided altogether.

That's why, when contacting authors, it's best to suggest only one or two corrections, to measure their response. Presenting someone with a 35 list item is likely to generate a bad or delayed response, as they don't know whether you're a fan or a judgemental critic. IF they're responsive to the changes, then I'll send them more. If they're not, I mark them in my 'Do Not Contact' list.

People allow comments because, for most of us, this is our only form of payment for the intense effort we dedicate to the craft. Just because some of us don't want to revisit early works doesn't mean we don't want to hear how it impacted someone.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I am not really comfortable as an editor in using the convention that the end quote is not used at the end of a paragraph when the next paragraph is a continuation by the same speaker. How many readers even know about this convention? If someone described it to me six months ago I might have suspected an April Fool's Day prank.

How many people? Say anyone who's read a book in the last twenty or thirty years?

While they may not consciously recognize the guideline, I'd assume they're familiar with it, otherwise they'd continually trip over the practice, as it's a commonly used one in most published books, both fiction and non-fiction.

Avoiding it is the variant, not the standard. It essentially comes down to a question of, do you write for the most ignorant member of your readers, or those who read the most? Do you dumb-down your work, or aim for those who recognize what's standard fare?

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Presenting someone with a 35 list item is likely to generate a bad or delayed response, as they don't know whether you're a fan or a judgemental critic.


I got feedback like that once. Asked the reader if he/she wanted the job of being my editor. Strangely, I never heard from that reader again.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
richardshagrin

I don't want to be an editor. I tried doing it once, accepting that much responsibility just bothers me. On the other hand I like proof-reading. There is something about picking nits that fits my warped personality.

You need to know a lot more than I do about word-processing to be an editor and a sort of partnership with an author means adopting his world view, or at least the word processing software he uses, or he may not see your comments along with his text. And it tends to be a long term commitment. If you like that kind of thing, its the kind of thing you like. If you don't, you won't. Not everyone has the skills to be an author, or to be an editor. SOL needs both, but lots of us readers can't or won't.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  REP
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

While they may not consciously recognize the guideline, I'd assume they're familiar with it, otherwise they'd continually trip over the practice, as it's a commonly used one in most published books, both fiction and non-fiction.


I've seen it used in many stories by US trained authors, but I wouldn't say most.

The sad part is that quoting convention was designed for academic works and accepted for quoting political speeches, but was never intended for dialogue in fiction. But we've discussed this issue before, so I doubt we'd come up with anything new now.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

I got feedback like that once. Asked the reader if he/she wanted the job of being my editor.


I picked up two editors that way, which is why it now takes longer to go from finished work to posted work, but it's a cleaner version by then.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

I don't want to be an editor. I tried doing it once, accepting that much responsibility just bothers me. On the other hand I like proof-reading. There is something about picking nits that fits my warped personality.

Believe me, most of us (authors) like our nits to be picked. After all, social grooming is permanently wired into our DNA a long, long time ago. It makes sense that we'd take comfort in having others clean up each others messes (social, literary or otherwise).

As for using a particular piece of software, it can ease the process, but it's hardly a requirement. I have authors who edit exclusively using basic email (no html). I sometimes get confused over how to update each chapter to different people, but I still appreciate the feedback, however it's delivered.

That said, as the topic of the forum shows, not every author responds the same way! :(

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

not every author responds the same way! :(


That's why there are rogue gorillas and rogue elephants etc.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I picked up two editors that way, which is why it now takes longer to go from finished work to posted work, but it's a cleaner version by then.

That's how I've picked the majority of my editors. With fans who come to you, you know they:
1) understand the story, knowing what's happened in earlier books
2) appreciate your writing style
3) understand the specific genre

Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

The sad part is that quoting convention was designed for academic works and accepted for quoting political speeches, but was never intended for dialogue in fiction


I don't know why you say that. It's definitely for fiction.

If you don't follow the convention in fiction dialogue, you will have to re-identify the same speaker in each paragraph. Remember, dialogue that starts a new paragraph in fiction means a new character is speaking. It's this convention that indicates otherwise. So if you don't follow the convention you are required to have a lot of messy dialogue tags that interfere with the flow of the dialogue.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

I don't know why you say that. It's definitely for fiction.


When you read the early versions of where it comes from in CMoS they talk about making sure how you cite the source - something you do not do in fiction. It goes on about quoting from other texts and from live speeches.

Dialogue in fiction is not quoting someone else, it's the provision of speech to your character.

The fact you use the same punctuation marks doesn't mean what you use them on are the same thing.

You only need to re-identify the speaker if you're breaking up the dialogue into separate paragraphs, and failing to do so will confuse many readers about who is speaking in the new paragraph.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

That's why there are rogue gorillas and rogue elephants etc.


Rouge gorillas and rouge elephants would be funnier.

Replies:   richardshagrin
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

You only need to re-identify the speaker if you're breaking up the dialogue into separate paragraphs, and failing to do so will confuse many readers about who is speaking in the new paragraph.


A longish monologue as one paragraph could be equally confusing.

richardshagrin

@Dominions Son

Rouge gorillas and rouge elephants would be funnier.


Where would you apply the rouge? Human females put on their face, usually on the cheeks. Gorillas have hair there, and I am not certain if elephants have cheeks. On their face. They both have buttocks, but rouge is not usually put on those cheeks.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@richardshagrin

Where would you apply the rouge?


Rouge isn't just a type of makeup. It's also the French word for red.

samuelmichaels

@Dominions Son

Neither would I, but I would be very surprised if such comments were well received or got any response other than words to the effect of "fuck off".


Not that I claim to be like King, but I generally reply to even the least appropriate feedback with "Thanks for your feedback." After all, I asked for it.

I don't respond to the very few openly abusive ones, and, of course, the anonymous messages. Some of the latter are frustrating, as they are good and deserve responses.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@samuelmichaels

I don't respond to the very few openly abusive ones


The type of reply I am talking about, I consider offensive. It just pushes a button for me and pisses me off.

Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son


A longish monologue as one paragraph could be equally confusing.


It could, which is why when I have a very long dialogue I split it and use an extra attribution for it. However, having it continue as a second paragraph with the only indication being a missing apostrophe is asking for error, especially when they do it with short paragraphs, as some US authors do.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater


When you read the early versions of where it comes from in CMoS they talk about making sure how you cite the source - something you do not do in fiction.


That's because CMoS is not only for fiction.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

You only need to re-identify the speaker if you're breaking up the dialogue into separate paragraphs, and failing to do so will confuse many readers about who is speaking in the new paragraph.


Which is why the convention is necessary.

I don't know if I ever had dialogue in a story that went to two paragraphs. I don't have long dialogue. To me it sounds like info dumping (using dialogue to inform the reader of something).

Sometimes I do have the character say something and then do something in the next paragraph with more dialogue, but that eliminates the need for this convention.

btw, I do believe the missing end quotation is easy to miss.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

That's because CMoS is not only for fiction.


It's because it was originally, and still is, aimed at academic works likes text books and college essays. Because so many colleges use it, many people in the US thinks it's for everything, but it isn't.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde


Sometimes I do have the character say something and then do something in the next paragraph with more dialogue, but that eliminates the need for this convention.


That's the best way to do it. But I've seen some authors have three or four one or two sentence paragraphs of dialogue that didn't make sense when first read. However, careful study later shows they applied this convention on quotation to the dialogue, which was damn stupid in the way it was done.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

While they may not consciously recognize the guideline, I'd assume they're familiar with it, otherwise they'd continually trip over the practice

That was my point. It's been there in every hard copy book I've ever read, but I never knew it existed.
I have no idea how often I did trip up in practice because of that.
* * *
My question is: Given there are ways to use that convention much less often (as I described), is it worthwhile for authors to make trivial tweaks so more readers will trip up less often?
A little extra effort to make reading our stories a little easier: isn't that why we are all here?
I think this is ANOTHER way we can achieve that.

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

It's this convention that indicates otherwise. So if you don't follow the convention you are required to have a lot of messy dialogue tags that interfere with the flow of the dialogue.

To be clear, I'll use (a) 'obey', and (b) 'avoid', the convention to mean (a) drop the end if the same speaker continues at the start of the next paragraph, and (b) seek the minimise the number of paragraphs where the convention must be obeyed.

My view is writers should always obey the convention when it applies to their text.

My question, and I am leaning towards this, is should writers accept trivial changes to text so that the convention applies less often.
Are there ways of doing that which do not end up with obviously much worse "lot of messy dialogue tags that interfere with the flow of the dialogue"?

I think there are ...
* For very long speeches adding ONLY ONE 'He/She continued, "...' at the start of the second paragraph should at least alert readers this may be a long speech.
* With only a few paragraphs, combining a couple of ideas into one paragraph that would usually be separated seems a trivial cost to the reader - compared to the possible confusion of not knowing who is speaking.

I would never suggest an author add more than one extra tag to hopefully assist some readers in this way.

Still very curious ... does anyone else think it's nicer if it can be achieved at a trivial cost?

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

It's this convention that indicates otherwise. So if you don't follow the convention you are required to have a lot of messy dialogue tags that interfere with the flow of the dialogue.

To be clear, I'll use (a) 'obey', and (b) 'avoid', the convention to mean (a) drop the end if the same speaker continues at the start of the next paragraph, and (b) seek the minimise the number of paragraphs where the convention must be obeyed.

My view is writers should always obey the convention when it applies to their text.

My question, and I am leaning towards this, is should writers accept trivial changes to text so that the convention applies less often.
Are there ways of doing that which do not end up with obviously much worse "lot of messy dialogue tags that interfere with the flow of the dialogue"?

I think there are ...
* For very long speeches adding ONLY ONE 'He/She continued, "...' at the start of the second paragraph should at least alert readers this may be a long speech.
* With only a few paragraphs, combining a couple of ideas into one paragraph that would usually be separated seems a trivial cost to the reader - compared to the possible confusion of not knowing who is speaking.

I would never suggest an author add more than one extra tag to hopefully assist some readers in this way.

Still very curious ... does anyone else think it's nicer if it can be achieved at a trivial cost?

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

A longish monologue as one paragraph could be equally confusing.

A longish monologue as one paragraph is HORRENDOUS.
All things in moderation ...

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


However, having it continue as a second paragraph with the only indication being a missing apostrophe is asking for error


So are you saying? ...

Yes. I do try to do that, on a case by case basis of course.

EDIT TO CORRECT THIS EDIT TO ADD:

It was not EB, it was SB suggested (my paraphrase) ... I rarely use long speeches, and tend to interleave actions rather than tags.

My ideas of what to do seem like the 'sledgehammer approach', I appreciate that perhaps only a scalpel may be needed. :-)

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Dominions Son


A longish monologue as one paragraph could be equally confusing.


I went back and found some of the material on this I've referenced in the past. here are URLs and quotes from them relevant to this discussion.

http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/quotes.asp

Quote

The rules set forth in this section are customary in the United States. ...

Rule 9. When quoted material runs more than one paragraph, start each new paragraph with opening quotation marks, but do not use closing quotation marks until the end of the passage.

End quote

Note: she clearly refers to it as quoted material, and not dialogue.

At this site:

https://www.grammarly.com/handbook/punctuation/quotation-marks/1/use-of-quotation-marks/

they say:

Quote

Quotation marks are used to identify certain words as being the ones a person said. ...

Quotation marks always come in pairs; we say the first set "opens" the quote, and the second set "closes" the quote. Make sure the quotes are opened and closed.

End quote

typo edit

Replies:   REP  Switch Blayde
REP

@richardshagrin

You need to know a lot more than I do about word-processing to be an editor


I'm not sure what word processing has to do with writing and editing other than making it easier to input text and change what was written. When I first got into writing, it was on a manual typewriter. Changes meant retyping an entire page or often pages of the document.

REP

@Ernest Bywater

When you read the early versions of where it comes from in CMoS


Based on prior Forum discussions, CMoS was developed for a specific form of writing. The developers adapted 'tunnel vision' and just because they didn't address other forms of writing, doesn't mean that what they incorporated isn't applicable to those other forms of writing.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@REP

doesn't mean that what they incorporated isn't applicable to those other forms of writing.


True in many aspects, but this particular aspect isn't applicable in the usage being discussed. As I said before, the convention under discussion is for quotation, not dialogue - they are two different beasts that use the same punctuation marks (apostrophes), the same way the end of a sentence and a decimal marker use punctuation marks that look the same, which is why the problem with the name usage in some areas.

Replies:   REP  Ross at Play
REP

@Ernest Bywater

Quotation marks always come in pairs; we say the first set "opens" the quote, and the second set "closes" the quote. Make sure the quotes are opened and closed.


And the examples used were single paragraph quotes. Applying that rule to a multiple paragraph quote or to dialog could result in:

"dd d d d d d d.

eeee r ef E werf.

ed fwaej kkaf."

or

"dd d d d d d d."

"eeee r ef E werf."

"ed fwaej kkaf."

In the first case, it is clear everything is attributed to one person, but if the quoted material or dialog is extensive, the link between the two quotation marks can be missed.

In the second case, it is not clear if the quote and especially dialog is attributed to the same or different people.

Replies:   Grant
REP

@Ernest Bywater

which is why the problem with the name usage in some areas.


Your conclusion is confusing for 'name usage' in not what was being discussed and this appears to be the first mention of that topic. If it was mentioned earlier, I missed it.

Also, if you review prior posts, the overall discussion including your posts addressed both quotes and dialogue. You may have been focused on just quotes when you wrote the post, but . . .

Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

Not she clearly refers to it as quoted material, and not dialogue.


Dialogue is quoted material. Don't take it so literally.

If you want to be literal, an ellipsis cannot be used for trailing dialogue. The grammar books (and I'm sure CMoS) says it represents missing words in quoted material.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

CMOS specifies the same for both quotations and dialogue. Paragraph 13.30 states (my emphasis):

"If quoted material of more than one paragraph cannot be set as a block quotation (which is normally much preferred; see 13.10), quotation marks are needed at the beginning of each paragraph but at the end of only the final paragraph. (Note that each successive paragraph must begin on a new line, as in the original.) The same practice is followed in dialogue when one speaker's remarks extend over more than one paragraph.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

All things in moderation ...


moderation is a thing. So moderation in moderation. :)

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

Dialogue is quoted material.


No dialogue is not quoted material, it is new material you, as the author, are attributing to a character of your. A quotation is something said or written by another person you are citing. There's a big difference.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

CMOS specifies the same for both quotations and dialogue.


That's because they're trying to extend it into that area without having to change what they're saying. But the big clues to what CMoS is used for are in the Overview:

13.1Scope of this chapter—and where else to look
13.2Quotations and modern scholarship
13.3Giving credit and seeking permission
13.4When to paraphrase rather than quote
13.5When quotation and attribution is unnecessary
13.6Ensuring accuracy of quotations

They headings make it clear this is about citing the works of others.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Grant

@REP

In the first case, it is clear everything is attributed to one person,

To me it just looks like someone stuffed up their formatting.

Replies:   REP
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


They headings make it clear this is about citing the works of others.


Yes. Everything you mentioned (plus 7.47-76 if you read 13.1) are all ONLY for quotes from other sources.

The ONLY WORDS about dialogue are the ones I quoted in bold above.

I hate the damn thing, but if an author I edit for tells me they want to use what CMOS dictates, then I say that undeniably requires you to drop end quote marks from dialogue continued into a new paragraph.

Different question ... What do writers who do NOT follow the CMOS dictates do?

I edit for some authors who may not like CMOS dictates, but I don't know what others do.

* Do you simply have a series of paragraphs by the same speaker with no tags identifying the speaker is unchanged?

* Do you always use tags if a speaker goes on for more than one paragraph?

Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

I hate the damn thing, but if an author I edit for tells me they want to use what CMOS dictates, then I say that undeniably requires you to drop end quote marks from dialogue continued into a new paragraph.


If they insist on following CMoS you tell them what it says, point out how it may lead to confusion, and state other ways around it they may wish to use.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

Different question ... What do writers who do NOT follow the CMOS dictates do?


If you read my stories you'll see there are times when the main character is saying a lot or doing and saying a lot. I'll have some long paragraphs at times, not often, but when it gets to a point I think it should split into two paragraphs I'll pick a suitable natural break point and start the new paragraph with an action where I can re attribute the speaker. In one story the person is giving a long talk, they stop, and the new paragraph opens up with them having a sip of water and adding ...

...................

I go by the basic of an unidentified speaker being the person who spoke just before the last speaker. Everyone else gets identified, even if it's the one who just spoke.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@Ernest Bywater

I have found as a reader, sometimes the speaker can be identified by many methods. Where dialect is used the different accents can identify some characters even when they are not specified at that time. Others will be identified by other methods. I think the correct answer will vary depending on many different standards and variables.

Ernest Bywater

@docholladay

I think the correct answer will vary depending on many different standards and variables.


True, what is important is what you do makes it clear to the reader, at a glance, who is speaking and you're uniform in how you do it. The issue with the academic usage of dropping the apostrophe is it's so damn easy to miss, simply because it's never expected in a fiction story.

docholladay

@Ernest Bywater

True, what is important is what you do makes it clear to the reader, at a glance, who is speaking and you're uniform in how you do it. The issue with the academic usage of dropping the apostrophe is it's so damn easy to miss, simply because it's never expected in a fiction story.


I also tend to think of dialect as an effort to show the different accents as well as the regional oral language variations. For me that is what is so great about actually meeting people from different cultures and countries. Those meetings make for a great learning experience. A writer can sometimes actually show those differences through dialect. Dialect is putting spoken language into a written format. Problem is oral language variations very seldom matches up with the formal written language usage.

Ernest Bywater

@docholladay

Dialect is putting spoken language into a written format.


It's good when you can do it in a way people can understand it, but sometimes that's not possible. It also depends on all the readers recognising the accents from the way the dialect is written. Tha nues, it bint a'weys, doon. - hopefully you'll get the correct accent when you try saying that out loud, but not all will.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@Ernest Bywater

How true. I remember the first time I tried communicating with some neighbors from Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. Oral communication seemed impossible, but somehow we managed and I was lucky enough to learn a few things.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


If they insist on following CMoS you tell them what it says, point out how it may lead to confusion, and ...


... the ways I have been recommending are pretty much what Ernest and Switch would do.

Thanks, guys.

Ross at Play
Updated:

EDITORS get some nasty feedback too - which I thinks stinks when they've been ASKED for their OPINIONS, and do so on a voluntary basis.

I've got one.

I will not be the first to mention the name,
BUT if another editor ASKS ME "Should I consider taking on this writer?",
I will give them a two or three letter answer.

If they then ASK for copies of all exchanges on which my opinion is based,
I would send those off too.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

Different question ... What do writers who do NOT follow the CMOS dictates do?

I've always thought my works were too nuanced (wrong wring style) to be published by a traditional publisher, thus I've never bought into a single style guide (since that's the main reason anyone 'buys into' a particular style, because their publishers requires them to). As such, I've always picked and chosen between the various style guides, trying to be consistent about my mixed results.

However, I've adopted and kept the dropped end quote, simply because it's what I was familiar with (having read it in most of the things I read, both (older) fiction and non-fiction.

I understand Ernest's point about it, but his solution seems a bit extreme (to always wrap each continued paragraph in extra text to side-step the issue).

Since my stories tend to feature multiple extended discussion, where someone will make a point lasting several paragraphs, I've found the style useful. It's true, some younger readers may not be able to decipher the formatting, but I've had few complaints about it over the years (other than the discussions here about other authors disapproving of its usage).

In general, in my stories, (I trust) it's fairly obvious when a single speaker is winding up for a short monologue, as they detail a fairly complicated theory about something. In short, the subject is too complex to be contained in a single paragraph, so they simply continue. If the reader stopped at the end of the first paragraph, it wouldn't make any sense, as the person hasn't made their entire point yet, just a piece of the argument.

My editors do often suggest adding tags (mostly after I try to eliminate excess dialogue tags), where they say it's hard to follow who's speaking, but I don't get many where they claim they're unable to follow who's speaking in an extended point by a single speaker.

In short, I'm not convinced that readers are that ignorant of basic literary styles. Maybe I have too much faith in the reading ability of my readers, but assuming they can't fathom basic punctuation seems part of the 'never writing beyond a fifth-grade level' mentality.

If readers consume a lot of books, they're likely to have encountered multiple books which use this technique, so I find it difficult to believe they'd be stymied by mine.

Replies:   Dominions Son
docholladay

@Ross at Play

Heck I for one have tried to remember to ask writers to forward all story related comments and/or thank you's to their editors. I do admit I have failed at times to do that clearly. I do admit it takes writers, editors and proof-readers for many stories. So I can not thank just the one without thanking everyone involved.

Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

I have found as a reader, sometimes the speaker can be identified by many methods. Where dialect is used the different accents can identify some characters even when they are not specified at that time. Others will be identified by other methods. I think the correct answer will vary depending on many different standards and variables.

Good point. In my own writing, I've been accused of having everyone use a similar speaking style (big words all), but I prefer to believe that I wind readers up for the larger (several paragraph) monologues, so they at least anticipate it, though I have no hard and fast proof of this. I'm mostly going by a lack of complaints.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

The issue with the academic usage of dropping the apostrophe is it's so damn easy to miss, simply because it's never expected in a fiction story.

I guess I'll have to do research on this, but I seem to recall that MOST novels of a certain generation (pre-1980s?) use the 'dropped end-quote' method. I never had an issue reading this type of novel, so I'm confused why a younger generation of dedicated readers would be unable to figure out the usage.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

For me that is what is so great about actually meeting people from different cultures and countries. Those meetings make for a great learning experience. A writer can sometimes actually show those differences through dialect. Dialect is putting spoken language into a written format. Problem is oral language variations very seldom matches up with the formal written language usage.

For me, I seldom use accents, since they're generally hard to follow. I'll use them for select characters, but even then I'll introduce someone with a lot of regional language variants, then drop all but a few catch phrases to make the reading easier.

I remember books such as "A Clockwork Orange" being difficult to follow because I could never figure out what the main character was saying.

Replies:   docholladay
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

EDITORS get some nasty feedback too - which I thinks stinks when they've been ASKED for their OPINIONS, and do so on a voluntary basis.

There's always a question of compatibility between author and editor. Most authors have a particular style, and if the editor insists they change it, without sufficient reason, there's going to be difficulty. In those cases, it's best to simply part ways with the least mud and feces thrown at each other. It's simply a matter of 'incompatibility'.

An author needs to trust an editors judgment, and an editor needs to respect an author's opinion. They can argue why it isn't a good idea, and why it's likely to spoil the story and lose them readers, but sometimes authors run counter to standard expectations.

The exception, of course, is when you can't follow a short passage unless you read it at least three times. That's a clear sign you've gone amiss, and arguing that 'it's my style' doesn't cover for the fact that the story is largely unreadable. Readers may put up with it for a (printed) page or two, but if it persists, they'll toss the book rather than continue.

Replies:   Ross at Play
docholladay

@Crumbly Writer

For me, I seldom use accents, since they're generally hard to follow. I'll use them for select characters, but even then I'll introduce someone with a lot of regional language variants, then drop all but a few catch phrases to make the reading easier.


When just one or two words are used in a paragraph. The meaning can usually be understood from the rest of the text. If a writer uses nothing else, then readers will be lost. Since how many of their readers will have lived or worked in those regions, giving them the understanding needed.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

In short, I'm not convinced that readers are that ignorant of basic literary styles. Maybe I have too much faith in the reading ability of my readers, but assuming they can't fathom basic punctuation seems part of the 'never writing beyond a fifth-grade level' mentality.


Well, it's possible that readers are ignorant of the convention and/or fail to notice the missing closing quote, but are still able to figure out when a single speaker is monologuing from other contextual queues besides punctuation or dialog tags.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

it's best to simply part ways with the least mud and feces thrown at each other.

I agree with that.
I would not form a negative opinion about a writer no matter how daft their opinions were, or how strongly they stated and stuck to them.
Abuse for doing exactly as I've been asked to do, and made clear I would do, is an entirely different thing.

Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

Different question ... What do writers who do NOT follow the CMOS dictates do?


It's not CMoS. It's a punctuation rule. Here's an article on Wikipedia that will tell you more than you want to know about quotation marks, including its history and differences between American and British conventions — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quotation_marks_in_English — It has nothing to do with CMoS. From the article:

In most cases, quotations that span multiple paragraphs should be set as block quotations, and thus do not require quotation marks. Quotation marks are used for multiple-paragraph quotations in some cases, especially in narratives. The convention in English is to give opening quotation marks to the first and each subsequent paragraph, using closing quotation marks only for the final paragraph of the quotation, as in the following example from Pride and Prejudice:

The letter was to this effect:

"My dear Lizzy,

"I wish you joy. If you love Mr. Darcy half as well as I do my dear Wickham, you must be very happy. It is a great comfort to have you so rich, and when you have nothing else to do, I hope you will think of us. I am sure Wickham would like a place at court very much, and I do not think we shall have quite money enough to live upon without some help. Any place would do, of about three or four hundred a year; but however, do not speak to Mr. Darcy about it, if you had rather not.

"Yours, etc."


Ernest, note the following:

In most cases, quotations that span multiple paragraphs should be set as block quotations, and thus do not require quotation marks


So for academic quoting, the convention doesn't usually apply because you use blockquote. The example they give is from a novel.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

In most cases, quotations that span multiple paragraphs should be set as block quotations, and thus do not require quotation marks

Alas, that advice, just as Ernest earlier suggested about dropping the final quotation, is generally relegated to non-fictional, news story reporting, rather than fictional uses. In that case, the "quoted" material is listed without either opening or closing quotes.

We need some research concerning how many (what percentage) of modern fiction(both American and British English) are published using the "drop the final quote" method. I know I've seen it in fiction (as you example demonstrates), but I have no clue how often it occurs.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

Just read the quoted Wikipedia passage, and it was uniformly uninformative. It barely addressed continuing paragraphs and gave no context as to when it's use is appropriate (ex: fictional or non-fiction works), or it's regional acceptance or timeframe of usage (is it still widely used or not).

richardshagrin

The mention of feces reminded me of the Old Guard at Waterloo, and what its commander said when asked to surrender. "Merde" which I believe is French for feces, or maybe "Shit no!" His editor put it in the history books as "the old guard dies but does not surrender."

I don't know whether to praise the editor in this case or not.

The most famous quote of the battle of the bulge was from the 101st's acting commander, Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe. When confronted with a written request from German General Luttwitz for the surrender of Bastogne, his reply was one word: "NUTS!" (the commander of the 327th GIR interpreted it to the German truce party as "Go to hell!"). In this case I disagree with the editor, although I understand the need to communicate a negative response.

Any other famous editor revised comments welcomed.

REP

@Grant

Yeah. I was using What If examples. Both look totally weird to me.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

Alas, that advice, just as Ernest earlier suggested about dropping the final quotation, is generally relegated to non-fictional, news story reporting, rather than fictional uses.


That was my point. To say the rule stated in CMoS is only for academia is not correct. Non-fiction typically uses the blockquote. Fiction, that is dialogue, uses this convention.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

Just read the quoted Wikipedia passage, and it was uniformly uninformative. It barely addressed continuing paragraphs and gave no context as to when it's use is appropriate (ex: fictional or non-fiction works)


The article is about the quotation mark. What we're discussing is a small part of how the question mark is used, but I thought it was clear how to do it.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

but I thought it was clear how to do it.


But it is unclear about when and why which are actually more important than how.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Dominions Son


But it is unclear about when and why which are actually more important than how.


It states when to use quotes, such as, quotations and speech, ironies, titles, etc.

And when it's "quotations and speech" it tells you how.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


It states when to use quotes, such as, quotations and speech, ironies, titles, etc.


That is far too generic to be useful for the discussion at hand, namely multi paragraph monologues in fiction.

Edited to add:

It also still completely ignores why.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Dominions Son


That is far too generic to be useful for the discussion at hand, namely multi paragraph monologues in fiction.


It gave specific information for block quoting and regular quoting with multi-paragraphs. Are we reading the same article?

There are other articles concentrating on the why. Basically, it's to inform the reader the character speaking didn't change.

In fiction, you start a new character's dialogue in a new paragraph. That's why once you establish who's speaking (in a 2-person dialogue) you don't need any more dialogue tags.

So if you start a new paragraph, the reader will assume it's a new character speaking. If it's not, you have to let the reader know. That's the why.

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

It gave specific information for block quoting and regular quoting with multi-paragraphs. Are we reading the same article?


How, but did not really go into when regular quoting is more appropriate than blocks quoting and did not discuss why at all.

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

So if you start a new paragraph, the reader will assume it's a new character speaking. If it's not, you have to let the reader know. That's the why.


There is more than one method for letting the reader know that it's still the same speaker. The why has to cover why this method and not some other.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son


There is more than one method for letting the reader know that it's still the same speaker. The why has to cover why this method and not some other.


The "why" in this case is why you don't have the ending quotation mark. They aren't talking about how to avoid needing that (other than the blockquote). It wasn't about writing fiction or dialogue in fiction. It was about the quotation mark.

Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

How, but did not really go into when regular quoting is more appropriate than blocks quoting and did not discuss why at all.


The reason I referenced the Wikipedia article was for Ernest's benefit. First, it was not CMoS. Second, it said for quoting someone, like in non-fiction, you typically do it with a blockquote. Ernest thought the rule was only for academia (which was like non-fiction). And, third, they used a novel as an example.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

so I'm confused why a younger generation of dedicated readers would be unable to figure out the usage.


Not sure, but I suspect a large part of it is related to media. One of the reasons I buy proof print copies of my books is to read them on paper, and I often find some things I missed on the screen stand out on the paper.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

So for academic quoting, the convention doesn't usually apply because you use blockquote. The example they give is from a novel.


Switch the example you show in the post is them displaying a letter in the story, not a section of dialogue. And the best way to show a document in a story is to blockquote it, thus showing what it is. In such situation I usually don't use apostrophes with it.

When a newspaper or magazine article or a text book was quoting from a long speech by a politician such as Lincoln's Gettysburg Address I'd expect to see the dropped apostrophe convention used, and I'd expect to see a citation preceding it like, At the meeting in the town hall, Mayor Smith had a lot to say, ... then go into the speech.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


[it] gave no context as to when it's use is appropriate ... or it's regional acceptance or timeframe


That suggests to me it is and has been the correct convention for everyone, everywhere, for a long time.

Only remaining question is whether authors of fiction should find ways to eliminate or reduce the frequency they are required to use it - because it is really easy for readers to miss.

Two experienced authors, SB & EB, both say they try to achieve that, and have explained how above.

To SB: Thank you for your effort to clarify the facts about this convention. May I suggest further comments from you now would be counterproductive - that suggests there might be something left that warrants some discussion - there is not.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

moderation is a thing. So moderation in moderation. :)

Well ... Yes! ... even moderation in moderation.
That must be because, obviously, the passionate pursuit of impossible personal projects must leave no pebble unpestered.

Ernest Bywater

@Ernest Bywater

No dialogue is not quoted material, it is new material you, as the author, are attributing to a character of your. A quotation is something said or written by another person you are citing. There's a big difference.


To emphasis this below are the definitions from the Miriam-Websters On-line Dictionary The symbols or punctuation marks used are properly known as a single apostrophe ' or a double apostrophe " and we use a verbal shortcut of quotation marks because that's where they get the most use in day to day publications like newspapers.

...............

Simple Definition of quote

: to repeat (something written or said by another person) exactly

: to write or say the exact words of (someone)

: to write or say a line or short section from (a piece of writing or a speech)

Full Definition of quote
quoted quoting

transitive verb

1 a : to speak or write (a passage) from another usually with credit acknowledgment
b : to repeat a passage from especially in substantiation or illustration
c : borrow 2a

2 : to cite in illustration

3 a : to state (the current price or bid-offer spread) for a commodity, stock, or bond
b : to give exact information on

4 : to set off by quotation marks

intransitive verb

: to inform a hearer or reader that matter following is quoted

...............

Simple Definition of quotation

: something that a person says or writes that is repeated or used by someone else in another piece of writing or a speech

: the act of using quotations in a piece of writing or a speech

: a written statement of how much money a particular job will cost to do

Full Definition of quotation

1 : something that is quoted; especially : a passage referred to, repeated, or adduced

2 a : the act or process of quoting
b (1) : the naming or publishing of current bids and offers or prices of securities or commodities
(2) : the bids, offers, or prices so named or published; especially : the highest bid and lowest offer for a particular security in a given market at a given time

............................

Simple Definition of dialogue

:the things that are said by the characters in a story, movie, play, etc.

: a discussion or series of discussions that two groups or countries have in order to end a disagreement

: a conversation between two or more people

Full Definition of dialogue

1 : a written composition in which two or more characters are represented as conversing

2 a : a conversation between two or more persons; also : a similar exchange between a person and something else (as a computer)
b : an exchange of ideas and opinions < organized a series of dialogues on human rights >
c : a discussion between representatives of parties to a conflict that is aimed at resolution < a constructive dialogue between loggers and environmentalists >

3 : the conversational element of literary or dramatic composition < very little dialogue in this film >

4 : a musical composition for two or more parts suggestive of a conversation

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

Yes, I know dialogue and quotes are different.

I have NEVER seen any reference suggesting any alternative way to punctuate either quotes or dialogue extending over multiple paragraphs within narratives.

I have NEVER seen any reference suggesting there are any differences between the ways they should be punctuated.

I have FOUND one reference (CMOS) that explicitly states the "same practice" is used for BOTH.

If any alternative convention does exist (for either) I would very much like to know what it is.

Until then I will advise the authors I edit for:

(1) If you use multiple paragraph quotes or dialogue follow Jane Austen's example for punctuating them; but

(2) My recommendation is prefer to find ways of not needing to use them because - experienced writers on SoL forums all seem to agree the absence of a punctuation mark that is usually present is easy for readers to miss - it may reduce confusion who do miss them (until they work out from context the same speaker must be continuing on).

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Ross at Play


I have NEVER seen any reference suggesting there an alternative way to punctuating of either quotes or dialogue extending over multiple paragraphs within narratives.


There are a number of ways of showing multiple paragraph quotations with the two most common being the block quote method and the dropped apostrophe method.

The problem under discussion is where people take the lazy way out to apply the quotation rules to dialogue, and the quotation dropped apostrophe option does lead to confusion because it isn't expected by every reader. The process works with quotations in the normal usage of academic works and newspapers because the Dialogue Rule of a new paragraph for a new speaker doesn't apply. But, this rule does apply in fiction dialogue, and thus people expect a new paragraph to be a new speaker, so you need to be clear to show it is the same speaker, and dropping the apostrophe doesn't always make it clear due to it being unexpected.

The Jane Austen example in the link from wikipedia is a quotation link not a dialogue link, because it's quoting a document, not a piece of dialogue.

Replies:   Ross at Play  REP
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

I was not considering "block quotes".

The ONLY problem here is you keep on insisting the punctuation of quotes and dialogue is different.

I have NEVER SEEN that suggested by anyone else but you.

If you have any quote from anyone else who thinks that I will be grateful to see. If not, please stop harassing me on this point.

Replies:   Grant  Ernest Bywater
Grant

@Ross at Play

I have NEVER SEEN that suggested by anyone else but you.

OK, i'll say it then.
Quotes & dialogue are different things, and so the punctuation for them is different.

Ross at Play

@Grant

No doubt they ARE DIFFERENT.
How would you punctuate them differently (if block quotes are not an option)?
Do you have any sources that support what you do?
***
And my view REMAINS, authors of fiction should do everything possible to avoid multiple paragraphs of dialogue by one speaker without tags for each new paragraph. I DESPISE USING THIS DAMN CONVENTION.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

The ONLY problem here is you keep on insisting the punctuation of quotes and dialogue is different.


They are different functions and have different names and definitions, as stated in the post about the dictionary. They are two different functions used for different purposes - that's obvious from the start, and is strengthened with the dictionary definitions.

Where the problem comes in is the punctuation symbols being used have multiple uses, and when people started to take verbal shortcuts they blurred the lines. Early style manuals don't mention dialogue at all, and the later ones have them stuck on the end of some areas simply because they use the same punctuation mark. You don't see instructions on using a new paragraph for each speaker in quotations, simply because quotations will quote each separately with a separate citation.

Here's some style rules on dialogue:

https://blog.udemy.com/english-conversation-dialogues/

Dialogue Grammar Recap

Put quotation marks around the words that actually come out of a person's mouth.
Punctuation goes inside the quotation marks.
Use commas or periods after dialogue tags depending on where they are in the sentence.
Capitalize the first word of what the person says.
Start a new paragraph each time a person speaks.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

Okay, I have that.
It contains a suggestion of another way TO AVOID the need to use the convention (which I strongly support). That would be very long speeches might be broken up with a simple "Huh." or "Really?" from the other speaker in an exchange.
It says nothing about what to do if the one speech does go on and on.
It appears to me to suggest it is simply verbotten to have two paragraphs in a row by the same speaker without a tag on the second showing the speaker is the same, i.e. you are not allowed to write dialogue in a way that would require this convention if it was a quotation instead.
Can you explain how you interpret it differently if you do not see it suggests that.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

It appears to me to suggest it is simply verbotten to have two paragraphs in a row by the same speaker without a tag on the second showing the speaker is the same, i.e. you are not allowed to write dialogue in a way that would require this convention if it was a quotation instead.
Can you explain how you interpret it differently if you do not see it suggests that.


Ross,

One of my overriding rules about writing is to make it clear what's in the story, and dialogue is the one area where you can have issues due to the application of a style rule that isn't intended for it.

Now, I don't say you can't have a multiple paragraph dialogue, there are times where I do have multiple paragraph dialogues in my stories. What I do say is the quotation rule of a dropped apostrophe is not the way to go about it. There are two main ways to do this with clarity:

1. Have another person interject something so you use the alternating speaker style rule of dialogue.

2. Have a way to re-identify the speaker at the start of the new paragraph to show it's the same person. This is my preferred technique. Depending upon the scene, I'll tag the speaker with an appropriate action - common ones are having them have a drink, or turn to address a specific person, or have them move. It also helps if you have the character doing things during a long dialogue.

Example: In the opening of The Contagion I've a 630 word briefing by the admiral over 4 paragraphs, 3 of them open up with actions to show he's still speaking.

2.a. Related to this is where you have the one person doing something and speaking to multiple people at once, thus you have a long paragraph with a number of dialogue sentences, such as when a person is in charge and giving orders to multiple people. You mix actions and dialogue together.

......................

I can't see any other way to be clear in showing long dialogues from a single speaker without re-identifying the speaker, or reverting to the alternate speaker method. There is no clear English usage rule on the matter either way, which is why there's problems when someone wants to apply a style rule for quotations to dialogue.

.................

The one thing you do not do but many of those using the dropped apostrophe method do, is to have multiple paragraph dialogues with short paragraphs. I've seen up to five paragraphs of one or two short sentences by the one speaker by an author from the USA. This is so wrong it's not funny. If the paragraphs are that short, they can easily be melded together into one, and the convention not used at all.

.............

I could be wrong, but I get the feeling you understand what I'm saying, but are seeking a more simplified accounting for others to read.

Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

I could be wrong, but I get the feeling you understand what I'm saying, but are seeking a more simplified accounting for others to read.

NOT QUITE.
It's pretty much EXACTLY what I've been saying all along ..
and I've been seeking you to shup up with nonsense that quotes and dialogue are punctuated differently.
They are punctuated exactly the same,
ONLY writers of fiction should do everything possible to AVOID using the convention.
* * *
Just how far I'd push it I may differ slightly. For a 630 word briefing by an admiral I might start the second paragraph with "The audience settled back knowing they were going to be bored shitless. The admiral continued ...
Then I might this damn bloody confusing convention.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Grant


OK, i'll say it then.

Quotes & dialogue are different things, and so the punctuation for them is different.


They are the same.

You're putting someone's words in quotes. In fiction, it's the words of a character. In a newspaper article, it may be the words of a politician.

FICTION:

John looked at me and said, "I'm going to the doctor."

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE:

When asked about Obamacare, President Obama said, "You will be able to keep your own doctor."

Why are those two quotes different? They're not.

EDITED TO ADD:
And in an academic report you might be quoting a section of a scientist's study. Why is that different than the Pride and Prejudice example of them quoting a letter in fiction?

REP

@Ernest Bywater

the dropped apostrophe method


I've never heard of this method and internet searches didn't find it. I found information relevant to quotations on dropped quotes, but not dropped apostrophes.

What is this method?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

I've been seeking you to shup up with nonsense that quotes and dialogue are punctuated differently.
They are punctuated exactly the same,


On that, we'll haev to agree to disagree, because they are two different functions and there are things you can do with the presentation of a quotation you can't do with dialogue; one is the block quote options, and the other is the dropped apostrophe option, and a third is the prior paragraph citation option.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

You're putting someone's words in quotes. In fiction, it's the words of a character. In a newspaper article, it may be the words of a politician.


A quotation is where you quote the words (spoken or written) of another living person, while dialogue in fiction is where you put down your own words you're attributing to a character in the story. Because the second is your own words it's not a quotation, as per the dictionary.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

And in an academic report you might be quoting a section of a scientist's study. Why is that different than the Pride and Prejudice example of them quoting a letter in fiction?


I never said you couldn't use the block quote for a document in fiction, in fact, I've said you can, and should.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

What is this method?


The punctuation mark used when indicating a quote or dialogue is either a single apostrophe ' or a double apostrophe " - it's just common to use a verbal shortcut of calling them quotation marks or quote marks because that's a lot easier for people to remember than apostrophe. Heck it's now becoming common for people to call the double apostrophe as Rabbit ears when referring to it in speaking about an Internet search.

Replies:   REP  Crumbly Writer
REP
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

Thanks. I don't recall " being called a double apostrophe. Quotation mark is the only thing I remember it ever being called.

But why call it a dropped apostrophe?

Ernest Bywater

@REP

But why call it a dropped apostrophe?


Because one of the options to show quotations of multiple paragraphs is to drop the apostrophe from the end of the every paragraph except the last one.

Replies:   REP
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

How, but did not really go into when regular quoting is more appropriate than blocks quoting and did not discuss why at all.

You use block quoting when there's so much quoted, it isn't worth separating it any more. I've never seen the 'indented quotes' used for anything other than non-fiction, as fiction uses indented material for a variety of other things (ex: notes, broadcast material, letters, etc.).

In short, if a quote is more than 8 or 10 lines in a newspaper, they'll block quote the entire things so readers aren't continually trying to identify when the quoted portion ends.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

The reason I referenced the Wikipedia article was for Ernest's benefit. First, it was not CMoS. Second, it said for quoting someone, like in non-fiction, you typically do it with a blockquote. Ernest thought the rule was only for academia (which was like non-fiction). And, third, they used a novel as an example.

I appreciated the quote, largely since it disproved Ernest's assumption that dropping the closing quote was only used for non-fiction. My comment was in reference to how often, or how common, the dropped final quote method was used in fiction. The Wiki article gave no information on that topic, which we were discussing at the time.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Not sure, but I suspect a large part of it is related to media. One of the reasons I buy proof print copies of my books is to read them on paper, and I often find some things I missed on the screen stand out on the paper.

I rarely read my novels once I print them--especially each time I update the story--although I allow family members to proff them (at least the first version) for me. Generally, when I check the print copy, I'm looking how the pages break, the amount of dead space, extra spaces, non-aligned characters, etc. (i.e. imprecise formatting).

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

Only remaining question is whether authors of fiction should find ways to eliminate or reduce the frequency they are required to use it - because it is really easy for readers to miss.

Ross, we were discussing two different methods of dropping quotes. Now that Ernest has mentioned it, I've been using blockquotes to display notes or articles incorrectly (by including quotations), thus I agree it is used in fiction, only it's more limited than it is in non-fiction.

Again, my questions--inarticulately stated--was governing how often it's used in fiction (i.e. whether it's applicable or not).

Ross, I suspect that Ernest and I, in particular, will continue to disagree on using the dropped quote method in written dialogue. Earnest, as a general rule, refuses to use it as a general principal, whereas I don't shy away from it, but try to break it up, or at least imply who's speaking based on the context of the discussion.

However, quoted material has zippo to do with feedback, so we should table the ongoing discussion for another time.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

Yes, I know dialogue and quotes are different.

Actually, I thought his quoting the difference was very apt, as we're been arguing as if they are one and the same.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

And my view REMAINS, authors of fiction should do everything possible to avoid multiple paragraphs of dialogue by one speaker without tags for each new paragraph. I DESPISE USING THIS DAMN CONVENTION.

Frankly, it's sounding more and more like I'm the only author still using the "dropped final quote" method, thus you should probably apply your 'quit your yammerin' reference to me! :)

Replies:   REP
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

2. Have a way to re-identify the speaker at the start of the new paragraph to show it's the same person. This is my preferred technique. Depending upon the scene, I'll tag the speaker with an appropriate action - common ones are having them have a drink, or turn to address a specific person, or have them move. It also helps if you have the character doing things during a long dialogue.

I actually agree with this technique, but find it gets obnoxious to read for an extended monologue (one person speaking extensively during an open-ended discussion. After a short while, you end up with sentences like "John rubbed his crotch before continuing." or "Frank gestured to indicate Miranda."

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Heck it's now becoming common for people to call the double apostrophe as Rabbit ears when referring to it in speaking about an Internet search.

"Rabbit Ears" specifically refers to the "smart quote" punctuation mark, rather than the double-apostrophe ubiquitous to olden-days typewriters.

Replies:   docholladay
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

My comment was in reference to how often, or how common, the dropped final quote method was used in fiction. The Wiki article gave no information on that topic, which we were discussing at the time.


I tried to find an example of that using Google, but all I found were articles explaining the rule.

The letter in Pride and Prejudice made me check how I handled that in my novel. I guess I did it wrong. I indented every new line/paragraph, but put it in italics instead of quotation marks.

Crumbly Writer

@REP

But why call it a dropped apostrophe?

At one point in time, quotes varied defending on region. Americans tended to use the double apostrophe, while the British used the single. However, from my experience, nearly everyone now uses the standard double-apostrophe quotation mark--which is why it's virtually impossible to find a reference for the "dropped apostrophe" rule.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


However, from my experience, nearly everyone now uses the standard double-apostrophe quotation mark-


An author on wattpad from South America said in Spanish they use a dash for dialogue, not a quotation mark.

—¿Estás seguro de que lo has visto?—exclamó el Capitán

EDITED TO ADD: I found this on dialogue in Spanish:

The dash is also used to end dialogue within a paragraph or to indicate a change in speaker, although none is needed at the end of dialogue if the end comes at the end of a paragraph. It isn't necessary to start a new paragraph with a change in speaker as is customary in English.

—¿Vas al supermercado?— le preguntó. —No sé. ("Are you going to the store?" he asked her. ¶"I don't know.")

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

The dash is also used to end dialogue within a paragraph or to indicate a change in speaker, although none is needed at the end of dialogue if the end comes at the end of a paragraph. It isn't necessary to start a new paragraph with a change in speaker as is customary in English.

Terrific, so all I need to do is to learn to write in Spanish (to continue using my "drop the final quote" technique).

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Grant

@Switch Blayde

They are the same.

You're putting someone's words in quotes. In fiction, it's the words of a character. In a newspaper article, it may be the words of a politician.

They are (to me) obviously different.
One is quoting something someone has said or written.
The other is dialogue being spoken.

FICTION:

John looked at me and said, "I'm going to the doctor."

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE:

When asked about Obamacare, President Obama said, "You will be able to keep your own doctor."

Why are those two quotes different? They're not.

As I mentioned above, they are different. You actually pointed it out yourself.
One is a quote, in this case in a Newspaper article.
The other is dialogue.

EDITED TO ADD:
And in an academic report you might be quoting a section of a scientist's study. Why is that different than the Pride and Prejudice example of them quoting a letter in fiction?

You're actually supporting my position with this statement.
They are not different, they are both the same- they are both quotes. Neither of them is dialogue.
I'm glad we agree.
:-)

docholladay

@Crumbly Writer

"Rabbit Ears"


I remember when that was used to refer to the television antenna which usually set on top of the TV. Maybe that is showing the years a little bit.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Terrific, so all I need to do is to learn to write in Spanish (to continue using my "drop the final quote" technique).


Hey, it's a whole new market for you to sell to! lol

REP

@Ernest Bywater

Thanks again. Never heard that convention called that.

REP

@Crumbly Writer

I'm the only author still using the "dropped final quote" method,


Nope, I use it all the time.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@REP

I'm the only author still using the "dropped final quote" method,

Nope, I use it all the time.

So, when you use it, how do you ensure readers know it's the same character speaking and, if you don't, have you ever gotten any complaints about readers getting confused?

Replies:   Dominions Son  REP
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


So, when you use it, how do you ensure readers know it's the same character speaking and, if you don't, have you ever gotten any complaints about readers getting confused?


I strongly believe that most readers can tell when the speaker has or hasn't changed by the context of what is being said, without any knowledge of any of the dialog conventions that have been mentioned in these threads.

I personally was not aware of them before it started coming up for discussion in threads here and I am in my late 40s.

The human mind is setup for pattern matching and is really good at it, to the point where more people than you might think can correctly read text where there are both grammar errors in every sentence and spelling error in every word.

A fair percentage of people can even read backwards text.

While you should definitely try to make text intended for recreational reading as easy to read as possible, I would say that I don't think the base issue of who is saying what is nearly as confusing for the average reader as some of you are saying.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

While you should definitely try to make text intended for recreational reading as easy to read as possible, I would say that I don't think the base issue of who is saying what is nearly as confusing for the average reader as some of you are saying.

After all this discussion, I'd really like to see some stats on 1) how often it's used and 2) how many readers really do have problems with it. As I've said, I've been reading for years, and I've never had a problem when I've run across it, so I'm wondering what's wrong with the newest generation if they're suddenly unable to process that's not that uncommon. Instead, I suspect we're talking about a subset of people who don't really read much or often, in which case we should ask whether we're really interested in catering to them in the first place (they're not likely to be return customers).

I've got to say, though, Ernest's newest points have me second thinking my techniques. I'm now wondering whether my memories are confusing which of the two dialogue techniques were being used.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


2) how many readers really do have problems with it. As I've said, I've been reading for years, and I've never had a problem when I've run across it


As I said, I'm in my late 40s, I do a lot of reading, and I can't say I've ever even noticed it if it has been used in anything I've read.

The convention is certainly not taught at the primary education level. And the human mind, particularly when reading, will insert missing elements that it expects to be there.

I've seen studies that say we only actually read every third word or so and our brain inserts the rest based on pattern matching and expectations.

So it wouldn't at all surprise me that people who haven't explicitly been taught the convention would simple not notice when it's being used.

But not recognizing this extremely subtle technique does not mean that they become confused about whose speaking if the dialog/monologue is well written otherwise.

I want to be clear, I'm not saying that readers would be confused by the technique if the noticed it. I'm saying for most readers, they won't even notice that the closing quote mark is missing because their brain will simple insert the expected but missing punctuation.

That doesn't work for you, because you've learned the technique, so your brain expects to see it.

Replies:   REP  Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


as we're been arguing as if they are one and the same.


NO! NO! NO! NO, FUCKING WELL NO!!!

I've been stating the FACT that nobody can cite any reference suggesting they are PUNCTUATED DIFFERENTLY in narratives - except

1. single or double quotation marks may be different

2. an option for block quotes exists for quotes.

The one reference cited was CMOS which explicitly states "The same practice is followed in dialogue when one speaker's remarks extend over more than one paragraph".

... I can't continue now ... AN OCTOPUS IS ATTACKING ONE OF MY CATS!!!

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
madnige

@Ross at Play

Any other ways of doing it?


In Deja Vu Ascendancy, the author added a dash in front of the succeeding paragraphs (outside the quotes) to emphasise the continuation; I'd use an elipsis, but it's debatable as to which (dash or elipsis) has a meaning closest to what's required (inter-paragraph pause).

Let's get a new standard going!

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@madnige

The words 'be careful what you ask for' are ringing in my ears right now. :-)

richardshagrin

The magician transformed him into a tree about to be cut down so he could die a log.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Crumbly Writer

how do you ensure readers know it's the same character speaking


I don't think they notice the dropped quotation mark.

The content of the new paragraph is their primary clue. For a continued speaker, the content is usually related to prior paragraphs in some fashion. For a new speaker in a two person dialog, the opening paragraph contains a remark signifying agreement or disagreement, which is the primary clue of the speaker changing. When the dialog is prolonged, I occasionally throw in the new speaker addressing the prior by name.

In a three (or more) person dialog, I identify each new speaker in their first paragraph.

So far, none of the feedback has indicated a problem with not recognizing a switch in speaker. It is mostly positive comments and occasionally a few errors for me to correct. I'm not sure which I appreciate most the positive feedback or the corrections, which I do incorporate and post as updated chapters.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP

@Dominions Son

I'm in my late 40s, I do a lot of reading


My generation had reading and TV, when I was a boy. Your generation had reading, TV, and computers, when you were a boy. The more recent generation(s), at least a significant segment or them, appear to be more into computer games than TV and reading; assuming we exclude 'Reality' TV programs, which those of us who are in touch with reality know, are actually scripted TV shows that have nothing to do with 'Reality'.

Reading from an early age, trains your brain to recognize things like a change in speaker. As a result, people who do little reading can have problems with identifying a change in speakers.

I also believe the habit of texting instead of talking also has a negative affect on people's ability to communicate, both written and verbal communication.

REP

@richardshagrin

die a log


Now that's really bad, but I like it. :)

Dominions Son

@REP

As a result, people who do little reading can have problems with identifying a change in speakers.


True, but nothing short of having dialog tags on every paragraph of dialog will help them.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Dominions Son

I think doing that would become very redundant, especially for dialog consisting of short paragraphs and frequent changes of speakers. I favor helping readers along, as I explained to CW.

I've read a lot, and still do. I was never aware of the omitted quotation mark format, until I started writing dialog and had a question on how to properly use quotation marks and other punctuation when the speaker is identified in the middle of a sentence.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP

I think doing that would become very redundant, especially for dialog consisting of short paragraphs and frequent changes of speakers. I favor helping readers along, as I explained to CW.


I agree, it would be very redundant. However, that redundancy is what it would take to help along readers as unskilled as you were implying. An author trying to reach that group is reduced to trying to write a complex story in the style of a Dick and Jane primer.

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@Dominions Son


An author trying to reach that group is reduced to trying to write a complex story in the style of a Dick and Jane primer.


Yeah! And, I refuse to become that type of author.

richardshagrin

@REP

My generation had reading and TV, when I was a boy. Your generation had reading, TV, and computers, when you were a boy. The more recent generation(s), at least a significant segment or them, appear to be more into computer games than TV and reading


Before and even after early computers there were board games, not so much monopoly but Avalon Hill games some of which were wargames and games from other publishers. You didn't have to read or watch TV to be couch potatoes. And then of course some played baseball or softball, soccer or other team games, or just ran around the neighborhood with friends and had fun.

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

The convention is certainly not taught at the primary education level. And the human mind, particularly when reading, will insert missing elements that it expects to be there.

That's long been a major aspect of speed reading, that readers use the basic shape of letters to skip over (assume certain words based solely on their basic shapes), to eliminate the reading of the entire sentence.

It doesn't seem to slow down most speed readers (myself included). Whether it trips up slow readers is anyone's guess.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

... I can't continue now ... AN OCTOPUS IS ATTACKING ONE OF MY CATS!!!

I say, let it have it. There are too many cats around as it is. They're hardly worth losing an arm over! :-)

Crumbly Writer

@REP

I'm not sure which I appreciate most the positive feedback or the corrections, which I do incorporate and post as updated chapters.

I prefer the insights, either into the story or about related fields which might highlight different insights into the story).

Crumbly Writer

@REP

assuming we exclude 'Reality' TV programs, which those of us who are in touch with reality know, are actually scripted TV shows that have nothing to do with 'Reality'.

Reality TV: Scripted TV without the benefit of actual writers, or an actual plot.

Replies:   REP
Ernest Bywater

@REP

Reading from an early age, trains your brain to recognize things like a change in speaker. As a result, people who do little reading can have problems with identifying a change in speakers.


There is that. There's also how the paragraphs are formulated. There's one author, who shall remain nameless, who uses the dropped apostrophe a lot, but what makes it really bad is he usually uses it with a bunch of one or two short sentence paragraphs which makes it look exactly like a two way conversation.

The prior comment made about context being an add works with two or more large and long paragraphs, but fails when they're short choppy ones.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

The prior comment made about context being an add works with two or more large and long paragraphs, but fails when they're short choppy ones.

Typically, when I get into "monologue" mode (in an ongoing discussion), I launch into complex paragraphs (over 100 words in each), so I don't think I fall into that category. What's more, such long paragraphs rarely completes the thought being made, simply fleshing out a single point in a multiple argument statement. That's what I mean by context surrounding the drop quotes.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

That's what I mean by context surrounding the drop quotes.


I realise that CW, but it's a process which the CMoS people feels should be sued in fiction and I disagree with, simply because it's too easy to overlook, say two people giving long speeches, or when used with short paragraphs. Ease of clarity is more important than one style manual's preferences, is my view.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


it's a process which the CMoS people feels should be sued in fiction


Not CMoS. It's a grammar rule. That's why I purposely referenced a Wikipedia article on the quotation mark.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

Not CMoS. It's a grammar rule. That's why I purposely referenced a Wikipedia article on the quotation mark.


It is not a grammar rule. Wikipedia is not a definitive source, just a start point, and then the only usage they demonstrate with is a quote of a document, not fictional character dialogue. However, when you look at the bibliography for the wiki article it has 25 references for the whole article of which 4 are from CMoS, 5 are other style manuals, 1 is a Bible reference, 1 is about HTML programming, and the rest are works not used as general grammar text books. And not one of the references is related to the Pride and Prejudice example, while two are used to reference the alternate paragraphs above that. Also, some of the references are about punctuation usage within quotes.

The wikipedia article also mentions an older usage of apostrophes for every line of a quote. which we don't do now.

Ernest Bywater

http://linguapress.com/grammar/english-punctuation.htm#Question

Quotation marks
Quotation marks are required at the start and at the finish of all direct speech, even after a short interruption by a dialogue tag like he said.

.........

That seems very clear about never dropping an apostrophe.

Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

Quotation marks are required at the start and at the finish of all direct speech, even after a short interruption by a dialogue tag like he said.


That's referring to:

"John," she said, "don't ever say that again."

From Purdue University
https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/577/04/

Writing Dialogue

Write each person's spoken words, however brief, as a separate paragraph. Use commas to set off dialogue tags such as "she said" or "he explained." If one person's speech goes on for more than one paragraph, use quotation marks to open the dialogue at the beginning of each paragraph. However, do not use closing quotation marks until the end of the final paragraph where that character is speaking.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
REP

@Crumbly Writer

Scripted TV without the benefit of actual writers, or an actual plot


I know. A total waste of time.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

From Purdue University


and we're right back at academic works, essays, papers, and research articles.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

and we're right back at academic works, essays, papers, and research articles.


Read it again. The title of that paragraph is "Writing Dialogue."

Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

That seems very clear about never dropping an apostrophe.

No, it is NOT. That was a very brief answer that did not extend to the point that you, and you alone, continue contesting.
It states what is needed at the start and end of direct speech.
It DOES NOT state what should be done in the middle if that direct speech extends over more than one paragraph.

I AGREE it is never necessary for authors to write in a way which requires it ...
BUT STILL you have NOT cited any reference from anywhere (excl. archaic style mentioned in Wiki) stating anything other than if an author does extend direct speech over more than one paragraph it should be punctuated in the same way as quotes, i.e. drop the apostrophe if the direct speech continues into another paragraph without any tag.

PLEASE, PUT UP SOMETHING, ANYTHING, OR SHUT UP!

Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

PLEASE, PUT UP SOMETHING, ANYTHING, OR SHUT UP!


I've already posted links in earlier posts. However, lots of people wish to regard created fiction dialogue the same as quoted dialogue of two living speakers and in the same way as quoting from another written work.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

GOTCHA!

You nominated this page as a source: http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/quotes.asp

(BTW, I regard grammarbook.com as an equally reliable source as Grammar Girl}

The page you cited states:

"Rule 9. When quoted material runs more than one paragraph, start each new paragraph with opening quotation marks, but do not use closing quotation marks until the end of the passage."

I also checked the grammarly.com reference you cited.

(Same BTW applies)

I cannot find anything on that site about the use quotation marks when direct speech extends more than one paragraph. It might have something, but I have not figured out any way of searching that site effectively.

EDIT TO ADD: I did check EVERY reference you have cited here and there was nothing else remotely relevant.

Replies:   Grant  Ernest Bywater
Grant

@Ross at Play

"Rule 9. When quoted material runs more than one paragraph, start each new paragraph with opening quotation marks, but do not use closing quotation marks until the end of the passage."

Quoted material, not dialogue.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

EDIT TO ADD: I did check EVERY reference you have cited here and there was nothing else remotely relevant.


Here are copies from the posts relevant to the subject:

................
I went back and found some of the material on this I've referenced in the past. here are URLs and quotes from them relevant to this discussion.

http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/quotes.asp

Quote

The rules set forth in this section are customary in the United States. ...

Rule 9. When quoted material runs more than one paragraph, start each new paragraph with opening quotation marks, but do not use closing quotation marks until the end of the passage.

End quote

Note: she clearly refers to it as quoted material, and not dialogue.

At this site:

https://www.grammarly.com/handbook/punctuation/quotation-marks/1/use-of-quotation-marks/

they say:

Quote

Quotation marks are used to identify certain words as being the ones a person said. ...

Quotation marks always come in pairs; we say the first set "opens" the quote, and the second set "closes" the quote. Make sure the quotes are opened and closed.

End quote

.........................

That's because they're trying to extend it into that area without having to change what they're saying. But the big clues to what CMoS is used for are in the Overview:

13.1Scope of this chapter—and where else to look
13.2Quotations and modern scholarship
13.3Giving credit and seeking permission
13.4When to paraphrase rather than quote
13.5When quotation and attribution is unnecessary
13.6Ensuring accuracy of quotations

They headings make it clear this is about citing the works of others.

...................................

To emphasis this below are the definitions from the Miriam-Websters On-line Dictionary The symbols or punctuation marks used are properly known as a single apostrophe ' or a double apostrophe " and we use a verbal shortcut of quotation marks because that's where they get the most use in day to day publications like newspapers.

...............

Simple Definition of quote

: to repeat (something written or said by another person) exactly

: to write or say the exact words of (someone)

: to write or say a line or short section from (a piece of writing or a speech)

Full Definition of quote
quoted quoting

transitive verb

1 a : to speak or write (a passage) from another usually with credit acknowledgment
b : to repeat a passage from especially in substantiation or illustration
c : borrow 2a

2 : to cite in illustration

3 a : to state (the current price or bid-offer spread) for a commodity, stock, or bond
b : to give exact information on

4 : to set off by quotation marks

intransitive verb

: to inform a hearer or reader that matter following is quoted

...............

Simple Definition of quotation

: something that a person says or writes that is repeated or used by someone else in another piece of writing or a speech

: the act of using quotations in a piece of writing or a speech

: a written statement of how much money a particular job will cost to do

Full Definition of quotation

1 : something that is quoted; especially : a passage referred to, repeated, or adduced

2 a : the act or process of quoting
b (1) : the naming or publishing of current bids and offers or prices of securities or commodities
(2) : the bids, offers, or prices so named or published; especially : the highest bid and lowest offer for a particular security in a given market at a given time

............................

Simple Definition of dialogue

:the things that are said by the characters in a story, movie, play, etc.

: a discussion or series of discussions that two groups or countries have in order to end a disagreement

: a conversation between two or more people

Full Definition of dialogue

1 : a written composition in which two or more characters are represented as conversing

2 a : a conversation between two or more persons; also : a similar exchange between a person and something else (as a computer)
b : an exchange of ideas and opinions < organized a series of dialogues on human rights >
c : a discussion between representatives of parties to a conflict that is aimed at resolution < a constructive dialogue between loggers and environmentalists >

3 : the conversational element of literary or dramatic composition < very little dialogue in this film >

4 : a musical composition for two or more parts suggestive of a conversation
.....................................

Here's some style rules on dialogue:

https://blog.udemy.com/english-conversation-dialogues/

Dialogue Grammar Recap

Put quotation marks around the words that actually come out of a person's mouth.
Punctuation goes inside the quotation marks.
Use commas or periods after dialogue tags depending on where they are in the sentence.
Capitalize the first word of what the person says.
Start a new paragraph each time a person speaks.
..........................................

http://linguapress.com/grammar/english-punctuation.htm#Question

Quotation marks
Quotation marks are required at the start and at the finish of all direct speech, even after a short interruption by a dialogue tag like he said.

.........

That seems very clear about never dropping an apostrophe.

.............- - - - - -..........

As I've said all along, when you quote another person I've no issue with how you go about it, but so many people have a hard time telling the difference between when they quote another living person and how they present created fictional speech by their characters - - they don't see them as different, despite all the evidence saying otherwise.

As i said before, I refuse to incorporate the type of confusion the dropped apostrophe process of quotation can cause, and I refuse to encourage it being applied like this when it's for quotations. However, as in a lot of things to with writing, others can choose to do what they want, and will do so. But they can't complain if readers get upset at any confusion it causes.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

PLEASE, SOMEONE ELSE ...

PLEASE LOOK AT ALL THE REFERENCES ERNEST HAS CITED ...

CAN YOU FIND ANYTHING SUGGESTING PUNCTUATION OF DIALOGUE AND QUOTES IS ANY DIFFERENT ???

EB:

(1) YOU KEEP ON CITING REFERENCES AND SAYING, "LOOK, IT ONLY SAYS FOR QUOTES" - THAT'S BECAUSE DIALOGUE IS PUNCTUATED EXACTLY THE BLOODY SAME - EVEN THOUGH IT IS A DIFFERENT THING TO QUOTES.

(2) YOU ONLY EVER SAY YOU NEVER CONTINUE DIALOGUE ACROSS MULTIPLE PARAGRAPHS WITHOUT TAGS. YOU HAVE NEVER SPECIFIED HOW THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO DO THAT SHOULD PUNCTUATE THEM.

STOP HARASSING ME WITH THIS SHIT.

EDIT TO ADD:
To Dominion's Son: I would like to apologise to you for every thought I ever had about you including the word "worst".

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

PLEASE, SOMEONE ELSE ...


Let it go.

You and I have our opinions. It's not our job to convince anyone else. Sometimes I harp on a subject for others to hear and learn, but after a while they all heard the arguments and can arrive at their own conclusions.

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

I have let it go, but he keeps on addressing the same nonsense AT ME, without ever citing anything to support his opinions.

REP

@Switch Blayde

Let it go.


Why? Neither of them seem to understand what the other is actually talking about. Ross appears to be saying the symbol used to punctuate dialog and quoted material is the same. EB appears to be saying that dialog and quoted material are different.

Besides, when two people keep hitting each other with the same clubs, they must be getting something out of it or else one of them would end it.

Question: What does a bored, SOL writer do for entertainment when he doesn't want to work on his stories?

Answer: He goes to the SOL Forum to argue issues most people have no interest in discussing, and to complain about the algorithm used to compute their stories' scores.

:)

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Quotation marks are required at the start and at the finish of all direct speech, even after a short interruption by a dialogue tag like he said.

"the finish of all direct speech" doesn't necessarily mean the end of each paragraph in an ongoing monologue, thus the 'dropped end quote' for an ongoing speech complies--which is the basis of the guideline.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

PLEASE, PUT UP SOMETHING, ANYTHING, OR SHUT UP!

Although this discussion has been ongoing for some time, that seems a bit harsh. Ernest has never suggested that you can never leave of the end quote for continued speech, he's merely arguing against it's being considered an established guideline for fictional dialogue. More importantly, his own usage was undertaken merely to avoid potential confusion, so he modifies his writing style to avoid requiring a confusing situation.

Frankly, he's made some decent points. I'm still on the fence about whether dropping the end quote isn't required, but for the first time, I'm leaning in that direction based on the strength of his arguments (mainly that the rule seems to apply to "quoted" sources rather than actual dialogue).

However, no style or usage guide has ever stated explicitly the limitations, if any, of this guideline. The assumption is, is there is no limitation, then the rule applies in all cases!

The absence of citations is not a citation in and of itself.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

@Grant

Quoted material, not dialogue.

The difficulty for most here is, dialogue is "quoted material" by the fictional characters. It's hard to parse out an entirely separation of rules for something that's never explicitly stated.

While I don't object to your usage (reformatting each of your sentences to avoid an easily misunderstood convention), your objections, while stronger, are still not convincing enough to justify eliminating the practice. You're parsing a single word in all the guides that support the practice to invent a "fictional restriction" where none has been explicitly stated by anyone. That's an extremely weak argument to make.

Replies:   Grant
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

As i said before, I refuse to incorporate the type of confusion the dropped apostrophe process of quotation can cause, and I refuse to encourage it being applied like this when it's for quotations. However, as in a lot of things to with writing, others can choose to do what they want, and will do so. But they can't complain if readers get upset at any confusion it causes.

Ernest, that's fine for you, but again, you're parsing words to argue for a point no one anywhere has ever explicitly laid out. In short, according to your arguments, we should NEVER use quote marks in dialogue, since the words are NEVER QUOTED BY ANYONE. Just as that's an incorrect assumption, so is your assertion that the dropped quote guidelines isn't valid because no one distinguishing between "quote" and "dialogue".

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

(mainly that the rule seems to apply to "quoted" sources rather than actual dialogue).


That's the crux of the debate.

It does NOT. Whether you're quoting a source, what a person says, or what a character says in fiction (dialogue), the same rule applies.

To be honest, I never saw anything in Ernest's sources that said otherwise. Saying it's used for quoted material does not mean it's not used for dialogue.

There are many sources that state the rule is used for dialogue. Since they don't say it's used for quoted material does referencing that site prove it's not used for quoted material?

@Ross at Play

Not "at you." He's simply replying to your post.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Let it go.

You and I have our opinions. It's not our job to convince anyone else. Sometimes I harp on a subject for others to hear and learn, but after a while they all heard the arguments and can arrive at their own conclusions.

I agree. Ernest has his own procedure to purposely avoid the guideline by writing around it. That's his purview. He's defending his decision since he keeps getting attacked for it--so give him a break. He's never once written me, or any other author, and objected to our use of the dropped quote. It's his personal choice.

He'd almost convinced me to change, but his final arguments are weak, based on parsing language the original speakers never intended, otherwise they'd have stated it. However, that doesn't mean we should force him to bow to our wishes. He's violating no writing guides by avoiding the issue entirely in his writing, so it's time to let this go.

Switch Blayde

Joe and Sue are talking, but I don't want to type in their dialogue so take my word for it. Sue just said something so Joe is replying.

"I never said that. I don't lie."

"It's late. We better get going."


Okay, who said "It's late..."? Joe or Sue?

The way it's written, Sue.
Leave off the ending quotation mark in "I never..." and it's Joe.

Switch Blayde

@REP

Besides, when two people keep hitting each other with the same clubs, they must be getting something out of it or else one of them would end it.


Except there are other people reading these discussions who want to learn (Ross is one. So is Crumbly. So am I. And there are many others who are the silent type). They need to get the facts straight.

The reason I said to let it go was simply because everything that was to be said was said. Nothing new.

Replies:   REP
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


Ernest, that's fine for you, but again, you're parsing words to argue for a point no one anywhere has ever explicitly laid out. In short, according to your arguments, we should NEVER use quote marks in dialogue, since the words are NEVER QUOTED BY ANYONE. Just as that's an incorrect assumption, so is your assertion that the dropped quote guidelines isn't valid because no one distinguishing between "quote" and "dialogue".


CW,

There are many punctuation marks that are used for multiple things, and what they mean varies with the context and application. When you look at the dictionary meanings of a quotation and dialogue they're two different activities, despite often (but not always) using the same punctuation marks. Some examples of the same punctuation mark having a different meaning due to the applications are:

. Is a full stop at the end of a sentence. Or it can be a decimal point in a number 7.95. And it's also called a dot when referred to in a URL or an email address, among other things. The same mark but different usages.

, A comma has similar multiple uses in sentences, or in numbers like 1,200.

' and " While both the apostrophe and double apostrophe can have multiple uses in different ways in different styles to mark a nickname, Thom 'Dusty' Rhodes, or a book title such as Ernest Bywater's 'The Falcon' as well as being one way to quote from a text or a speech, or used to designate the section of a fiction story the author is setting as a character's dialogue. The use of the single or double apostrophe can be used in any of those options, based on the style you're using. While a single apostrophe can also be used to designate a missing letter or letters in a contraction, or a possessive form of a noun.

- Can be a dash, or a minus sign, or a few in a row to indicate a break in the flow of the text, such as a scene break.

In a similar way there are multiple ways to designate quoted material, one of which is to use the apostrophe or the double apostrophe, another is to use the block quote method. Which you use is the author's choice in fiction, in some non-fiction works the style manual preferred by the publisher will often designate which to use for what quotation - some manuals say to use block quotes for all long quotes and some don't.

...............

Now down to answering the question you emphasize - The punctuation mark used for fictional dialogue is an apostrophe or a a double apostrophe, note it's a punctuation mark, it just looks the same for multiple uses. It's like the full stop and the decimal dot, they just look the same, but have a different meaning and a different name with the different usage.

It seems to me the core of the usage is the name some people use for the punctuation mark is causing them to see what it's used for as the same as the name and it being the only name for it.

I'll admit having Asperger's Syndrome and being pedantic in many things often means I see things in black and white, and that's the situation here. I see a quote as being very different to fictional dialogue, as per the dictionaries. I also see the same punctuation mark is allowed to be used for both activities in various situation, but I don't see the activities as being mutually interchangeable with the rules for one flowing over into the other in all situations.

For simplified uniformity and clarity of what I write I always use apostrophes and double apostrophes in pairs, except for where I use a single apostrophe for contractions or possessive nouns. Where it's appropriate to do so my preferred method of showing a document within a story is to use the block quotation method.

typo edit - amazing how you miss the typos in the little reply box, but they jump off the page when posted

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Can be a dash, or a minus sign, or a few in a row to indicate a break in the flow of the text, such as a scene break.

Minor nit: No, a double dash means the author doesn't understand the punctuation, or like here on the forum, the software doesn't support it's use. Otherwise, you'd only use the em-dash, as a double dash has no specific meaning.

It seems to me the core of the usage is the name some people use for the punctuation mark is causing them to see what it's used for as the same as the name and it being the only name for it.

You completely missed my point, despite my repeating it several times, which was, no one, no style guide, no word-smith and no writing expert, has ever stated there's any difference between "quoted material" and "dialogue" as far as style usage. Instead, you picked up a minor inconsistency in definition, and have turned it into proof about the inability to use a central rule of writing. Despite your singular claims, there's simply no justification for such a far-ranging claim. Surely, if anyone had intended that meaning, they would have stipulated in in the hundreds of style guide revisions over the past hundred years!

That's why I stress, you'd almost convinced me that I was wrong, except your central argument is SO weak.

It's fine if you prefer not to use the convention, but you can't claim it's invalid just by slight of hand and redefining the terminology, unless of course, you're a Republican, and then it's standard practice. ::-D (by the way, that's a 'rolling eyes' emoji).

Replies:   Switch Blayde
sejintenej

@Switch Blayde

You and I have our opinions. It's not our job to convince anyone else.


Agreed
Lazlo Zalezac's Facts of Life #10 "It is impossible to change the character of another".
Why bother?

Replies:   madnige
madnige

@sejintenej

Damn, I'm going to have to reread 'Millionare next door' again now (after I've finished 'Hunter').

Replies:   sejintenej
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

a double dash means the author doesn't understand the punctuation, or like here on the forum, the software doesn't support it's use


It does.
hyphen -
en-dash –
em-dash —

You just have to type in the code and the forum software converts it.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

You just have to type in the code and the forum software converts it.

I hadn't tried typing in the html code. I did try copying and pasting from WORD, but that didn't work.

Ernest Bywater

Just for a little bit of humour on the quotation vs dialogue subject - I was sent this link today, and found the text on quotes below it.

http://www.stmarks.edu.au/data/files/stmarks-review/styleguide.pdf

When quotes are in excess of 30 words, they should be
blocked and indented on both sides, and separated from the
text above and below by one line space.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Good thing I'm not trying to publish my fiction with St. Marks!

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Good thing I'm not trying to publish my fiction with St. Marks!


My thoughts, exactly!

REP
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


The reason I said to let it go was simply because everything that was to be said was said. Nothing new.


For what it's worth, the 'Why?' was intended as sarcasm. Neither Ross or EB are trying to learn. What I suspect they are getting out of it is the pleasure of trying to dominate the other.

In other words, it would be nice if they were to wakeup to what the other was actually saying, and ended what is obviously an argument that is going nowhere.

Edited to add: I do agree there is a valid point in the overall discussion. If they want to argue fine, but it would be nice if they both addressed the same topic.

Grant

@Crumbly Writer

The difficulty for most here is, dialogue is "quoted material" by the fictional characters.

I can't see how that is the case.
If they're quoting something that has been said or written previously, then it's obvious it's a quote.
But dialogue is characters talking to each other at the present time. They're not quoting others, or themselves. They're talking.

Replies:   Ross at Play
sejintenej

@madnige

Damn, I'm going to have to reread 'Millionare next door' again now (after I've finished 'Hunter'

-
I have reread both several times. Both very good

LZ had a site where people could critique and add to his Facts of Life and there were additions worth reading.
He tells me that unfortunately he had to take it down because of (from memory) offensive posts.
LZ's explanations of the 10 laws are on the Wayback machine so if you can get some contact point to me I will send you the link/web address.
Everything else (including 99% of Sysyphus comments) is missing

Ross at Play

Now people are trying to explain what I mean.

THIS IS WHAT I HAVE CONSISTENTLY STATED:

1. I DESPISE the use of dropped apostrophe(s) in fiction when dialogue in narratives is continued over more than one paragraph - they are so easy for readers to miss, causing confusion about who is speaking at the start of the next paragraph. {Using apostrophe(s) to mean either single or double apostrophes which some authors may use interchangeably in various circumstances}
2. I had strongly suggested that to one author I edit for - before raising this point asking for options to using that convention.
3. I suggested one option was joining paragraphs, but there is a limit to how far you can do that before extremely long paragraphs cause a different type of confusion for readers.
4. If dialogue continues for more than one long paragraph, I would then use simple tags (He/She continued/took a sip of water). The tedium of occasional extra tags seems a far lesser "sin" than the risk of reader confusion if the dropped apostrophe(s) convention is used.
5. I was grateful I asked because I picked up one extra trick writers can use to avoid the need to use this convention. If there are only two speakers, writers can break up very long speeches by one with simple brief interjections by the other (Okay., Huh!, Really?)

Have you finally got this, Ernest? - I am in complete agreement with you about what authors of fiction SHOULD DO.

I always agreed with you about that. I asked on the forum here hoping for support for my recommendations to the author I edit for. My problem in discussing that with them is they knows CMOS is absolutely explicit the dropped apostrophe(s) convention is used in exactly the same way for quotes and dialogue.
This author knows using this convention is the accepted practice with both quotations and dialogue (at least for authors who want to adhere to CMOS for most things), I cannot tell them it is simply forbidden for authors of fiction, but I could not convince them it is such a poor writing style that they should do everything possible to avoid ever needing to use it.

One of the points raised (quite possibly by me) is whether there is any alternative to using the dropped apostrophe(s) convention if authors are silly enough to extend dialogue beyond one paragraph, without using some tag to identify the same speaker has continued.

The only alternative anyone has suggested (excluding one method that is archaic) is to use ellipses at the start of the next paragraph after apostrophe(s) have been dropped from the previous one. I think the poster was jesting, but I quite like that idea!? It seems at least better than just a dropped apostrophe(s) with nothing to alert the reader the same speaker is continuing. I would put the ellipses inside the opening apostrophe(s) of the new paragraph. What else could that mean other than dialogue is resuming after it had faded away?

The things that have been driving me insane about Ernest's posts are:
1. He has been directing them at me. I do not care what opinions he wants to express, but I really get pissed off when he frames posts directed at me with a tone I do not know what is going on, while repeatedly ignoring my pleas to just quote anything from anywhere that supports his opinions.
2. Repeating stating references that only mention 'quotes' as evidence they do not apply equally to dialogue. If that was so, there would exist other sections describing what should be done for dialogue. These references all only mention for 'quotes' because that is what most of their readers are interested in, not because their descriptions do not apply equally to dialogue.

To EB:
I needed two Valium and Pachabel's Canon on an endless loop last night to get to sleep. I do not like that, but it was the only way to get thoughts out of my head about … you … Poland … and 1939!
I have two questions. If you answer these Yes or No, whatever those answers may be, there's no reason we cannot wrap up this exchange quickly and amicably.
1. Do you agree there is no alternative for authors (stupid enough) to continue dialogue over more than one paragraph by the same speaker than using the dropped apostrophe(s) convention?
2. Can you quote any "reliable source" stating any alternative way of punctuating dialogue written as described in my previous question?

Note – I would agree any of the following are "reliable sources": Grammar Girl, grammarly.com, grammarbook.com, grammar.about.com, CMOS, website of any respected university.

Replies:   madnige  Ernest Bywater
Ross at Play

@Grant

The question has never been are they different.
It has only been, quotation marks (or apostrophes) are used for both - are there any differences between the two in the quotation marks should be used.
Only source quoted here so far unambiguously answering that is CMOS which states same practice.
The inability of anyone finding anything suggesting otherwise suggests all sources agree with that - they would mention any differences if any existed.

Replies:   Grant
Grant

@Ross at Play

The question has never been are they different.

I just looked back through the thread, and that's where it all started.
Whether you use " or ' is a whole different kettle of fish.

Replies:   Ross at Play
madnige

@Ross at Play

I DESPISE the use of dropped apostrophe(s) in fiction when dialogue in narratives is continued over more than one paragraph - they are so easy for readers to miss, causing confusion about who is speaking at the start of the next paragraph.


I get very confused when they are NOT dropped, since I've known this rule for pushing 40 yrs; by all means use action/dialog tags to show the speaker, but also use the convention AS WELL. One story I was reading once had a section of dialog with no missing marks, with a definite speaker at the beginning, a definite speaker at the end, and they didn't match up, and it wasn't at all apparent which pair of the half-dozen or so lines of speech were the continued same speaker - it could be interpreted multiple ways, and the different ways changed the meaning of the section. I read and re-read it about five times working out the most likely meaning, then about half a page later realized it was one of the others. I think it was another instance of the same sort of confusion/imprecision that persuaded me to abandon reading that story - I can take quite a few potholes in the path of the story, but not many roadblocks.

Yes, it is easy to not notice the missing mark when deeply absorbed in the story so the added action/dialog tags would be useful, but at the first vestiges of confusion is is trivially easy to flick the eyes up to check for missing marks on previous dialog paragraphs, not needing enough mental effort to drag you out of the story, not like having to reread a section of alternating dialog from both ends analysing each line to assign it to one speaker or the other.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Grant

There are certainly differences between British and American style over whether one or the other other is used. To simplify matters, assume a novel has already established the situations when the author will use ", and when '.

Now, suppose they have two long sections using material from other sources. One, (a), is recording direct speech; and the other, (b), is copying something that was written somewhere else.

I would choose double apostrophes for (a), and single apostrophes for (b).

Q1: Do you agree some authors would do the reverse, and that is okay as long as they are consistent?

Q2: Would you argue the same mark should be used for both?


Now, suppose both of these sections from other sources go over many paragraphs, AND there are no tags embedded in the direct speech to indicate the same speaker is continuing.

CMOS unambiguously states for BOTH - the same quotation mark is needed at the beginning of every new paragraph from the same speaker/document; AND the only paragraph that should have an end quotation mark is the last paragraph.

DO NOT GET ME WRONG. I TELL AUTHORS I EDIT FOR THEY SHOULD DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO AVOID DOING THAT WITH DIALOGUE. What follows is a hypothetical assuming I have not sacked the writer ...

Assuming an author is stupid enough to insist on writing their dialogue that way ...

Q3. What do I tell them about how to correctly punctuate their rubbish?

I have never seen anything, anywhere (excluding one joke and one archaic style) describing any other method that could be used, or even suggesting any alternative method even exists!

If you can find any description for an alternative way to punctuate dialog, I VERY MUCH WANT TO KNOW.

But, PLEASE do not just tell me that quotes and dialogue are different. I knew that well before Ernest shoved it down my throat a hundred bloody times.

ANY SOURCE stating these two different things MAY be punctuated differently and I VERY MUCH WANT TO KNOW.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@madnige

I think we are in COMPLETE AGREEMENT ...

1. A COMPLETE ABOMINATION is using quote marks at both ends of paragraphs with the same speaker continuing onto the next paragraph - but no identifying tag there.

2. TOLERABLE is dropping the end quote mark from a paragraphs with the same speaker continuing onto the next paragraph - but no identifying tag there.

3. BEST OF ALL is authors never writing paragraphs with the same speaker continuing onto the next paragraph - but no identifying tag there.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Ross at Play


I have two questions. If you answer these Yes or No, whatever those answers may be, there's no reason we cannot wrap up this exchange quickly and amicably.

1. Do you agree there is no alternative for authors (stupid enough) to continue dialogue over more than one paragraph by the same speaker than using the dropped apostrophe(s) convention?

2. Can you quote any "reliable source" stating any alternative way of punctuating dialogue written as described in my previous question?

Note – I would agree any of the following are "reliable sources": Grammar Girl, grammarly.com, grammarbook.com, grammar.about.com, CMOS, website of any respected university.


Just got up from a well needed nap, sorry about the delay in replying.

Before I respond I wish to mention I've checked over a thousand websites to do with punctuation in recent weeks and find they tend to break down into a few groups"

1. Style Manuals for specific purposes such as the CMoS, MLA, etc. Most do not cover writing fiction and the few that do didn't cover fictional works in the early issues, and in later editions tacked fictional usage on as if an addendum without any change to what they said.

2. Style instructions for specific publishing houses, almost all of which are North American based management who either insist on the CMoS or don't mention any style manual at all. They set out manuscript formats, and many state they do not accept present tense stories in fiction. The sites for publishers in English outside the Americas didn't mention a specific style manuals and only covered manuscript layout formats. The majority also said to lodge through an agent.

3. US university sites where they give details of the styles to use for submitting works at the university, and many state they're based on CMoS. Many of the UK university sites have guides you can buy, and few that have a free on-line option only mention short quotations using double apostrophes or block quotation if it is longer.

4. Blogs by US trained authors, many who openly state they were taught to use CMoS and do so because their publisher does.

Special Point: I couldn't find a single UK reference mentioning the option to drop the closing mark off the end of the intermediate paragraphs. - I admit I didn't view every single option available, especially those that said "Buy this book from the Uni Bookshop."

.................

The answers to the questions, followed by some links and quotes from the sources. Note: For this I am ignoring the quotation of another written text or the report of a human speaker, and concentrating solely on fictional speech dialogue usage.

1. No, I do not agree. There are at least 2 alternatives. First is to have someone else interject and do the usual exchange of speakers. The second is to have a break with an action or new speaker tag in the next paragraph.

2. Yes. Site then quote from it.

https://www.grammarly.com/handbook/punctuation/quotation-marks/1/use-of-quotation-marks/

Quotation marks are used to identify certain words as being the ones a person said. Quotation marks are used to separate the quote from the rest of the sentence or text which is not quoted. Double and single quotation marks are pretty much interchangeable; check the conventions for any specific format you might be using.

Quotation marks always come in pairs; we say the first set "opens" the quote, and the second set "closes" the quote. Make sure the quotes are opened and closed.

https://www.grammarly.com/handbook/research-and-documentation/documentation/1/types-quotes/

Long quotes

More than 40 words or so, depending on the format. Long quotes are usually written as a separate paragraph, with indented margins on both the left and the right sides. You don't need to use quotation marks because it's already physically separated from the main text.

http://www.bristol.ac.uk/arts/exercises/grammar/grammar_tutorial/page_22.htm

Where to put the Quoted Material.

If the quotation is short (most guides recommend three lines or fewer) you can embed the quoted material in the main body of your text. If you are quoting a specific page or paragraph of a source text, you must reference it with a page or line number.

If the quoted passage is longer, you will need to indent the quoted material.

https://www.ox.ac.uk/sites/files/oxford/media_wysiwyg/University%20of%20Oxford%20Style%20Guide.pdf

Quotation marks

Use single quotation marks for direct speech or a quote, and double quotation marks for direct speech or a quote within that.

Use no quotation marks if the quote is displayed (ie not in line with the rest of the text).

http://www.humanities.manchester.ac.uk/studyskills/essentials/writing/punctuation.html

Speech marks (inverted commas)

There is no universally accepted distinction between the single form ( ' ' ) and the double ( " " ). However, grammarians tend to view the single as the norm, with the double reserved for a quotation contained within a quotation. Perhaps the best advice is to choose one or the other (single or double) and be consistent.

typo edit

edit to add: I agree with a few other comments that we've now covered this as fully as it is to cover. It seems the US teach to drop the closing mark from intermediate paragraphs with multi-paragraph quotations while the UK don't teach it, but teach to use the block quote.

awnlee jawking

@grandad_rufus

To all those authors who do appreciate feedback and acknowledge it - Thanks guys.


In a story by a newish author, I realised the end twist was ruined because one of the character names was wrong. I sent the author an e-mail to that effect. I never received a reply but a week later I checked and the mistake had been corrected.

Do I have a right to feel peeved at not receiving an acknowledgement? In my place, would you bother to send that author any more corrections?

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

1. A COMPLETE ABOMINATION is using quote marks at both ends of paragraphs with the same speaker continuing onto the next paragraph - but no identifying tag there.

2. TOLERABLE is dropping the end quote mark from a paragraphs with the same speaker continuing onto the next paragraph - but no identifying tag there.

3. BEST OF ALL is authors never writing paragraphs with the same speaker continuing onto the next paragraph - but no identifying tag there.

You should then advise , should they continue on, that they provide some additional context that the same speaker is continuing continuing. This is easy if there is only one person making the central point or using a particular speaking style, more difficult if it's truly an 'open discussion'. But something else should be present to alert readers who's speaking.

In many of these issues, it's necessary to 'train' readers what to expect from a given author. In my other "Girl on the Train" discussion, it takes her an extremely long time to train her readers what she's doing. In my case, I've used this technique, readers now expect my main character to break into long monologues in the middle of a discussion, but additional care is needed the first several times you introduce a new writing technique.

Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

It seems the US teach to drop the closing mark from intermediate paragraphs with multi-paragraph quotations while the UK don't teach it, but teach to use the block quote.

Thank you for answering my questions directly.
Please note, for your future, if your previous posts had answered my questions instead of just restating what you considered relevant, we would have very quickly established there has never been more than a skerrick of a difference between our opinions.
***
So, can I clarify the points we agree upon?

1. Authors of fiction should go to whatever lengths are necessary to ensure the speaker in every new paragraph is unambiguously identified. They have several natural options to achieve that if one speaker continues with a long speech, including:
(a) Adding something like, 'He/She continued, ' tags to every paragraph More than one or two of those will get very boring, so authors should use some creativity and start showing simple actions or gestures by the speaker who is continuing on;
(b) When the speaker is talking to only one other person, authors can also use simple interjections by the other speaker like, 'Really?', 'Okay.', 'Huh?'. Doing that maintains the pattern readers are most comfortable with - alternating paragraphs between two clearly identified speakers which eliminates the need for every paragraph to identify the speaker;
(c) Writing the speech in fewer, longer paragraphs, to reduce the number of extra tags (or other device) needed to show the same speaker continuing. In straight narratives, authors try to separate different streams of ideas into different paragraphs, but it's not mandatory. If the story does contain a VERY long speech, readers should happy with a series of 60-100 paragraphs, each with a few extra words needed to clearly establish it is the same speaker still droning on.

2. This is the ONE AND ONLY thing I have been asking about through this entire tiresome exchange ... What must authors do if they are unwilling to do the things listed in #1 above?
You have identified an acceptable alternative to the dropped quotation mark (apostrophe) convention. The UK style (limited evidence suggests) is to put the entire speech in a block quote - eliminating any need for any quotation marks. I would suggest writers use a suitable introduction by the upcoming speaker in the narrative before the block quote, something like, 'Be patient. This will a while to explain.'

3. IN FICTION the UK style of using block quotes is much safer and kinder to readers than the style CMOS dictates of dropping question marks. EVERYONE HERE agrees using that convention will cause confusion for at least some readers, and it is ALWAYS EASY for careful authors to prevent that.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

In my place, would you bother to send that author any more corrections?

In your place, I would bother sending them one explanation of why I will not send any more corrections.
My guess would be somebody else told them that before you, so they were already planning to make that correction, but still, I would be pissed off enough at their lack of courtesy to let them know.

samuelmichaels
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


edit to add: I agree with a few other comments that we've now covered this as fully as it is to cover. It seems the US teach to drop the closing mark from intermediate paragraphs with multi-paragraph quotations while the UK don't teach it, but teach to use the block quote.


Well, no: see Quoting – the multi-paragraph rule.


"To solve this problem, both UK and US English have adopted the following technique.

* To indicate the original speaker is still talking, the first paragraph is left open: no closing quotation marks are placed.

* To indicate that we are still dealing with quoted material rather than the narrator's prose, quotation marks are placed at the beginning of the second paragraph.

"In other words, when dealing with quotations that extend over more than one paragraph, you need to put quotation marks at the beginning of each paragraph but at the end only of the final one."


Perhaps Australia is the holdout...

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

readers now expect my main character to break into long monologues in the middle of a discussion

Sorry. I cannot resist making some quip about that.
Long monologues? ... written by you? ... how could I ever have guessed that?
There MUST be some joke there somewhere using like father, like son. :-)

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

You should then advise , should they continue on, that they provide some additional context ...

My advice to the people I edit for will be: Leave that to very experienced writers who know what they are doing. At your stage of development as a writer, I strongly recommend you practice writing so you never have any paragraphs which would require the dropped quotation mark convention to be used ... but I probably won't sack you just for leaving it in. :-)

Ross at Play

@samuelmichaels

Perhaps Australia is the holdout...


Grrrrr. A common but utterly false perception about Australians. The 'native language' both Ernest and I use is English, and we both work very hard to use it correctly!

To solve this problem, both UK and US English have adopted the following technique.


Thank you for finding that and bringing it to our attention. It is unambiguous that post in discussing dialogue and not quotes.

I searched that site for "block" to see if it mentioned whether it was acceptable to use block quotes for dialogue (in addition to their typical function for copies of written words from another source). Unfortunately, it has nothing about block quotes at all.

If we take that at face value, the conclusion is unless an author does something to avoid the circumstances where the dropped quotation mark convention does apply, they are obligated to use it. My advice to authors would remain - do everything possible to avoid that obligation - (for readers) Dragons be there!

I may express a personal opinion to them as an alternative. As a reader of fiction, I would prefer writers put very long speeches into block quotes than use the dropped quote convention, even if technically the block quote convention is only "allowed" to be used with quotes.

In suggesting that I would be applying what I see as an overarching principle of good writing: you may ignore any rule of punctuation if necessary to prevent even momentary confusion by readers. I have seen this advice in several reputable sources. Some examples ...
(a) Writers may always replace commas in complex sentences with semi-colons if doing so makes their meaning more clear.
(b) For the sentence, "And I mean, mean." (to emphasise a previous statement they think someone is a mean person). The rules of punctuation require no comma in a sentence of the form: conjunction subject verb object. The principle of good writing requires a comma between the two words 'mean', just to let readers know this is not an accidental repetition of a word.

I would prefer an incorrectly punctuated block quote over the inevitable confusion for some readers of using the dropped quotation mark convention for dialogue in fiction. I expect others may disagree with that, but please spare me any arguments that either is right or wrong!

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Ross at Play

Thank you for finding that and bringing it to our attention. It is unambiguous that post in discussing dialogue and not quotes.


Even if you believe dialogue and quotes are different beasts, the multi-paragraph punctuation rule applies to both.

I searched that site for "block" to see if it mentioned whether it was acceptable to use block quotes for dialogue (in addition to their typical function for copies of written words from another source). Unfortunately, it has nothing about block quotes at all.


I don't believe you can blockquote dialogue. You can blockquote, say, a newspaper article in a novel, or maybe even the letter in Pride and Prejudice, but not dialogue. You would totally break up the flow.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

The UK style (limited evidence suggests) is to put the entire speech in a block quote - eliminating any need for any quotation marks.

That's not really a UK alternative, as it's generally practiced everywhere, only in fiction, it's generally restricted to notes, books or broadcasts (things which might commonly be quoted in fiction). Thus it's considered a 'special use' rather than a 'standard use for anything over 40 words'.

You'd NEVER block quote an extended monologue by a main character in the course of an ongoing dialogue.

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde


I don't believe you can blockquote dialogue.

I checked the monster (CMOS) and the absence of permission to put dialogue in block quotes almost certainly means they would prohibit it.

DO NOT GET ME WRONG - I would never advocate doing that. If I mentioned to an author it would be to stress a personal viewpoint that even wrong punctuation is better is that poor unclear writing!

Nut I'm not going to argue that with anyone here.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


I don't believe you can blockquote dialogue.


I checked the monster (CMOS) and the absence of permission to put dialogue in block quotes almost certainly means they would prohibit it.

DO NOT GET ME WRONG - I would never advocate doing that. If I mentioned to an author it would be to stress a personal viewpoint that even wrong punctuation is better is that poor unclear writing!

But I'm not going to argue that with anyone here.

Ernest Bywater

@samuelmichaels


Well, no: see Quoting – the multi-paragraph rule.


All along I've said there are different rules to quoting a living person giving a speech to what an author attributes to a character, because what an author writes is not a quotation of another.

In the link you gave I think the most telling an key part of the web page is the opening lines, which state:

Quote

In an interview article, it's important that readers are never in any doubt as to who said what: is the interviewer (or narrator) speaking, or are these the words of the interviewee? And the problem naturally gets more complex if several people are being interviewed. One of the more subtle ways writers in English guide their readers through an interview is by using punctuation.

end quote

So this is clearly instructions to do with an interview with a live person, not a fictional dialogue. Earlier links I gave have the dictionary definitions as being different, and that is the key difference I've been stating all along. Fictional dialogue is not quoting a speech by a living person, and it the quotation rules don't apply to it.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I checked the monster (CMOS) and the absence of permission to put dialogue in block quotes almost certainly means they would prohibit it.

It isn't so much a "Verboten" restriction as one of context. In fiction, it highlights a quoted source, whether a book, a personal note or a television broadcast. As such, it denotes something 'outside' the story itself, and thus is shown as such by the indentation.

Putting a character's normal speech would be seen as offputting.

Note: That said, I have done it, though in a specific context. In several stories, where someone is broadcasting someone, what they broadcast is indented (to show those listening are hearing it over the speakers or on the radio), even as I reflect what's happening to the character, but I tried to ensure readers understood what was happening before I sprang it on them.

Thus the character might say something personal to someone close to them, but the audience at the event would only hear what was broadcast (such as during a speech or a concert).

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Understood ... Never say never.

My personal problem with this is now all solved.
I will tell the authors I edit for the unanimous policy of experienced authors on the forum is they will go to great lengths to avoid ever writing a paragraph that would require the dropping of end quotation marks.
And the few that do sometimes need them will then go to great lengths so the context prepares readers for this is the start, and this is the end, of a really long one.
I will add, from I have seem of their writing so far, none has written a monologue that even comes close to the length I would recommend they consider anything other than simply writing in ways that avoid any need to use the dropped quotation marks convention.

Replies:   samuelmichaels
samuelmichaels

@Ross at Play

I will tell the authors I edit for the unanimous policy of experienced authors on the forum is they will go to great lengths to avoid ever writing a paragraph that would require the dropping of end quotation marks.

If you do, you will be misrepresenting this discussion. Dropped closing quote is the normal convention on modern writing, and because of that, is transparent to most readers. The fact that you and Ernest find it confusing doesn't change that fact.

Ernest Bywater

@samuelmichaels

Dropped closing quote is the normal convention on modern writing


That may be used by some US authors, but I've not seen it used by every US author, and I've posted links to show it isn't common outside of the Americas. So it's hard to say it's the normal convention.

I have shown it's an accepted convention for people reported quotation of long political speeches of living people, which doesn't mean it's the proper usage for fictional dialogue, the usage here. And even with long political speeches, some non-US authorities say to us blockquote, and make no mention of the dropped apostrophe quote option at all.

Replies:   samuelmichaels
Crumbly Writer

I think the following quote best sums up this entire formatting discussion:

"Arguments over grammar and style are often as fierce as those over IBM versus Mac, and as fruitless as Coke versus Pepsi and boxers versus briefs" - Jack Lynch

The quote is a little dated, however. :)

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

I think the following quote best sums up this entire formatting discussion:


It da truth, it da truth.

Ross at Play

@samuelmichaels

I think you have misinterpreted my comments.
I would preface my advice with, "Obviously you MUST use the dropped quotation marks convention in EVERY paragraph where that convention is applicable."
But, the most desirable number of paragraphs for it to be used in your novel is zero. Unless you have very long monologues, it is better to find some way of writing that can be correctly punctuated without needing to use it.
I would base that advice on what others have stated here. EB and SB say they never use. CW stated only rarely and with extreme caution.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
samuelmichaels

@Ernest Bywater

That may be used by some US authors, but I've not seen it used by every US author, and I've posted links to show it isn't common outside of the Americas. So it's hard to say it's the normal convention.

Again, you are misrepresenting the state. Every reference you or anybody else could find talks of this as the normal convention. Your argument seems to be that you find it confusing -- that's fine; don't use it.

But normal, mainstream authors use it all the time. As a random example, I opened the first Smiley novel by John le Carré (published in Great Britain, 1961) and he drops closing quote on continuing dialogue by the same speaker. (le Carré does use single quotes, as is the convention in BE).

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I would base that advice on what others have stated here. EB and SB say they never use. CW stated only rarely and with extreme caution.

Actually, given my extensive use of dialogue within large groups, who often act as reactive elements to the main character's exposition, I tend to use it fairly extensively. However, I also try to temper it.

Most of my 'in context' qualifications have more to do with how I present my stories, with the main character setting up his argument with a number of paragraph steps leading up to a final conclusion, so if he hasn't yet reached the conclusion, I trust readers will realize he isn't finished speaking yet.

However, I also tend to mix up the dropped quote with actions which break up the never ending list of unended quotes. In essence, it's a balancing act, and you have to remind readers the same character is still speaking. I just object to EB's insistence on adding an action to every single paragraph, as it seems overly forced simply to avoid something he doesn't appreciate, rather than something to benefit the reader.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

I just object to EB's insistence on adding an action to every single paragraph, as it seems overly forced simply to avoid something he doesn't appreciate, rather than something to benefit the reader.


That it benefits the reader is something not in evidence.

I am in my late 40s I grew up in Wisconsin. This convention was not taught in either grade school or high school. The vast majority of the reader base are not college educated.

Another commenter remarked that it's transparent to the readers.

The problem is, is it transparent because they know what it means and ignore it. Or is it transparent because they don't know what it means, and their mind, expecting the closing quote subconsciously corrects what they would consider an error if they noticed it.

Is the reader picking up a continued speaker from this or are they picking up on that entirely from other contextual cues?

Is there any empirical evidence to support that this convention does anything for the readers?

Crumbly Writer

Is there any empirical evidence to support that a period is a full stop? I doubt you'll ever find the type of evidence you're looking for? Do you expect a full statistical analysis, like a medical study? Few publishers either have the money for such a study, or cares about the results. They dictate what authors do (if they want to be published) and they do it. Publishing is not known for statistical studies. Smashword does them on occasion, but only of their members to determine which techniques sell more books.

The fact is, the people objecting to the practice (EB and Ross) both come from countries which don't use the standard, so they're not comfortable using it. Those in the U.S. are more familiar with it (except those who never encountered it in school, apparently), so they're used to it.

Given that analysis, I'd guess that a large amount of Americas are at least familiar with it, even if they don't recognize it, while certain countries aren't. In those cases, hopefully they'll Google it when they first notice it.

Frankly, I doubt anyone gave up on a book because they dropped the closing quotes. I also doubt, for whatever reason, there are that many utterly confused by it. So either use it or not, but let's quit dictating what everyone else (such as Ross insisting to all those he's editing) is allowed to do.

We've all heard ALL the pros and cons, so either use it or don't.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

Btw, I'm the culprit for drifting this thread to punctuating a multi-paragraph quote. But if you go back to the OP and my comment, you'll notice it had nothing to do with the closing quotation mark. What I pointed out was the missing opening quotation mark in the second paragraph.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

I just object to EB's insistence on adding an action to every single paragraph, as it seems overly forced simply to avoid something he doesn't appreciate, rather than something to benefit the reader.

That would be attitude too: All things in moderation, even moderation.
The big 'take away points' for me from this discussion are:
1. Simply don't do it if you can put an entire monologue in one not overly long paragraph.
2. If it's going to be a long one, make sure readers are expecting that before it starts and are in no doubt about when the speaker is winding up.
***
I'm still finding it hard to get my head around the fact I never knew this convention existed a short time ago. My eyes must have seen it countless times, but it never registered with the brain?
I presume that was a result of professional writers and their editors being so careful to ensure context was so clear did not need to use punctuation to figure out what was meant.
However, the reverse may apply here. If writers and editors are not experts, it is safer to use it very sparingly, and with care.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

but let's quit dictating what everyone else (such as Ross insisting to all those he's editing) is allowed to do.

No, No, No, No, No! :-(
I DO NOT INSIST what authors must do.
I just sent (before reading your post) to one author words to this effect:
Can we agree?
- The first time I see it used you may expect an "I prefer" or "I suggest" from me recommending a change
- The next time I see the same chapter I will only check the punctuation is correct using the standards in CMOS.
I have opinions, I sometimes express them as strong opinions - that is what my authors want from me - but I do not dictate what they must do.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I have opinions, I sometimes express them as strong opinions - that is what my authors want from me - but I do not dictate what they must do.

Generally, my approach is:
1) Point out the usage and comment on it
2) If they continue, point out the pitfalls and references to 'common usage'
3) If they continue after that (and don't explain their usage), ask them if this is a specific choice.
4) Drop it after that, in either case. You've warned them, they know the potential penalty. If they continue, they at least know what they're getting into.

I've seen this same kind of thing come up with punctuation. One editor will insist on one type of comma usage and either the author will balk, or another editor objects. The one editor points out his objections, the author does their own thing, and then one or the other editor end up walking over it (often because their opinions weren't respected and they think the author is 'doing it wrong').

It's often difficult to stand on the middle ground in a shifting tide.

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