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HELP needed! How do I write a text message exchange/conversation? Options · View
Guest
Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 10:18:34 AM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 534,753
Hi all, Thanks for taking the time to read and hopefully help out.

I am writing a chapter for an ongoing story that I am writing and I want to convey a text message conversation as part of the story. The two main protagonists have a text (sms) conversation during the chapter and I want to know what the most acceptable way of showing this is?

Is it to just write like script:

Name 1: Blah Blah Blah

Name 2: Blah Blah Blah

Or, is there a better way of showing this on a page?

Advice and guidance desperately needed!

SDIMDM
Dancing_Doll
Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 11:08:12 AM

Rank: Alpha Blonde

Joined: 2/17/2010
Posts: 6,271
Location: West Coast
Yeah, that's how I've done it in the past.

Or if it's a very short text conversation, you can write it long-hand like:

I quickly typed, 'where are we meeting?'

His response chimed in a moment later. 'At the hotel.'

I don't think there's any hard or fast rules with text-talk in stories. Maybe I'm wrong on that one, but if it's a long text-conversation, I would just go with the format you've already mentioned, using the name/script style.


Guest
Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 11:13:07 AM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 534,753
Thank you ... it seems the most logical way to me also :)
overmykneenow
Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 11:15:22 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 6/8/2010
Posts: 1,021
Location: United Kingdom
I used script style when I including a text exchange in Circle of Friends.

Go with what you think fits best and carries the meaning across. Remember it's a text only conversation, so the characters can't add extra emotion or reaction, you only have the words to go on.

Of course if you are punctuating the messages with reaction, or if it's first person, then I would suggest a more narrative-based approach.

Warning: The opinions above are those of an anonymous individual on the internet. They are opinions, unless they're facts. They may be ill-informed, out of touch with reality or just plain stupid. They may contain traces of irony. If reading these opinions causes you to be become outraged or you start displaying the symptoms of outrage, stop reading them immediately. If symptoms persist, consult a psychiatrist.

Why not read some stories instead

NEW! Want a quick read for your coffee break? Why not try this... Flash Erotica: Scrubber
Guest
Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 11:20:59 AM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 534,753
Thank you :)
Mazza
Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 11:28:17 AM

Rank: Mazztastic

Joined: 9/20/2012
Posts: 3,040
Location: Scotland, United Kingdom
I'm not a fan of the text written out like a play. I much prefer DD's way of doing it, although I can see that in a longer exchange it would be harder to do. Personally, I tend to lose interest and just scan what's said...
Just my thought though...

(as a matter of interest, I didn't find it tedious in OMKN's story, but then it was only a small part of it)
Guest
Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 11:50:35 AM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 534,753
In one of my stories, yet to be published, I wrote it in italics. It seemed to work ok in my head.
Magical_felix
Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 12:20:04 PM

Rank: Wild at Heart

Joined: 4/3/2010
Posts: 4,905
Location: California
Text messaging is almost always present in my stories and I tend to write it out using the name 1 and name 2 method. I have a couple reasons for why I do it this way.

Usually text messaging in a story is important information. So I feel it resonates more if it is done this way. I feel it's easy to read and breaks up the paragraphs nicely and I just like that. Since it is an element in most of my stories I think I would run out of ways to describe texting in an interesting way.

If it's a long exchange I add actions in-between then just go right back to the texting. It just reads better that way to me. It feels like actual texting because when you send text you kinda stop everything to focus on the text before going back to what you're doing.



Guest
Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 10:23:46 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 534,753
Thank you all for your advice.

I thin I am going to go with the name1, name 2 script style method. Like Felix, I like to break it up with actions, thoughts and feelings, so it hopefully flows well and also looks good without being "unaesthetic!!
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