Paragraph formatting question

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Jedi Knight Muse

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Paragraph formatting question
« on: December 16, 2017, 12:00:07 PM »
So there's a part in chapter one of Storms of Magic that @Manu read and neither her or I are really sure which way it's supposed to be, so I thought I'd post it and see if it's correct. Basically, I put a paragraph break where I thought it was needed but it may or may not be needed.

There's going to be a bit of context missing but I'm basically just copying enough of it to be able to show what it is we're unsure of. The part I'm talking about is in bold.

(click to show/hide)

@Manu had mentioned that she had lost track of who was speaking at this point because of the paragraph breaks. The first set of dialogue os Brax, and then Merek is reacting and thinking by brushing his hand through his hair...and then the next set of dialogue is Merek speaking. So do I keep the paragraph break or do I keep it as being part of the paragraph that starts with "Merek reached up"?

So this is what it would possibly look like if I keep it in that paragraph.
(click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 12:01:41 PM by Jedi Knight Muse »
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SecretRock

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Re: Paragraph formatting question
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2017, 05:11:42 AM »
I think the general rule is to start a new paragraph when there's a new person speaking, so the first one seems all good to me.

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Ahryantah

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Re: Paragraph formatting question
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2017, 07:56:10 PM »
I think either one is technically correct, and whichever you choose is basically down to what you think reads best. Like, if Merek's thoughts go on for a while, it might be more prudent to separate out his dialogue just to break up the wall of text a little. But if it's a short passage, it might look better to keep the dialogue in the same paragraph. Where you decide a paragraph is getting too long and needs something separated out is up to you.

In this specific case, if it was me, I would keep the dialogue in the same paragraph, because it's not that long of a paragraph. But I can also see the virtue in separating it out (to make it very clear what he's saying vs. what he's thinking), and I would probably dither over it for a while myself. I can also see how it might be confusing as to who is actually speaking at that point, so maybe it would be better to put it all in the same paragraph?
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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: Paragraph formatting question
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2017, 11:39:45 PM »
I think the general rule is to start a new paragraph when there's a new person speaking, so the first one seems all good to me.
That's what I thought, too, but now I'm not as sure.

I think either one is technically correct, and whichever you choose is basically down to what you think reads best. Like, if Merek's thoughts go on for a while, it might be more prudent to separate out his dialogue just to break up the wall of text a little. But if it's a short passage, it might look better to keep the dialogue in the same paragraph. Where you decide a paragraph is getting too long and needs something separated out is up to you.

In this specific case, if it was me, I would keep the dialogue in the same paragraph, because it's not that long of a paragraph. But I can also see the virtue in separating it out (to make it very clear what he's saying vs. what he's thinking), and I would probably dither over it for a while myself. I can also see how it might be confusing as to who is actually speaking at that point, so maybe it would be better to put it all in the same paragraph?

Hm, okay. I mean, the whole reason I separated them to begin with was because it felt like it was getting too long, so the dialogue should be on the next line.

I dunno. :-\ I can agree with both of your points, which is exactly why I'm still mulling over it and trying to decide. I might try keeping it in one paragraph and seeing what you and @JayLee think when reading that part of the story and see if it still works with it being separated VS in one paragraph.
Storms of Magic - Draft 2 Currently being beta read
Untitled sequel to Storms of Magic - currently being written!