This will flag comments for moderators to take action.

WEbook's superstore for talking shop: colons vs. semicolons; dialogue format; point of view.  And everything in between.
Posted: 2/20/2014 1:43 PM PST
Here is a sample. I may have figured it out but you can tell me.

He took another drink then continued his tale. "I sees it done an' I comes at her, jus' like I should, but she steps back. So I stops. She says, 'You don't have to know.' I looks at her like she's crazed. I'm a warrior and I don't backs down from no ones..."

The narrator is in a tavern telling some one a tale about a third person. I put the teller's tale in double quotes and the conversations within the tale in single quotes. The other problem I have is that I use a lot of phonetic speech which requires the use of single quotes to replace unenunciated (is that a word?) consonants. 
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 2/20/2014 8:41 AM PST

ZanneP
As a general style rule the double/single or vice versa quote marks apply. But, you know, this question throws up several issues IMO.  If there's a large chunk of story being narrated then it can be distracting, and italicising the whole chunk could be a solution. However, in your example, is it an actual 'story' being narrated? Or is it just something that happened to a friend of the character narrating? In which case, would it be actual words being quoted verbatim? Because that would be unnatural - not like how a character speaks - it would in reality be more like reported speech. So, to take your example.

Jerry looked at Bo and continued his tale. "I was walking with Fred and he said, 'We were kissing, hugging and getting hot but then I felt a rumble in my stomach and I belched right in the middle of a kiss.""

Could it be more like:

Jerry looked at Bo and continued his tale. "I was walking with Fred and he said they were kissing, hugging and getting hot but then he felt a rumble in his stomach and he belched right in the middle of a kiss."

Otherwise, you could change the order of stuff - or add something - so the double quote marks don't appear together. Eg

Jerry looked at Bo and continued his tale. "I was walking with Fred and he said, 'We were kissing, hugging and getting hot but then I felt a rumble in my stomach and I belched right in the middle of a kiss.' Can you believe that?"


Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 2/15/2014 1:55 AM PST
I have a character who is narrating a story to someone and I put all that he says in quotes. In his story there is a dialog with another person.
For example.

Jerry looked at Bo and continued his tale. "I was walking with Fred and he said, 'We were kissing, hugging and getting hot but then I felt a rumble in my stomach and I belched right in the middle of a kiss.""

That double quote to end both Jerry's and Fred's talking doesn't seem right nor does using single and double quotes. I thought of using italics but I use them for thoughts and I would still have a problem with quotation marks.

Anyone got an answer?
Sign-Up or Login to Reply