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Speech marks
  • In my WIP a character is telling a story, which is long enough to split into paragraphs.
    Should I put speech marks at the beginning and end of each paragraph?
  • CarolCarol
    If there's no description or such between, I believe you leave the closing speech marks off the end of the paragraph and open marks at the start of the next.

    But I'm sure Baggy and/or MrsBear will be able to tell you the correct details.
  • I'm just reading a book by Matt Haig in which there is no punctuation bar capitals and full stops, exclamations and question marks. There have been no moments when I've thought, wait, what? at all. It's amazing.
  • Yes, what Carol said.

  • Mrs Bear
    I think I blogged about this, Lizy. To show the speech continues, you put speech marks at the start of each paragraph, and you don't close them until he's finished speaking or is interrupted.
  • Thanks Mrs Bear, I thought that was it but wasn't sure.
  • Liz said:

    I'm just reading a book by Matt Haig in which there is no punctuation bar capitals and full stops, exclamations and question marks. There have been no moments when I've thought, wait, what? at all. It's amazing.



    Yes, I've also noticed that somewhere, Liz - can't remember where though. Perhaps it's trendy?
  • The final 62 pages of Ulysses contains no punctuation whatsoever, except maybe a couple of full stops and a few breaks in the text
    Thanked by 1lies
  • :(
    That's a lot of mental punctuation to cope with at your age, SM.
  • snailmale said:

    The final 62 pages of Ulysses contains no punctuation whatsoever, except maybe a couple of full stops and a few breaks in the text



    Funnily enough I was going to mention Ulysses, snailmale. I thought the whole book was like that! I started it three times when I was younger but never made it the whole way through.
  • If you think about it, you have no problem inferring sense from speech in every day life, which contains no punctuation whatsoever - you can tell a question and exclamation by the way it has been said, but possessions etc. are also inferred by the listener through context, usually. It's only occasionally one has to ask to make seomething clear.
  • Liz said:

    I'm just reading a book by Matt Haig in which there is no punctuation bar capitals and full stops, exclamations and question marks. There have been no moments when I've thought, wait, what? at all. It's amazing.



    No apostrophes or commas?
  • Hang on...
  • You made me doubt. just had a look. No commas. No apostrophes.
  • Gosh. So no contractions?
  • Read last post and wondered which TBer was pregnant!
  • Yes, contractions, but without punctuation. Didn't even notice after a while.
  • I think it would annoy me, but I can believe it would be possible to understand what was meant.
  • LizLiz
    I think our brains are cleverer than that. We get into the story and just don't notice.
  • It would depend on how annoying we found it and how quickly we could get into the story. I've not read a book written this way, so can't comment.

    Curious Incident didn't bother me, as I quickly saw why it was written that way. I read another written in first person 'by' a child which had no punctuation - but the child was old enough and clever enough to use at least a little, so I found that very irritating.
  • Have you read any Matt Haig? I would definitely recommend him, he is a superb writer. this particular book was not very satisfactory at the end... but I couldn't put it down.
  • Seaview said:

    Liz said:

    I'm just reading a book by Matt Haig in which there is no punctuation bar capitals and full stops, exclamations and question marks. There have been no moments when I've thought, wait, what? at all. It's amazing.



    Yes, I've also noticed that somewhere, Liz - can't remember where though. Perhaps it's trendy?


    To jog your memory, might it have been Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes? No speech punctuation at all.