Writing in a different font?

Gary Compton

I miss you, wor kid.
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#1
I've got a question for anyone interested in replying.:)

I have a character sitting watching a politician on TV, the scene switches between the characters discussion with his wife and what the politician is saying.

Do I write the politicians words in a different font or do I leave it as the rest of the manuscript, allowing my words to differentiate on whose saying what.

Anyone got any ideas?
 

Susan Boulton

The storyteller
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#2
Do I write the politicians words in a different font.

No, I would not. If the reader cannot differentiate between who is saying what from your prose, then using a different font will not help. You could at a pinch use italics, but again your writing should be clear, as to who is speaking what and when.
 

Gary Compton

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#3
I've already got italics as thought in the book so that wouldnt work.

I'll go with your advice as it's what I thought anyway.

Just being indecisive.

Thanks SJAB:)
 

Teresa Edgerton

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#4
I'd say use the italics. He's not part of the conversation; he's background noise.

Even though you have italics as thoughts, you might still use italics for a letter or for a flashback. Readers don't get confused. Besides, the politician would be speaking in italics between quotation marks, which would make it different from the inner monologue. Unless, by thought, you mean the characters are communicating telepathically.
 

Gary Compton

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#5
I'd say use the italics. He's not part of the conversation; he's background noise.

Even though you have italics as thoughts, you might still use italics for a letter or for a flashback. Readers don't get confused. Besides, the politician would be speaking in italics between quotation marks, which would make it different from the inner monologue. Unless, by thought, you mean the characters are communicating telepathically.
Thats a good idea Teresa. They are not communicating telepathically so using quotation marks would work.

Many Thanks
 
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#8
This does make me wonder now that its brought up. when one puts the television on mute and or turns on closed captioning often to differentiate between character dialog and background noise and dialog there is the use of brackets or other device. Such as [ ] and - - would these be something to consider or would they in the end be to complicated or confusing? I ask now that this is mentioned because in the book I am working on there will be sequences that bounce around in time and there will be scenes where the radio will play a predominate background role.
 

ctg

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#9
Like the other's has said you can easily use italics with the television speech, but there's another way and that comes with the third person POV as by using that you can easily zoom out and zoom in the television. What I preach here is a POV shift from one character to another, but you don't have to go so far that you drop in their thoughts but use a third person narrative to convey the information. Then again, as you are writing in the first person, you have to make the character to observe the television and then use the narrator/character monologue/dialogue in your advance.



For example you could write,

"Shush," Joice waved her hand and turned to watch the television. I raised my eyebrow and watched her for a second before I caught the words, "I don't believe I'm saying this but there's an alien ship hovering over the down town."

I leaned my head left and saw the cameramen panning the view from the startled looking female commentator to high rising sky scrapers and all the way to the classical saucer shaped spacecraft that was hovering still above all the people that had gathered underneath it.

"Dear Lord," the male news-anchor said. "Is that real?"

She nodded her head and said, "Yes John. That's real!"

"When did that happen?" He asked.

She stared the camera and said, "Believe me or not but it came out from the blue just moment ago."



So as you can see I moved through the narrative to use the third person perspective on the event at the same time as I drop the crucial information to the reader. By doing that you can keep the focus on the first person character and use him or her, or it drop in the lines or even thought in the middle of the narrative.

Does that make sense?
 

mygoditsraining

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#12
You could also use the structure of the text to show it as background noise, because I'm assuming you attribute the thoughts like normal dialogue. Just put it on a line by itself, and indicate if we're picking up the sound in the long, awkward pauses between sections of difficult, confrontational dialogue.

For example:

This isn't going to plan, he thought.

and later;

"You never loved me," said Alan.

-was seen rappelling from the clock face shortly before lightning struck-

"Dude, I only asked if you wanted another beer."
 

Susan Boulton

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#15
I usually find that no matter how pretty their speech, politicians tend to return to type.
:D

As to the original question. Might I ask is what the politician saying important to the story? If it is, then yes you need to work his speech into your scene. Or if you are trying to create a scene similar to those in "Life on Mars" when the person on the TV actually comments on the real life situation, then again work it in.

If it is just background noise then I would personally not include anything he says, just phrase it like "The babble of the politician kept puncuating his words with a frequency that was both annoying and distracting" or some such.
 

ctg

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#16
You could also use the structure of the text to show it as background noise, because I'm assuming you attribute the thoughts like normal dialogue. Just put it on a line by itself, and indicate if we're picking up the sound in the long, awkward pauses between sections of difficult, confrontational dialogue.

For example:

This isn't going to plan, he thought.

and later;

"You never loved me," said Alan.

-was seen rappelling from the clock face shortly before lightning struck-

"Dude, I only asked if you wanted another beer."

The thoughts doesn't have to be italicized if the thought process is clearly indicated in the narrative. The only thoughts that you would put on the italic are the thoughts that are direct and cannot be any other way flagged in the prose.

And if you happen to have a telepathic conversation in between the two or more characters you only have to make sure that the dialogue lines fit the speaker. If not then you can use for example eyes or other ways to make it clear that those thoughts came from that character.
 

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