Consider the following exchange:



They were sitting on the bench.

The dialogue lines are indented. Should the descriptive sentence also be indented? What if we had



They were sitting on the bench, feet naked against the ground, blah blah blah blah blah blah **new line*

Since this is a full paragraph, should it be indented? (My gut thinks yes). If so, would we then indent the firsts sentence as well?


1 Answer 1


If you indent paragraphs, every paragraph gets indented, period. It doesn't matter if that paragraph is a single word of dialogue, a page-long rant, or four pages of stream-of-consciousness. So:



    They were sitting on the bench, feet naked against the ground, enjoying the warm sun and the sound of the surf.

    "Did you see Mack & Manco's changed their name?"

    He turned around to look. "Manco & Manco's? That's silly. I used to go there every year when I was a kid. Mack and Manco's, I mean. We would come down the shore for two weeks every summer and get pizza there every day. My mom made us eat it on the boardwalk so we wouldn't get sand in it."

  • 2
    I'd add: Likewise, if you don't indent narrative paragraphs, if, say, you put a blank line between paragraphs, then don't indent dialog either, put the same blank line. Format both the same, The only difference is that dialog is in quotes.
    – Jay
    May 25, 2016 at 5:00

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