I know that it's one of the golden rules to start a new paragraph every time there's dialogue from a new speaker, but my conundrum is this: what if the two bits of dialogue are sharing a sentence?
That might sound kind of odd just spoken in theory, but bear with me. For example:
"You wouldn't dare," Alexa hissed, at the same time that Corey shouted, "God, no!"
If one were to break the dialogue, like so...
"You wouldn't dare," Alexa hissed.
At the same time, Corey shouted, "God, no!"
...then it becomes momentarily unclear upon the first reading that two people are speaking at the same time. The reader doesn't realize that Alexa is talking over anyone until they move down to the next paragraph, whereas in the first case, the eyes catch that there are two speakers at first glance. When you read it all in one sentence with no pauses, it sort of runs together--which, in this case, is actually the intention.
Let's relate this to a different form of storytelling: animation. Characters' positions on the screen between scenes have to move in an easy to follow manner, while poses should be clear enough so that even if one were to black out the entire character, their action is still clear by silhouette alone. All of these precautions are to make sure that a frame "reads" well; the viewer should be able to tell what's going on the instant it appears on the screen.
Sometimes, paragraph breaks can make things clunky and mess up the flow. It doesn't seem like much, but any small disruption can put enough of a roadblock in the flow of a scene to keep the reader from seeing what the author envisioned.
This conundrum has been haunting me. Thoughts?