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He made his way over to the crimson red telephone box that basked in the afternoon sunlight. Ted knew she was hiding in there. “You can come out now." He swung open the door, with a callous look in his eyes. She loooked up at him with discomfort and relief. Her body was bundled up against the floor like a tired dog.

"At least try to seem like you're having fun, Ted."

This is an example I made up. I don't know if I should leave a seperate paragraph for what Ted had said. My point is, if I describe someone's actions or a scene and have dialogue in the middle of it, do I need the dialogue in a new paragraph? And then do I carry on normal descriptions on the same line or start another new paragraph after the dialogue is done? This is for an ebook mind you.

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Separate and clarify:

Everyone has a different style, but I was always told that it is better to separate speakers clearly, and delineate who is saying each statement. You can be ambiguous about what people mean, but not about who is speaking. I've been yelled at plenty of times about this. I'd do this one something like this:

He made his way over to the crimson red telephone box that basked in the afternoon sunlight. Ted knew she was hiding in there. “You can come out now," he said. He swung open the door. He callously stared at her.

She looked up at him with discomfort and relief. Her body was bundled up against the floor like a tired dog. "At least try to seem like you're having fun, Ted," she answered.

I adjusted a few words for the different format, I hope this didn't change any meaning. Each person has their own paragraph, and each statement is specifically labeled. If no one else could possibly say a sentence, you wouldn't have to specify who said it, but it's usually better to be explicit, even if it feels a little forced. Readers may have missed something along the way, and it's best to give them all the help they can get.

  • Oh alrighty then. So no matter how many times the same speaker speaks it should all be contained in the same paragraph? Unless of course there's a change in the speakers scene right. I didn't think about being explicit about who is talking thanks – danklegend64 Aug 29 '20 at 16:19
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    I think if a speaker is giving a long speech, they could have multiple paragraphs. I'd still indicate somehow in each paragraph who is speaking, ideally at the beginning. It's easier when you have a man and a woman talking, because of pronouns. – DWKraus Aug 29 '20 at 16:33
  • Thanks for this it was really helpful! – danklegend64 Aug 29 '20 at 21:59
  • If it was, give it an upvote and checkmark! – DWKraus Aug 29 '20 at 23:07

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