Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Today I have created The Writer Haven. This is a place for writers to gather and discuss topics of interest about writing with at least one issue each week. I will attempt to post on Mondays.

If nobody has any suggestions for topics, I will put forth a question to see if any others can shed a little light on the issue.

To get the ball rolling--

Dialog. At a meeting with other writers last night, one informed the group that she had just finished reading a book that didn't have any quotation marks used to set off dialog.

Is this something new in the publishing industry?
Have you seen anything like this?
Do you like / dislike this idea?


  1. Hi, Bob! This is such a cool idea (the blog) and I'll be looking forward to reading it each week.

    As for quotation marks and dialog: I've seen a few stories that don't use it. I personally don't care for it, but I can understand the individual writer using it to evoke a certain mood. I'd probably just end up confusing myself. JMR

  2. I've seen this and find it rather confusing when reading. I don't know if it's a trend or poor editing. (Love the new blog.) Denny

  3. Great idea Bob/s

    I have heard mention of the lack of quotation marks but have yet to encounter it. I would find it confusing as well.

  4. Without quotation marks, the he/she said had better be near the start of the sentence or I'm going to find it very confusing. Imagine this trite dialog:

    We wandered into the woods.
    I often find the colorful leaves to be very soul refreshing.
    Do you like to collect the leaves? she asked.

    Now is the middle line dialog, a thought, or info dumping about the lead character?

    I mean, it reads fine but w/o quotes, that middle sentence can be anything. I intended it to be dialog - I could have added 'he said' but that gets to be old hash fast when only two people are talking.

    For typesetters (do they still have typesetters?), eliminating quotes will make it faster and it will use less paper and ink. Remember, 2 quotes equal 2 characters. Two hundred lines of dialog = 400+ characters; that has to be close to 1/2 page. Now think about that!

    Is this possibly a 'green' idea? Like only 1 space between sentences rather than the customary 2 spaces?

  5. I think this whole thing depends on the context. Did the writer use a different font or italics to set off the dialogue? Was it set up like a screenplay using character names?

    It could be poor editing or laziness too. I don't mind changing things for ease of reading, but there needs to be a clear reason for doing so.

  6. From what I was told at the meeting, same font all the way through... just missing quotes.

  7. I read a book written by a South African author, and apparently they do not use quotation marks to set off dialog in South Africa. I did not care for that style, but it was not a mistake.

  8. I'm not a fan of the lack of quotation marks. I need my dialogue clearly marked. Like others have said, "That way I know what is being said aloud," and what is not, he thought to himself.