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Punctuating and arranging dialogue

I came across your website just now as I was looking for help with properly punctuating dialogue. My question has to do with writing dialogue in a fictional novel.

Besides the absence of the new speaker/new paragraph rule from the below excerpt, how do I handle the arrangement and punctuation when the same person continues to speak? In this case, Joy first speaks by telphone to Monsieur Roumaine and in the next breath has a conversation with her producer, Dan, followed by Leo.

Just then, Joy's phone rang. "Hello, yes this is Joy. What! You will go on camera? Monsieur Roumaine, I will be right there."

"Dan!" Joy yelled to her producer. I have someone who is willing to talk to us about the Garnett Street murders."

"But, we're on in 5 minutes," her producer protested.

"I will do the story after my interview with Monsieur Roumaine. Push me back to 11:20 for a live feed. "Leo!" she screamed. Truck still set up for the live feed we were going to do from the community center?"

"Yeah."

"Great, let's go!"


ANSWER

You handled this well until this paragraph:

"I will do the story after my interview with Monsieur Roumaine. Push me back to 11:20 for a live feed. "Leo!" she screamed. Truck still set up for the live feed we were going to do from the community center?"

Here you would add clarity by beginning a new paragraph when she screams, "Leo!"

Normally when a character continues dialogue into a second paragraph, you do not close the quotation marks on the first paragraph, but use opening ones on the second paragraph and close at the end of that paragraph, presuming the character finishes speaking.

In this case, however, that might still create some confusion. I would add a beat of action for clarity, like this:

"I will do the story after my interview with Monsieur Roumaine. Push me back to 11:20 for a live feed." She glared at her well meaning assistant, who brought the coffee she had ordered but slopped it on her desk as she plunked it down.

"Leo!" she screamed. Truck still set up for the live feed we were going to do from the community center?"


Something along those lines creates the break you need to avoid confusion.

Please see "More Than One Paragraph of Dialogue" near the bottom of the Punctuating Dialogue page for more on this.

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