Chat style stories

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Archangel

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Hey all,

Just wondering what your experience is with chat based stories. What's the best formatting you've seen done? I'm a little worried about switching stream of consciousness from one character to another rapidly and if that throws off a reader so I'm wondering how you've seen others do it, and if it was effective.

Any feedback appreciated.

Thank you.
 

agouderia

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Just my personal opinion, but I find chat style stories incredibly challenging to write .... and to read by the way. It works only for short stories or maybe comedies. Or maybe as interspersed chapters between a story told with changing perspectives.

The main reason: Overly long dialogue is tedious to read - think of having to read plays at school. There also is a lot of content - atmosphere, setting, how characters look & feel - which will sound artificial and forced if you try to pack it into a dialogue format.

Maybe someone else has a different opinion and knows of some techniques on how to handle this better.
 

Tad

Dimensions' loiterer
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I seem to recall reading one quite short story that worked out OK using that format, and giving up on a few others that were longer.

I suspect that like with a play, the key is to leave as much out as possible, giving the reader just enough points to join together into their own picture. Not a full painting, not even a line drawing, more like a constellation with a few nudges towards how the author thinks it should be interpreted.
 

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