Book Progress – Texting

Hello again, Friday. I’ve been keeping up pretty well with my “page a day” rule I’ve given myself (although due to mother’s day activities this past weekend I didn’t get any work done) but yesterday I found myself stuck on a page.

So, my book is about a group of high schoolers. It’s set in modern day. This leads to the good old recipe of texting. Here is where I’ve found myself stuck. I want to represent texting in a unique way, I do not wish to simply make it lines of dialogue or just tell you what the conversation entailed. I want you to see the conversation. So how do I do that? This is what I currently have:

K > So no keycard locks then? Awesome.

 

Yeah, we’re all good to go <

 

K > So when do you want to pull this off? I’m thinking

       this weekend, less students and all

 

That’s probably a good idea. You free saturday night? <

 

K > Yeah works for me

Cool. We can discuss more tomorrow <

The “K” represents the friend Kurt, and as this is a first person story, the one on the right is Garrett and doesn’t have an initial. Now I think this presentation isn’t half bad. None of the characters that will be in the text conversations share a first initial so it’ll be easy to figure out who says what and it looks like a text conversation. But how can I make it better? How can I make it feel like texts and not just look like them?

There are a couple of options I’m considering. First, I can add boxes or bubbles around the texts. This would make it look even more like text messages and could potentially be even more convincing. But a problem arises when you consider the amount of clutter on the page. Would it look too messy? I want you to read a text conversation and think “They’re texting” not “Wow this sure is messy, what’s going on?” This is probably the most minor of problems as I just need to try out different styles and see if it does end up too messy, so I’m not too worried about this aspect.

My biggest worry is how I should present the text messages. The lines themselves. Most people typically throw a lot of grammar and spelling out the window when texting. Abbreviations, lack of punctuation, etc. So do I have all of the characters text like “hey man where r we hanging out” or does this make the book too unprofessional? Do I use perfect grammar and punctuation or would this pull you out of the story and make the texts more unbelievable? I could also just have some characters have perfect grammar and others not in order to give more depth to their characters. There are many options that I’ll have to explore. I could also just use proper grammar for everyone and chock it up to spell check. Then I would only need to worry about abbreviations and the like which could be great ways to give more character to the characters.

If you have any ideas, feel free to let me know. See you next week!

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