GR8 texts? YOYOPosted: May 7, 2013
Text messages as dialogue: how could this be controversial? Surely a lot of conversation takes place through mobile/cell phone texting particularly at the younger end of the population. I just wanted to get some ideas about how to format it for my ‘middle grade’ pre-tween story. So I popped the question on to a writer’s discussion board that has been helpful to me in the past and through which I’ve helped other writers. It provoked such a storm of indignation that I was stunned – in fact I am still stunned. There were snide comments about using ‘gratuitous textspeak’ and one person saying that ‘I personally despise text speak’ and would only use it if there was a ‘plot point to make’. Excuse me while I rant, but what’s the big deal? Surely it is just dialogue? Or somewhere between dialogue and an email or letter. Letters are often reproduced in books which can add to the authenticity of the message or add depth to the character of the letter writer. Surely texting is just a currently used version of this? The book’s readers would be familiar with it thus adding a contemporary feel (and it’s not often that you can say ‘thus’ and ‘contemporary’ in the same sentence).
Feeling a bit better now I’ve vented. Even trying to work out what some classic books or dialogue in books would look like in texts. Let me know if you think of any.