exposition

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I Need Your Help!
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myrabidpetspoon
I have no Beta, so I have no one to throw my writing ideas off of. I'm hoping maybe someone here can help me. Basically, I need to stylistically distinguish between what is occurring in "real life" and what is happening in a video. I'm having trouble figuring out how to do it.


I have two characters are watching a video. The video is being described to the audience in detail as if they were watching it. While watching the video, the characters are responding to the video physically (growing anxious, reassuring hand holding, etc.) as well as communicating with one another. I'm trying to figure out how to sandwich these interactions between the video descriptions.

The kicker is that the characters are communicating telepathically, and this is denoted by the use of italics. So I can’t just stick the video in italics and call it a day. I need to do something else to keep it separate. I'm not quite sure what.

I initially wrote the video footage in present tense without realizing it, and the tense change could in theory set it apart. But would that be weird? And would people even notice the tense change for that to separate it enough? Do you have a better idea how to do this? Maybe changes in spacing? Or indentations? Or...???


I would be so appreciative of any general input anyone can give me. Or if anyone wants to read through the passage and offer specific input, I would be totally down for that too.

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I'm not sure if I can help, but I'll try :D

First of all, I agree that a tense change is probably not enough. It's a nice tool for supporting the seperation of the two simultaneous scenes but if it's the only thing that seperates them, readers could easily overlook it.

I would have suggested italics but I guess that's out of the question now :'D That would just be confusing. Changes in spacing or indentations sound good though.

Or maybe you could re-write that passage (sorry!) and make one scene out of the two. By that I mean that you don't describe the video sequenz and the viewers' reactions as separate scenes and then try to put them together, but rather make the reader see the two characters as they watch the video (e.g. "When *this and that* happened on the screen, X shifted nervously in his seat" or "As they saw *this and that* in the video, X gripped Y's hand tightly").

I don't know if this helps, it depends on the scene of course xD Maybe you could send me the passage in question so I can try to come up with more ideas :D

(By the way, the story sounds quite interesting! ^_~ )

(It's for my Yami no Matsuei/Tiger & Bunny crossover. :P )

I ended up using a block quote in addition to the tense change for the video. I was limited in formatting options due to the html allowed on Archive of Our Own, but I think it works well.

I appreciate your input. It definitely helped me work through it and figure out what impact I wanted the scene to have. Hopefully other people like the end result as well, haha.

Oh then I guess I need to finish watching the series soon - I'm approximately at the middle now :)

I'm glad I could help you out a little! If you have any other problems where you need some input, just ask :D

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