Texting is here to stay.
At least until Apple comes up with the next best thing.
If our stories are to stay current, we need to discuss texting.
Writers need to stay on top of trends and changes, whether they are permanent or fads. Why? Because it dates the story.
I’m discovering more and more the need for research. You may not be writing a historical or technical book, but the need for research is ever-present.
Children’s book? Need to research games they play, books they read or don’t read. Type of clothes they like, yes, even in kids.
YA? Research required not just in slang terms, but clothing, electronics, TV, social media, peer pressure and that’s only the beginning.
Fiction books require research as do non-fiction.
All that brings me to texting. If you want to write a texting scene in your book, research is a must. Start with your phone, that of your kids etc. However, like with most things in the real world, not all translate on to the written page with ease.
And an article by Rachel Ritchey which arrived just when I needed more insight into what other writers were thinking.
As Rachel mentions, writing “text” messaging into a novel is a new concept. Uncharted territory if you will. As strange as an alien planet.
So far, there is no standard.
And I’m not sure there could be, a texting conversation between adults is different from those between teenagers. After all, our in-person conversations are different too.
Young adults use emoji, online jargon and abbreviations. Older people are more likely to write out whole sentences. Yep, more research.
On one point I do agree, whichever way you choose to show a text conversation make sure you stay consistent throughout the novel.
Here is a sample of a chapter I’m working on.
Maybe I should try one more time. I tapped the text icon. Nothing new. My last texts stared at me, unanswered. This wasn’t like her. No calls, no texts, nothing. Not since Saturday night.
The music made talking impossible. My head pounded with the base. Midnight even on a Saturday was too late for me to play sister to Cinderella. I needed sleep. I texted Tiff. Her blond curls popped above the crowd, she waved at me and nodded.
Headache going hm
Disappointment, not anger. That was the last time I saw her, grinding against tall, dark and handsome on the dance floor. My head pounding, I’d gone home.
Next day, awake and feeling better after a long hot shower, I texted her, ready to hear all about the good-looking guy and what happened after I left.
U up yet?
I’d waited until almost noon before sending another. Even Tiff wouldn’t waste a beautiful Sunday afternoon sleeping.
CM details on last night
GDI answer UR phone!
I’d tried calling several times. Rolled to voicemail again and again. Not like her.
Rachel gives examples of how she thinks texts should be written as well as a link to another good author and his opinion.
What about you? Have you written a texting scene into a story line yet?
How did you show the texting conversation?
Which way looks best to you?