Here are a few ways you can note down your Inner/Outer Dialogues with clarity so they are easy to read and understand. The first two use Diana and David’s texts (with some mild editing). Thank you to our classmates for letting us use their work!!
Number 5 Train, travelling from 219th Street in The Bronx to Borough Hall, Brooklyn. Time is 8:04 AM. Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. The train is not crowded at all. I find a seat.
Almost everyone has a seat today. I was supposed to write earlier, but I fell asleep. No one is talking at all. People are listening to music. Wait – I hear something. “This is Wall Street.”
Whispers from the far left. Can’t make out what they’re saying.
Oh, that lady’s nails are nice.
“This is Bowling Green.” The lady with the nice nails just got up and almost fell. “Ooops!” [Laugh out loud.] “Almost at Borough Hall.”
There are five people, including myself. It is super quiet; all I hear is the cluckelling of the train heading to my destination. It is like “Rahr, rahr…Grrrrr!” (I’m probably way off – but that’s okay.) I hope the coffee line isn’t too long; I really need a cup of coffee. Okay, I’m at my stop.
A week in the life. February 8-21, 2017
2:13 PM. On the train. Why is everybody staring at me?
12:14 AM: My little brother is snoring like an adult.
10:10 AM: At the gym. Sunday. People asking if I got into a fight because of the scratch on my face.
Monday: Entered a beautiful wedding place. I played the piano, and people were staring.
Listen, Class: You can even make up a format of your own, as long as it is consistent and clear and uses quotation marks correctly. I will be looking for clarity and good punctuation. What people say is what they say. I can’t – and won’t – correct that! Here are two more examples of styles you can use.
Example #3 (“Play” style, with personal, “inner” talk in italics and indentations. That’s okay, too.):
Setting: Midnight; Number 6 Train to The Bronx. I board at 42nd Street. A poorly dressed man and woman board the train behind me.
MAN: I’m on my way uptown all because of you and your nagging me.
WOMAN [sitting down]: No you are not. You would have to go uptown anyway, even if I didn’t want you to. That’s so unfair.
MAN: Please don’t argue with me any more – and don’t hold that seat for me. I refuse to sit down next to you!
I’m watching all this, and I’m thinking to myself, “Why do these people even hang out together; they clearly don’t like each other.” I wish they wouldn’t talk so loud.
MAN: I really mean it!
WOMAN: I know you do. Suit yourself. You don’t have to sit down. Just don’t talk to me any more.
Midnight. Starbucks on Madison Avenue and 57th Street, Manhattan
No one is sitting near me, but there are a number of people at the other end of the room. Man, it’s pretty empty. I feel kind of self conscious, writing in the corner. I am drinking tea.
“Hi, could I get a macchiato?”
“Vente or grande?”
[Music. “Uptown Funk.” Again?!] “Julio, get the stretch!”
“Um, I asked for a vente and this is a grande. Can you please get my order right?”
Wow, this woman is picky. Why is she even ordering a coffee at midnight anyway; doesn’t she ever want to sleep? My herbal tea is getting cold.
“We show up when we show up – smoother than a fresh jar o skippy…”
“Here’s your change.”
And so on. Good luck and have fun.