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JJ123
09-25-2012, 07:39 PM
I'm working on a story right now that uses a lot of ellipses in dialogue to indicate tension and trouble. And I'm not 100% certain how to handle the punctuation. Here's how I currently have it:

"Hey, where are you..."
"I can't talk! The monster is here!..."
"Wait, wait, where are..."
"It's almost upon us..."
***

You will notice in the above that I have no period at the end of the dialogue pieces. Should I place one there such that they become this:

"Hey, where are you...".
"I can't talk! The monster is here!...".
"Wait, wait, where are...".
"It's almost upon us...".
***

I have seen it done both ways, so I was wondering what the experts in the group do for their manuscript submissions. Thanks.

C.W. LaSart
09-25-2012, 09:04 PM
You need to do away with the ellipses. It should be the long line. Ellipses denote speech that trails off while the line denotes interruptions.

JJ123
09-25-2012, 09:40 PM
Thanks for the reply. Good point, I guess I tend to forget about that differentiation. I will use the line.

One last thing: in terms of the period usage, do I use it or drop it after the quotation. Example:

"Hey! Where are you -"

C.W. LaSart
09-25-2012, 10:00 PM
The line is the end. No final quote, no period.

"Hey! Where are you---

C.W. LaSart
09-25-2012, 10:04 PM
"Hey! Where are you—
"I can't talk. The monster is here—

And so on. Here's a good blog for you http://www.angelmccoy.com/blog/?p=2598

Xiabei
09-26-2012, 01:25 AM
Ew, sorry, to me that looks horrible. :-) But that's just me.

Plus, I'd make sure what you're writing really needs it. Something like "I can't talk! The monster is here!" is a complete thought/sentence, so I wouldn't treat it as anything but. The exclamation point, in my opinion, is all that's needed.

Or you could take the approach that some do and not use quotes at all, and then you wouldn't have to worry about it.

edit: from the blog:


Incorrect: John said, “Honey, I’d like to get ice cream before the shop closes…” He stared as an alien burst from his wife’s chest. (The sentence finishes, thus it should be a period, not an ellipsis.)

Correct: John said, “Honey, I’d like to get ice cream before the…” He stared as an alien burst from his wife’s chest. (Dropped words make the ellipsis appropriate.)

But I agree that I'd go with the line - it indicates a more truncated approach. Ellipses, depending upon interpretation, don't necessarily indicate an interruption.

Ben Staad
09-26-2012, 03:43 PM
"Hey! Where are you—
"I can't talk. The monster is here—

And so on. Here's a good blog for you http://www.angelmccoy.com/blog/?p=2598

Great info! I hadn't read that particular article before.

C.W. LaSart
09-26-2012, 07:48 PM
Thanks. Angel is my mentor in the HWA and a brilliant lady!

JJ123
09-26-2012, 09:00 PM
Thanks C.W. and the rest for helping me with this. The story I am working on has scant dialogue, but what dialogue it does have is very stressed on the part of the participants.

RichardThomas
10-03-2012, 07:20 PM
yeah, i never use ellipses.

William J. Grabowski
11-26-2012, 07:15 AM
Yes . . . I try . . . not to . . . either. You end up sounding like Shatner. Like Dave's Insanity Sauce, use sparingly!