Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Format question

  1. #1
    Senior Member Involuntarily Committed
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    119
    Rep Power
    9

    Format question

    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.
    Last edited by JJ123; 09-25-2012 at 09:38 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Receiving Daily Medication C.W. LaSart's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Midwest US
    Posts
    539
    Rep Power
    10
    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.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Involuntarily Committed
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    119
    Rep Power
    9
    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 -"
    Last edited by JJ123; 09-25-2012 at 09:54 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Receiving Daily Medication C.W. LaSart's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Midwest US
    Posts
    539
    Rep Power
    10
    The line is the end. No final quote, no period.

    "Hey! Where are you---

  5. #5
    Senior Member Receiving Daily Medication C.W. LaSart's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Midwest US
    Posts
    539
    Rep Power
    10
    "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

  6. #6
    Senior Member Inmate Xiabei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    410
    Rep Power
    8
    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.
    Last edited by Xiabei; 09-26-2012 at 01:29 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement Ben Staad's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Beyond the Grave
    Posts
    1,549
    Rep Power
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by C.W. LaSart View Post
    "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.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Receiving Daily Medication C.W. LaSart's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Midwest US
    Posts
    539
    Rep Power
    10
    Thanks. Angel is my mentor in the HWA and a brilliant lady!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Involuntarily Committed
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    119
    Rep Power
    9
    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.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Inmate RichardThomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    500
    Rep Power
    10
    yeah, i never use ellipses.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Involuntarily Committed William J. Grabowski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Northern West Virginia
    Posts
    151
    Rep Power
    7
    Yes . . . I try . . . not to . . . either. You end up sounding like Shatner. Like Dave's Insanity Sauce, use sparingly!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •