Tip 3: Writing Dialogue – punctuation

fantasy-2231796_1920Punctuating dialogue can be tricky, so let’s start with a few basics.

  • Punctuation marks like a comma, full stop or exclamation mark should come before you close the inverted commas.

For example:

“I’ll never forget you,” Jason said.

“Hungry?”

  • If a dialogue tag follows the utterance, then the punctuation mark cannot be a full stop, but it can be a comma, exclamation mark or a question mark. 

For example

“I’ll miss you,” he said.

  • If there is no dialogue tag after the utterance, then we use a full stop.

For example:

Jason caressed the dragon’s snout. “I’ll miss you.”

  • When using a dialogue tag, use lower case after the utterance, unless you’re using a proper noun (a name).

For example:

“It’s time,” the dragon said.

“It’s time,” it said.

“It’s time,” Urkan said.

That’s it for today. One final note: Americans prefer to use double inverted commas and the British prefer using single.

 

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