You’re in the thick of writing some characters’ conversations and it hits you: where do the commas go? Do you need one after an exclamation mark? How’s it supposed to look on the page?
We’ve broken down some dialogue into it’s simplest parts with our step-by-step, visual tutorial covering punctuation, dialogue tags, descriptors, and formatting.
“When you’re writing your work and submitting it to places, you’ll look a lot more professional and it’ll be less work for your editor to go back and fix up those nitty-gritty bits…”
Dialogue is something that you can easily get wrong with just one comma out of place. Check out the video in full by following this link:
Video: Master Dialogue Punctuation
What to Take Away From This Video:
- Punctuation should always be inside the quotation marks.
- The simple comma is your friend! Use it when tying up speech around dialogue tags (the old favourite, ‘s/he said’).
- Each line of dialogue should be on a new line; keep the formatting nice and clean.
A great exercise is to pick two or three books (ones that you love!) and find some examples of dialogue. Each book may be slightly different in their smaller details, but it’s handy to see the basics of punctuation in action.
The best way to learn, of course, is by writing some dialogue yourself. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, because practice makes perfect!
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