1. Rainer
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    Rainer Member

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    First person grammar help - quoting lines from a written document

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Rainer, Feb 16, 2016.

    I can't seem to find anywhere which explains how to do this in detail. The bold lines in the paragraph below are quotes from a letter which my narrator has received. I was wondering what the correct way is to insert the bold lines into my story.

    I have gone with what I think is correct, which is a semi-colon before the text starts and the lines themself in italics.

    "In the middle of her explanation as to why she had requested my presence in particular, she had written; I often use the stars to put the insignificance of man into perspective, without any justification or context. At the bottom of the letter, below her signature, she had signed off with; when life’s inescapable certainties claim us, we will be no more than forgotten names, destined to fade from memory and stone."

    Do they need speech marks? Do they need a semi-colon beforehand? Do they even need to be in italics? The more I think about it, the less it makes sense! Any help is appreciated.
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Quote or, for long quotes, block quote. They don't need to be in bold or italics.

    In the middle of her explanation as to why she had requested my presence in particular, she had written, "I often use the stars to put the insignificance of man into perspective, without any justification or context." At the bottom of the letter, below her signature, she had signed off with, "When life’s inescapable certainties claim us, we will be no more than forgotten names, destined to fade from memory and stone."

    I'm not quite positive about my choice to use commas before the quotes. I'm modeling it after a dialogue tag.
     
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  3. Rainer
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    Rainer Member

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    Thank you! I went with the quotation marks but with a semi-colon instead of a comma (I happened to see it done similarly in the Stephen King novel Revival last night).
     

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