1. Emilia
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    Emilia New Member

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    When can you have dialogue in a paragraph

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Emilia, Aug 27, 2008.

    I've been having trouble knowing when you can put dialogue in a paragraph and when dialogue becomes its own paragraph. Someone please help. Thank you.
     
  2. ciavyn
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    ciavyn Senior Member

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    A new speaker is always a new paragraph.

    "Hello, Tanya. How are you today."

    She looked up from her poetry book. "I'm good, Mr. Henson. How's your wife doing?"

    He smiled at her. "She is much better. Thank you for asking after her."

    Each one gets its own paragraph.
     
  3. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Emilia,

    Here is an article that I wrote which should answer your questions and concerns: Dialogue Basics

    Terry
     
  4. ciavyn
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    ciavyn Senior Member

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    That's a darn good article, TWE.
     
  5. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Nice article Terry! I bookmarked it in my "reference" section for those moments when I have a brain fart and need a reminder.
     
  6. DavidGil
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    DavidGil Senior Member

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    Terry or anyone else, one question if I may.

    There's one aspect of dialog punctuation that I'm unsure of. The websites I browse tend to handle elipses differently. Some have a space between each . . . like so, and others have them joined up following the last word before them.

    Hopefully this is helpful to others as well.
     
  7. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Here is a good link regarding the ellipsis.

    http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Writing/e.html

    The space between periods IS part of a proper ellipsis . . . however, the most important aspect is the use of three periods. As the link mentions, modern word processing programs might not recognize the space between the periods...improperly splitting this punctuation during a line-wrapping routine. Consequently, in recent years, it has become much more common to see the periods without spaces in between, than it used to be.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Here's another article on punctuation in dialogue. I wrote it in my blog several months ago:
    He said, she said - Mechanics of Dialogue

    I hope it helps.
     
  9. DavidGil
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    DavidGil Senior Member

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    I just wanted to say thanks for the links and information. I'm generally fine with dialog punctuation, having written an article on it myself. But it's just the ellipses aspect that I've not been too sure of.

    Mainly, my article dealt with commas and fullstops used with regards to speech. Noticed a lot of people punctuate it wrongly with commas outside the tags etc.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if they're in/from the UK, that's proper to them...
     
  11. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    Commas outside the tags. As in:
    'Okay,' she said, wistfully.
    That's actually considered a pretty bad habit here.
     
  12. DavidGil
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    DavidGil Senior Member

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    I can't say I've noticed that any of the books I've bought in the UK punctuate like that. I'm english also. Only real difference between them and US books is what's used to indicate speech.

    For example:

    'We have to go Billy,' said John.

    "We have to go Billy," said John.

    The ' method being the UK version.
     
  13. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    I'm not English lol, I'm Welsh, but that makes us both British so that's okay. :)

    I've never really read that sort of punctuation to a great extent either.

    Actually, either mark can be used to indicate speech in both Britain and America, and I've seen both methods used widely in both countries. I suppose it's a matter of personal preference rather than nationality.
     
  14. DavidGil
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    DavidGil Senior Member

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    Ah sorry Lucy. I was mainly intending that post to reply to Maia's quote. Should have quoted or said I guess. ;)

    That's correct also. Browsed through several books and it does indeed vary.
     
  15. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    Lol no worries. :)

    Yup.
     

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