1. Nikita88

    Nikita88 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    1

    Dialog description questions (ie. "Hi," he said. "What's up?")

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Nikita88, Feb 27, 2009.

    Ok I suffer greatly from the misuse of dialog descriptions. The following examples are all of the different types I can think of. Please correct/comment on the punctuation/capitalization for each so I know if I'm doing it right (doubtful)!

    1. "Hi," he said. "What's up?"
    2. "Go away." He said.
    3. He began to speak, "what is your problem?"
    4. "When can we go eat?" he said. "I'm starving."
    5. "I'm going to kill you!" he said. "Go away."
    6. "When can we-" he stopped, realizing that his dog was dead.
    7. "Hi." He said. "What's up?"

    Those obviously aren't real sentences from any story... just trying to keep it simple. Thanks :)
     
  2. marina

    marina Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,280
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Seattle
    I've put in red the ones I know for sure. Number 3 is written awkwardly, so I'm not sure how to correct it. I'm not sure about #6.

     
  3. Nikita88

    Nikita88 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    1
    Excellent! Thank you marina :)
     
  4. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,899
    Likes Received:
    2,095
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    1 person likes this.
  5. Nikita88

    Nikita88 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    1
    PERFECT!!! Thank you! Lol not for schoolwork (I'm not in school right now :p), just for the piece I'm currently working on... Has a lot of dialog and I'm pretty sure I do it wrong half the time

    Thanks again, that is a great post
     
  6. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,235
    Likes Received:
    1,015
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    by 'dialog descriptions' i'll assume you meant 'dialog tags' or 'attribution'... they're not called 'descriptions' as far as i know...

    1. "Hi," he said. "What's up?"
    ...ok...

    2. "Go away." He said.
    ...not ok... should be comma and lower case 'h'...

    3. He began to speak, "what is your problem?"
    ...not ok... should be period after 'speak' and capital 'w'...

    4. "When can we go eat?" he said. "I'm starving."
    ...ok...

    5. "I'm going to kill you!" he said. "Go away."
    ...ok...

    6. "When can we-" he stopped, realizing that his dog was dead.
    ...not ok... single hyphen should be double, to indicate em dash, 'h' should be a capital...

    7. "Hi." He said. "What's up?"
    ...not ok... first period should be a '!' and 'h' lower case...
     
  7. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,757
    Likes Received:
    763
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    Nikita88,

    Here is an article that I wrote on the topic which you're struggling with: Dialogue Basics

    Hopefully it'll answer questions you have now and some that may occur in the future.

    Terry
     
  8. Chiwah

    Chiwah New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #1 ;)
    #2 should be: "Go away," he said.
    #3 should be: He began to speak. "What is your problem?"
    #4 is correct, though I would use "asked" instead of "said."
    #5 ;)
    #6 should be: "When can we—" He stopped, realizing his dog was dead.
    #7 should be: "Hi," he said. "What's up?"
    Or you could write, "Hi," he said, "what's up?"
     

Share This Page