Dialogue
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Dialogue. How to properly punctuate the words your characters speak. Things to remember when writing dialogue. Write it as realistically as possible. Make it clear who is speaking when. Do not give too much information or unrealistic information in dialogue. Keep the conversation moving.

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Dialogue

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Dialogue

Dialogue

How to properly punctuate the words your characters speak.


Things to remember when writing dialogue

Things to remember when writing dialogue

  • Write it as realistically as possible.

  • Make it clear who is speaking when.

  • Do not give too much information or unrealistic information in dialogue.

  • Keep the conversation moving.

  • Make it as easy to read as possible.


Rules of punctuating dialogue

Rules of punctuating dialogue

  • Start a new paragraph when a new person speaks or a large passage of action interrupts the speaking.

  • Use quotation marks to surround all spoken words on both sides.

  • Use speaker tags to show who is talking

  • Use the proper end marks.

  • Endmarks always go inside the quotes.


Example

EXAMPLE:

Kelli said, "I want my band shirt back right now. You didn't have permission to borrow it." "No," said Paul, "but you didn't have permission to take my CD either, and I can see it on your desk.”

The dialogue above should be written in the form of two paragraphs, as shown below:

Kelli said, "I want my band shirt back right now. You didn't have permission to borrow it."

"No," said Paul, "but you didn't have permission to take my CD either, and I can see it on your desk."


When a question mark or exclamation point is used

When a question mark or exclamation point is used...

  • Follow with a lowercase letter if a speaker tag is being used.

  • Use a capital if it goes right into action.


It has been so long she exclaimed hasn t it she hugged her grandmother tightly

“It has been so long!” she exclaimed.“Hasn’t it?” She hugged her grandmother tightly.

Example:


Dialogue

“Stop!” Buddy cried as they approached another intersection. At this one, the light had burned out and a tall oak stood off to one side. “Let me out here.”

“Are you crazy?” Joe asked. “It’s still at least another twenty miles to your house!”

“Just let me out, Joe. I mean it.”

Buddy had become desperate. He could think of nothing else he wanted more than to be safe at home.

Joe pulled the truck over onto the gravel at the side of the road and rolled to a stop. “Are you sure? It’s creepy out there.”

“I have my phone. I’ll call if something happens.”

“Well,” said Joe, “don’t think I’m coming back out here for your if you get lost.” Buddy got out, slammed the door shut, and Joe spun off onto the highway, his tires screeching on the blacktop.


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