Dialogue punctuation

So, last week, one of my wonderful critique partners alerted us to this awesome post about punctuation in dialogue. It’s a great resource that you can refer back to for those tricky dialogue-and-action sequences.

dialogue punctuation

photo credit: HeedingtheMuses
via photopin cc / Text added

I, for one, have to admit I’ve been doing “Dialogue interrupted by action or thought but no dialogue tag” wrong. I was pretty close though, just had the dashes in the wrong place.

Here’s an example from Grow (the correct way):
“I know you think I’m some sort of delinquent but I don’t make a habit of”—he was about to say “breaking and entering” but caught himself at the last minute—“trespassing.”

I went through Grow, searching for examples like that and correcting them. And it really showed me how many dashes I use. People are forever cutting themselves (or others) off–in speech and thought.

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