Punctuating Dialogue - Level 2
All right, you’ve mastered the basics of punctuating dialogue, as presented in Level 1, and now you’re ready to move on to Level 2. Here we go:
When adding a dialogue tag between lines of dialogue, you can divide the individual sentences. The first sentence gets a comma and then the dialogue tag, followed by a period, ending the sentence. The next sentence starts in a new quotation mark with a capital letter.
- “I know Jon Snow is a bastard,” Davos said. “He’s Eddard Stark’s son.”
Another option is to break up a sentence at a natural breaking point (i.e., where a comma would be if it was a non-dialogue line). For example:
- Non-dialog text: Kylo Ren is difficult and annoying, and I want to slap him!
- Dialog text: “Kylo Ren is difficult and annoying,” Hux said, “and I want to slap him!”
The important thing to note about breaking sentences in two in dialogue is the punctuation. The idea is for both sections of dialogue and the dialogue tag to be one sentence. Therefore, you don’t put a period until the very end of the sentence. It’s structured like this: “[text],” he said, “[text].”
You can also have lines of dialogue built into the narration without dialogue tags. These are all separate sentences, and should be punctuated with periods or other sentence-ending marks (i.e., “[text].” [Action]. “[text].”)
“I was talking to the stormtroopers the other day.” Hux picked up a sheet of paper and handed it to Kylo. “They said you ransacked another console.”
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