5 Rules for Punctuating Dialogue

“5 Rules for Punctuating Dialogue” by Harvey Chapman. Novel Writing Help.

“Some say that punctuating dialogue is more a matter of style than following the rules. And they’re right, up to a point.

The novelist Cormac McCarthy, for example, doesn’t use quotation marks. That’s a deliberate stylistic choice and, for him, it works. I suspect that readers, though, put up with the lack of speech marks rather than actively welcome it.

If you’ve got a hankering to do something avant garde like that, I’m not going to tell you it’s wrong. But I would advise sticking to what everyone else does – which in the case of punctuation for dialogue means following the guidelines below.

Why? Because it’s invisible, and it therefore doesn’t act as a barrier between the reader and the story. And if you’re worried that “doing what everyone else does” is boring, there are many other (and better) ways of standing out from the crowd than making a wacky punctuation choice.”

Read more via 5 Rules for Punctuating Dialogue | Novel Writing Help

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s