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Gungan to the left

Reader Comments on "Dialogue Formatting 101"

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Author: baru-chan
Date posted: 12/13/2005 6:54:20 AM
baru-chan's Comments:

First of all, I would like to thank you for writing an article that I've been dying to write, but too scared to do so, because although I write and speak in English fluently, it's not technically my first language, and I was afraid that I would come across as hypocritical if I wrote something like this.

I am gratified that you laid the grammar rules out clearly and concisely. One of the main reasons why I don't like reading my English textbooks is the dry, uninteresting style of explaining the whys and hows of the English language. You, however, have an upbeat, lively style of writing, and you didn't sound condescending, unlike some articles I've had the misfortune to encounter in various literary magazines and websites. The way you also used familiar lines and settings also helps you connect with your readers - a mark of a good English teacher, I must say. (I've had the misfortune of enduring an entire academic year of unexciting lectures on the English language in my first year of high school, which made me lose interest in creative writing for a while, since the teacher was such a bore.)

In a scale of 1-10, I'd say that this article deserves a 9.8. Good job!


Author: bw57
Date posted: 2/26/2006 12:22:39 PM
bw57's Comments:

Great explanation. stephen king also has an excellent explanation about how to handle dialogue in his memoir/handbook on the craft, ON WRITING.

Author: L. Lee Rhoton
Date posted: 11/15/2006 8:18:38 PM
L. Lee Rhoton's Comments:

Thank you for taking the time to write the ABCs of proper formatting and sharing it with all of us. I for one really needed this information to complete a project and was excited when I discovered it on this site. Believe it or not, this really helped me. I cannot thank you enough.

Author: jason
Date posted: 1/4/2007 5:06:13 PM
jason's Comments:

I liked the dialogue formatting 101 article. Unfortunately, our schools do not teach specifically how to write fiction/dialogue rules. Most writers must absorb the learning through reading lots of fiction. I took a creative writing class, however, it is assumed that we know these rules rather than teach them directly. Look forward to the next article of information.
P.S. I was recommended this site from fanstory where I write short stories. It will be invaluable for me for future writings.

Author: charlie brown
Date posted: 10/2/2007 7:44:38 PM
charlie brown's Comments:

this is terrible
wheres the stuff about ralafooste

Author: LLL  (signed)
Date posted: 10/24/2007 11:23:46 PM
LLL's Comments:

This is a great article, but I must protest the part about using an ellipse to show a trailing off or pause in dialogue. Beware when doing this, especially if you are trying to write something for publication. A lot of writers use the ellipse in this way and some editors accept it, but technically the strict use of an ellipse is only to indicate that some words have definitely been left out. Technically you're not really supposed to use it to introduce meter into your dialogue.

If you don't believe me, look at my story _Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil_. Look at ALL THOSE ELLIPSES I used. :( Drives you crazy, right? That's what happens when you get used to using ellipses for what they're not supposed to be used for. When I began submitting "Midnight" to writing contests I had to go through and take most of these ellipses out, and going through over 500 pages for almost the sole purpose of ellipse removal is not fun, to put it mildly.

Author: Cin
Date posted: 2/2/2009 12:28:50 PM
Cin's Comments:

Is there a paragraph about paragraphing dialogue, I can't remember how conversations work, do I block off a new paragraph for a back and forth dialogue? What if only one person says one thing, does that get its own paragraph?

Author: DamonM
Date posted: 8/23/2010 12:41:06 AM
DamonM's Comments:

It cleared a lot of doubts about dialouge. Thanks

Author: Simone
Date posted: 1/28/2011 8:14:15 PM
Simone's Comments:

Thank you so much for this informative article, I can't imagine the amount of time and effort you must have put into making this, but it helped a great deal!
I am in the process of writing a novel and have been putting off understanding all the dialogue rules for a while, but I'm glad that I read this because I understand it a lot more now.
I wish you the best, and thank you again!
You will be blessed!

Author: Lizzz
Date posted: 4/27/2011 10:11:42 PM
Lizzz's Comments:

Thank you for a clear and well written article. It is very helpful to me.

Author: Henry
Date posted: 6/20/2011 11:25:04 PM
Henry's Comments:

Your article is excellent! I'll rate it a 10. Your writing style is fluid and not overly serious yet you cover a serious subject exceptionally well. I recently started writing short stories, and I searched high and low for guidance regarding dialogue formatting and punctuation. Thank you very much. I am contemplating starting up a blog. May I link to this article?

Author: Aspiring Novelist
Date posted: 9/22/2011 4:16:03 AM
Aspiring Novelist's Comments:

"Excellent article," she exclaimed. "It answered all the questions I had. Now I can revise the novel I started writing in 1993 with hopes of publication."

Author: Brian
Date posted: 10/27/2011 3:30:04 PM
Brian's Comments:


This is the best article I've read on the topic, and the explanations make it easy to understand. Thank you so much for writing this.

Author: Doolittle Ringer
Date posted: 11/10/2011 5:02:34 PM
Doolittle Ringer's Comments:

I came to this site by Googling "formatting dialogue."
The content, while well done, is not about "formatting" but "punctuation," --"punctuating dialogue"

Author: Fizzlewitz
Date posted: 8/1/2012 4:27:29 AM
Fizzlewitz's Comments:

This article was incredibly helpful. Having been an avid reader my whole life, I thought I would be familiar enough with the punctuation and formatting of dialogue to be able to write it. Turns out I wasn't. I am just beginning to write, and I will keep this info close by while doing so. Thanks for a great article!

Author: SD Denny
Date posted: 9/20/2012 8:42:01 AM
SD Denny's Comments:

Love it! Thanks for providing such a clear document!!!

Author: Tes
Date posted: 12/3/2012 6:48:43 PM
Tes's Comments:

What a pleasure to meet someone who thinks so clealry

Author: Lexine
Date posted: 12/6/2012 3:19:33 AM
Lexine's Comments:

What's it take to become a sulmbie expounder of prose like yourself?

Author: Jabbar Lewis
Date posted: 12/6/2012 9:32:57 AM
Jabbar Lewis's Comments:

EXCELLENT! This article was absolutely stellar in conveying the information in an easily understood manner. ^_^

Author: Long Island Gal
Date posted: 1/12/2013 2:20:32 PM
Long Island Gal's Comments:

Great and informative article.

Author: Steamcrank
Date posted: 7/10/2013 11:47:35 PM
Steamcrank's Comments:

Tough subject this one. Thank you. Dialogue of any sort is a bear for the beginner and apparently not easy for the seasoned writer either.
Thank you again, I am now off to edit for several hours based on these rules.

Author: Andy M
Date posted: 3/21/2014 9:10:55 PM
Andy M's Comments:

extremely helpful. I've bookmarked this one. I've got an INTUITIVE grasp of this concept, but intuitive grasps are notoriously slippery.

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