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Chapter 6 Resources

Dialogue, Punctuation

Melissa Ford Lucken

Punctuating dialogue between characters conveys the story more clearly to the reader.

Use quotation marks to enclose the spoken words.

Use dialogue tags to attribute the speech to a specific character.

Place punctuation marks (commas, periods, question marks, etc.) inside the closing quotation marks.

Start a new paragraph when there is a change in the speaker or action.

For example:

“I can’t believe you’re leaving,” Sarah said, her voice trembling.

John looked at her, his eyes filled with regret. “I have to go, Sarah. It’s the only way.”

She reached out, her hand touching his arm. “But what about us? What about our plans?”

“Sometimes life takes unexpected turns. We’ll find a way, I promise.”


Note: Samples should not be read as models. They are provided for discussion.


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Dialogue, Punctuation by Melissa Ford Lucken is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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