How to Correctly Punctuate Dialogue for Novels

Punctuating dialogue tags from The Writers After Dark Blog. The lowercase letter after splitting the dialogue with a tag was extremely helpful. Thank you.

Writers After Dark

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Writing dialogue is messy. Am I right?

It has so many rules, it makes me wish I’d gone with my original plan in life. I’d intended to become an all-in-one supermodel-psychologist/part-time medical researcher. What? I thought I wanted to save people, discover things, and change the world wearing a tiara and killer heels. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I just wanted to sit on my couch drinking coffee and writing all day while wearing no pants.

Plus, apparently my status as a supermodel got cut short (no pun intended) by my lack of height. And love of cake. Also, had I continued studying psychology, I’d have been forced to stop listening to the voices in my head . . . and that was SO not cool. The thing was . . . I didn’t know how to properly punctuate any of my internal…

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Nora Excerpts – 1

July 15, 2017
Coming July 15, 2017

“On that windowsill, she stood in the crossfire of people and lights and cars and bobbed her head to the beat of ragtime syncopation and driving brass bands to soaring gospel choirs mixed with field hollers and the deep-down growl of the blues.  She danced to the groove of Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton, Willie “The Lion” Smith, Bessie Smith, Billie “Lady Day” Holiday, and Chick Webb. Legs swinging, roof rocking, neighbors knocking, and body incapable of standing still. Nora stood up on her toes and let her partner throw her over his back, let him throw her into the air again, and then slithered like her body was made of jellyfish underneath his legs. She danced as if she’d never had legs before, gliding and shaking in ways her father would never approve of. Nora flipped and split and cartwheeled around The Negro Club alongside Louis Jordan and The Nicholas Brother’s until the sweat began to congregate alongside her forehead and trickle its way down to her chin.”

– Renaissance: The Nora White Story, Book One.

Coming July 15, 2017

 

Advice for Aspiring Writers from Nicole Dennis-Benn

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“Ask yourself why you’re writing and who you’re writing for. Know in your heart that there is no such thing as one story….At the end of the day, your authentic voice and heart will speak to readers. Do not be deterred by rejection. Keep writing, keep knocking on doors, keep sending out work. Never have only one project that you’re working on. The minute one story gets published and rejected, there should be another one waiting in the wings. Be serious about writing. Treat it as you would a job, not a hobby. Lastly, seek successful mentors who are invested in seeing your growth; avoid anyone who projects their journey on you and/or attempts to clip your wings once you begin to soar.”

– Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of Here Comes the Sun