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

dialogue-punctuation-rules

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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RULES FOR COMMA USAGE — Building a Better Story

Bookmarking this. Commas are my weakness! I put them boys everywhere. In need of proper comma usage in my life 😦   lol

Arrowhead Freelance and Publishing

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The Guide to Grammar and Writing

The Guide to Grammar and Writing is sponsored by the Capital Community College Foundation, a nonprofit 501 c-3 organization that supports scholarships, faculty development, and curriculum innovation. If you feel we have provided something of value and wish to show your appreciation, you can assist the College and its students with a tax-deductible contribution.

For more about giving to Capital, write to CCC Foundation, 950 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103. Phone (860) 906-5102 or email: jmcnamara@ccc.commnet.edu Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

to-comma-or-not-to-comma

Use a comma to separate the elements in a series (three or more things), including the last two. “He hit the ball, dropped the bat, and ran to first base.” You may have learned that the comma before the “and” is unnecessary, which is fine if you’re in control of things. However, there are situations in which, if…

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9 Best Grammar Tools For Writers

9 Best Grammar Tools For Writers

Nicholas C. Rossis

You may remember Mary Walton’s recent guest post, 10 Proofreading Tools For Writers. This is another fine list of author resources compiled by her. Oh, and here is one of my favorite comics of all time:Grammar Cyanide and Happiness | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

9 Best Grammar Tools For Writers

The most interesting, fascinating book can fall down if the grammar is poor. No reader will want to continue if the book is too difficult to read. That’s why your grammar is so important in everything you write. If you find that you don’t know enough about grammar to skilfully edit your writing, you’re in luck. This guide will show you nine online tools that will really help you out when you’re in a bind.

  1. Academized: Invest some time in your writing skills and read this guide. It’s comprehensive yet easy to understand, making it perfect for writers. By reading it, you can get a good…

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Interpreting Me – Sunday Thought

My name is posted all over this blog (and on other people’s blogs). My name is also all over my social media sites and one of the first things you see on my author site. Google Yecheilyah and my name is all over there too.

When I say my name is Yecheilyah (e-see-lee-yah) Ysrayl, I do not mean Yecheilya Israel. I do not mean Yecheilia Ysrael or Yeceilia. I am not highly sensitive about the misspellings of names. I’m just not petty like that. My name is unique and it is understandable if people spell it wrong. But, to try and interpret how you think my name should be spelled is disrespectful. I just want the research police to know that I’m not Jewish and Yecheilyah Ysrayl is not a typo or grammatical mistake.

Additionally, when I started Literary Korner Publishing I intentionally spelled “Korner” with a “K”. I do not mean Literary Corner Publishing. This is not the name of my online book store. Literary Korner is also not a typo or grammatical error. Korner is actually what I intended for it to be. Grammar police, this means that you too can calm down. All is well.

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As for the Sunday Thought thing? Yea, I think I’ve just found another blog feature “Sunday Thought”. What do you think? Yay or nay?

Wise Ink: ERROR: Kindle’s Latest Warning Message

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Wow, check out this post from Wise Ink about Amazon’s coming Error Message. This is exactly why I prefer to always have a paperback copy of my books available. Electronics are not dependable and in the case that a great book is flagged because of minor errors or formatting issues, leaves the reader to do nothing but abandon that authors work. With no option to purchase a paperback / hard copy, what options are available for the reader but to abandon that book altogether? I’m not concerned about this to be honest (I try not to worry about things much anymore, especially things I can’t change) but I do see how it can be a hindrance to many Self-Pub authors. I would suggest making your work available in as many formats and on as many platforms as possible and to have an author website or blog set up as another option from which readers can find your work. I would have a paperback/hard-copy on standby just in case. Yes, technology is increasing every day and changing the book publishing industry, but don’t believe the hype. Readers still buy paperback books! To take it a step further, you can set up a DBA (“Doing Business As” name – A fictitious name (or assumed name, trade name or DBA name) is a business name that is different from your personal name, the names of your partners or the officially registered name of your LLC or corporation) and try to get your books stocked at a major distribution company where you can buy in bulk directly from them. I know, easier said. I probably just spoke of something nearly impossible unless your Oprah but it can be done. (In my “Flash” voice “Believe in the impossible!”) The process is long and challenging and tedious and I’m sure we will all be wanting to pull our hair out BUT I think it will be of great benefit in the end. I’m interested in why B&N NOOK, KOBO, and other platforms are not as prominent as Kindle as additional sources in which ebooks are sold. While I can’t “knock” Amazon for wanting to distance itself from the the lack of “Grammatical / Formatting professionalism”, I’m not sure if relying solely on Amazon as a source where readers can find your book is wise.

Lay vs. Lie (vs. Laid) and Lain

I know I am not the only one to have been confused between these words. I love writing, but grammar has not always gotten me very excited. It’s like running for fun (writing) but not wanting to exercise (Grammar). While I’ve always excelled in English, this is one confusing language! It’s the only one where a maybe, possibly, perhaps, and I’ll try exists. Everyone else just says yes or no! In any event, we must know these things as writers because our English teachers  said so. Sooo, below is an excellent breakdown I found online on the difference between Lay, Lie, Laid, and Lain by Brian A. Klems:

Lay
Lay and lie are both present-tense verbs, but they don’t mean quite the same thing. Lay means to put or set something down, so if the subject is acting on an object, it’s “lay.” For example, I lay down the book. You, the subject, set down the book, the object.

Lie
Lie, on the other hand, is defined as, “to be, to stay or to assume rest in a horizontal position,” so the subject is the one doing the lying—I lie down to sleep or When I pick up a copy of my favorite magazine, Writer’s Digest, I lie down to take in all its great information—and not acting on an object. In both these cases, you, the subject, are setting yourself down. Are you with me so far?

I Lie Down vs. Now I Lay Me Down (to Sleep)
To clarify things further, I’ll answer this question that you’re probably wondering: How can you be lying down in your examples while the classic nighttime prayer for kids clearly begins “Now I lay me down to sleep”? You must be out of your mind! It’s true, I’m totally out of my mind, but both the examples I used and the kids’ prayer are correct—and here’s why.

In I lie down to sleep, there is no object to the sentence, just subject (I). In Now I lay me down to sleep, there is a subject (I) and an object (me). Even though the subject and object are one and the same, the object is still present in the sentence, so you must use lay.

Laid vs. Lay vs. Lain
In the past tense, “lay” becomes “laid” (Last week I laid down the law and told her it was inappropriate for her to pick her nose) and “lie” becomes “lay” (Yesterday she lay down for a nap that afternoon and picked her nose anyway). Yes, “lay” is also the past tense of “lie.” And the confusion doesn’t end there.

To throw you for another loop, “laid” is also the past participle form of “lay.” So, when helping verbs are involved, “lay” becomes “laid” and “lie” becomes “lain.” Grandma had laid the chicken in the oven earlier this morning. The chicken had lain there all day until it was cooked all the way through and ready for us to eat.

Remember: Lay and laid both mean to set something down, while lie, lay and lain all mean the subject is setting itself down.

And now, I lay this question to rest. (Enjoy this totally awesome chart below to help you keep track of when to use lay, lie, laid, lain and more.

Lay vs. Lie Chart


Infinitive    Definition         Present     Past     Past Participle    Present Participle


to lay      to put or place          lay(s)      laid        laid                  laying
something down

to lie     to rest or recline     lie(s)            lay        lain                  lying

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OK, I think I got it. I think. 🙂