“Inside.” — “Not out”.

I recently mentioned in a post on how to use Quotation styles. Basically, pick one and stick with it. “Double” or ‘Single’. Recently I’ve been looking at some basic rules, the roots of writing. (Yes, there are those out there that will disagree. That’s your right to.) These rules are not fly-by-night however. They are tried and true. They are found in most properly edited works.

The one rule break I’m most irked by is not keeping punctuation in it’s proper place regarding dialogue. To me this is important. Once I’ve decided which quotation style to use. (Always double for me) then it’s important to keep the dialogue punctuation with in the quotations.

For example:

Incorrect: “Hey Amber”, Dale smiled. “How’s it going”?
Correct: “Hey Amber,” Dale smiled. “How’s it going?

“This is the worst day ever”! Scott shouted.
“It could be worse”. Dale rolled his eyes. 
“Losing your car keys and spilling your coffee is minor”. Dale chuckled. “Amber puked on me, slipped in it and cried for an hour this morning”.

“This is the worst day ever!” Scott shouted.
“It could be worse.” Dale rolled his eyes.
“Losing your car keys and spilling your coffee is minor.” Dale chuckled and slapped his knee. “Amber puked on me, slipped in it and cried for an hour this morning.

I don’t enjoy reading dialogue punctuation outside the quotations.  Sure, this happens to me by mistake when I get in a groove and grammar and punctuation take a side line as I hammer away at my keyboard. However, it’s corrected the moment I start editing and revising. (Ideally).

*Amendment to this post. Other countries such as Great Britain use outside punctuation for dialogue. It’s not what I’m familiar with since I’m in North America. Books published from British authors are sometimes converted to the North American standard when published internationally. This blog and all that I write about are based off North American standards.

My advice about Dialogue punctuation.
“Keep it inside the quotation marks.” (Unless your from Great Britain or other countries that keep it on the outside) 


Other dialogue related posts

That’s So Simile

Redundantly Redundant Redundancies

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24 thoughts on ““Inside.” — “Not out”.

  1. Pingback: Unexpected Roots – perfectlyimperfect32wordpresscom

  2. Every day I learn from your posts. Mostly I see what I’m doing right, but of course sometimes what I do wrong. The following was useful:

    Correct: “Hey Amber,” Dale smiled.

    I’ll admit that I often put the comma after the quote in these cases. Glad to learn the right way.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Brits use single quotes and if it’s an actual quote (as opposed to dialogue), their punctuation is always outside of the quote mark unless it’s actually part of the quote.
    And, sorry about this, but in your quote: Keep it in the quotation marks. I’m not sure how else to say it without coming across as “Bossy.” or “Pushy.” or “Preachy.” using periods aka full stops after “bossy, pushy, and preachy” is incorrect; you would probably use no punctuation there (not even commas since these are “or” statements) except for the quote mark.
    While I cannot promise that I am always good about catching my own quickly written grammatical errors, it’s the day job so I am especially aware of it when reading the works of others. 🙂
    Informative article as always.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My mother was British, I’m aware that is how it is done oversea’s. Books written in such a style are often converted for North American release. I base my blogs off my experiences as a Canadian writer.
      My statement in my “advice” was meant to be silly and visual. I’m not offended or anything 🙂 it’s all good. I can see how it would bother someone reading it who is grammatically aware. I might fix it…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sorry, I certainly didn’t mean to offend. People do read you because you give advice on the right way to write; sometimes the written word is gospel for people who read it. I wasn’t certain if you were aware that North American conventions are not necessarily the norm as far as written English. I deal with the scholarly writings of people of many nationalities so I have had first hand experience with many grammatical stylings. Again, sorry.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you, Sheryl, I have enjoyed these posts. I would love to ask you about how to handle when you’re writing about when someone is reading a text message. Do you use quotes as if they were speaking? No quotations? What do you recommend? : )

    Liked by 1 person

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