Stream Of Consciousness

Discussion in 'Writing & Publishing Discussion' started by Nicola, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Nicola

    Nicola Member

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    Please, what is the punctuation for a sentence of dialogue that is interrupted by another sentence? In this case it is a question:
    "The High Commissioner - isn't he kind to think of you? - told me to convey his deepest sympathy."
    I know that in proper grammar we would wait to ask the question after the sentence is complete, but this is dialogue and the character has the trait of speaking like this.
     
  2. lynnmosher

    lynnmosher Super Moderator
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    I think the way you have it. I would add a word: "The High Commissioner = and isn't he kind to think of you? -

    Others may suggest using commas instead of dashes but I think this way sets it off better. :)
     
  3. Nicola

    Nicola Member

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    Thank you. I appreciate your prompt reply!
     
  4. lynnmosher

    lynnmosher Super Moderator
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    You're welcome! :)
     
  5. suspensewriter

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    Or you might use em dashes, which would make it look like this:

    "The High Commissioner―isn't he kind to think of you?―told me to convey his deepest sympathy."

    Em dashes are now used by most publishing houses.
     
  6. suspensewriter

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    Also, you might check with your publishers which Manual of Style they are using.
     
  7. Phy

    Phy Senior Member

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    I prefer dashes to commas - and parse them in my head as em-dashes in print - and use them instead of parentheses and semi-colons. They have a wonderful utility.