RSS
News
Punctuation of dialogue
As we say in our guide to the minimum quality standards for the archive, one of the most common errors we see in story submissions - and one of the most common reasons for rejecting stories - involves incorrect punctuation, particularly the punctuation of dialogue. At the moment we are spending an excessive amount of time explaining to authors whose stories have either been rejected outright (no letters) or accepted in spite of the errors (yes but letters) how to punctuate dialogue.

Unfortunately, the number of submissions, and the number of submissions containing these basic errors, have increased to the point where it is no longer feasible to expect us to contiue to explain to individuals how to punctuate dialogue. Hence this post, which I'm hoping will reduce the number of submissions containing errors and therefore reduce both the number of rejection letters we need to send and the level of detail in those letters. In future, rather than using specific examples from your stories to explain to you individually why it's a problem, we're far more likely to simply point to this post or the minimum quality guidelines.

At the risk of being mean, at the end of the day it is your responsibility, as the author, to ensure that you get the technical basics of writing right, not ours to fix it for you.

There are a number of things you can do to help with this:

i) read professionally published fiction. If you read professionally published novels, you will be able to see how dialogue should be punctuated and hopefully become aware of the issues around punctuation and your own mistakes.

ii) find and use a beta reader. This isn't a foolproof method as we frequently get replies that state that the story has been beta read - often by more than one beta reader - and that the author therefore thinks that there are no problems. A quick application of the first suggestion - reading professionally published novels - will show you that there are. However, some beta readers are worth their weight in gold, and a good one will not only keep you straight but explain exactly why it is an error and how to make sure you don't repeat this error in future. This is what we, as archivists, have been doing to date but what we cannot do in future.

iii) please do not volunteer to beta read other people's stories if your own stories have been rejected from the archive. It isn't fair to the author, it isn't fair to us as archivists and it isn't fair to readers.

iv) invest in a good quality grammar and punctuation guide. There are also some resources online, but be wary of them. We do, however, list some of the better online resources in the minimum quality guidelines and I'm repeating them here for information:

Back to Basics: Punctuating Dialogue
Dialogue Formatting Tutorial: Star Wars Version
Punctuation in Dialogue by Karen Lee Field
Dialogue Basics

A google search of 'dialogue tag punctuation' will pull up many more examples.

v) finally, feel free to ask us if you have any questions or need some pointers. While it's true that we don't have time to give the level of information in rejection letters that we have given previously, all of us are willing to answer questions or provide any help needed, provided this does not involve beta reading your stories for you (unless you bribe us with a lot of chocolate ::g::)
Posted by: Alyse on 09 Oct 2006 4:44 pm(26 Comments)
Comments
Thank you for number 3. Different beta readers have different skills to offer - reading for plot and characterization is just as important, but if grammar, punctuation, and spelling are not among your skills, you should make that clear to any author for whom you beta read, so the author can find a second person who *is* skilled in that area.

Also, most people who beta read for grammar and punctuation will expect an author to learn from their mistakes, and to eventually not need as much help as they did to begin with.
Posted by: Ellex on 09 Oct 2006 10:04 pm
PS: beg pardon for that split infinitive in the second paragraph.
Posted by: Ellex on 09 Oct 2006 10:05 pm
Yep. And you'll notice that this post is a lot less tactful about it than the mail I sent a couple of months ago to the relevant mailing list ::g::
Posted by: alyse on 13 Oct 2006 2:19 pm
Sometimes tactful works, and sometimes you have to go with the tough love. Most archives don't even bother with a minimum quality level - personally, I very much appreciate that this one does.
Posted by: Ellex on 13 Oct 2006 10:28 pm
Hoorah for archivists with a mission! :)

Thank you, thank you, thank you for clarifying this! I have rolled my eyes and quickly run away from many a story that is either run on paragraphs, or horrible punctuation because the author said, "Well, I'm just doing this for fun and don't need a beta reader."

Posted by: LadyNiko on 17 Jan 2007 10:49 am
inexpensive wedding gowns inexpensive wedding gowns low cost wedding gowns low cost wedding gowns ball wedding gowns ball wedding gowns plus size formal wear plus size formal wear lace dress lace dress mother-of the bride jacket dresses mother-of the bride jacket dresses evening prom dress evening prom dress
Posted by: Hunter on 22 Mar 2012 11:38 pm
junior bride dresses junior bride dresses cheap plus size prom dresses cheap plus size prom dresses vintage gowns dresses vintage gowns dresses plus wedding gowns plus wedding gowns vintage prom dress vintage prom dress tropical wedding gowns tropical wedding gowns cheap beach wedding gowns cheap beach wedding gowns
Posted by: Hunter on 22 Mar 2012 11:41 pm
little girls bridal dresses little girls bridal dresses plus size prom dress plus size prom dress maternity bridesmaid dress maternity bridesmaid dress simple wedding dresses simple wedding dresses discount mother-of the bride dresses discount mother-of the bride dresses cheap dress cheap dress maternity wedding gowns maternity wedding gowns
Posted by: Hunter on 22 Mar 2012 11:47 pm
plus size cocktail dress plus size cocktail dress plus dress plus dress cheap white one shoulder dresses cheap white one shoulder dresses black elegant dresses black elegant dresses vintage style cocktail dress vintage style cocktail dress black short dresses black short dresses plus size wedding dress plus size wedding dress
Posted by: Hunter on 22 Mar 2012 11:50 pm
yellow flower girl dresses yellow flower girl dresses wedding dress wedding dress short evening dresses short evening dresses plus dresses plus dresses wholesale flower girls dresses wholesale flower girls dresses cheap junior dresses cheap junior dresses hawaiian beach wedding dress hawaiian beach wedding dress
Posted by: Hunter on 22 Mar 2012 11:57 pm

net will be great help. . Reading reviews on most perfume, know out which one has the great number of positives reviews. christian louboutin shoes christian louboutin shoes . List down your 5 most expensive perfume then visit or surf some reviews to try them out wedge gold wedge gold . since perfume can be a little bit expensive otK platform boots africa (grey) suede otK platform boots africa (grey) suede , do not just stick with one perfume. learn to search for stalls which offer the cheaper perfume. If you do not want to go to store you can try to go online and buy it on the internet. For more free info visit Most Expensive Perfume. Day by day replica christian louboutin replica christian louboutin . , many more interesting innovations of age defying treatments are being advertised on television, catalogues and on the web tall boots tall boots . . black suede leather with white Edge black suede leather with white Edge Then, upon buying and using white spring pump white spring pump , you usually end up with you having simply no positive results whatsoever, and worst, could end up having more skin complications such as allergies. So, before opting to buy which of the many labeled best anti wrinkle cream product, it's very vital to understand what you will be sensitive of. In case you don't know what

Posted by: Hunter on 01 Jun 2012 10:36 pm

able to have the capability of performing the tasks involved in the establishments reefs sandals reefs sandals . This will also be one of the biggest aspects regarding the medical assisting salary given to them. Proper training and proficiency in performing nearly all of the essential things in medical setting are supplied for the medical assistants. Still, there are limits as to the tasks they are allowed to perform, providing that it is inside their range of responsibilities summer sandals summer sandals . With all these tasks they are capable of performing, employers supply them different job positions that could cause variations inside the medical assistant salary. shoes with red bottom shoes with red bottom . You'll be regarded as according to how far you have gone in the field, most specifically with the years of experiences and your prospective to progress red bottoms red bottoms . . patent ankle-wrap Espadrille black patent ankle-wrap Espadrille black . In common, it is a plus factor to have gained experiences in the field . , since this can tremendously impact the compensation your employer could supply to you pumps pumps . black suede short boots black suede short boots The beginning wage could be generally

Posted by: Hunter on 01 Jun 2012 10:38 pm

Nevertheless, if there isn't going to look like any bodily destruction of the storage, suede short boots grey suede short boots grey . you will be just about sure that the movie will playback the same as new girl sandals girl sandals red heels red heels . flats flats . When obtaining employed Videos, your selection is fixed to generally more aged movies. red bottom heels shoes red bottom heels shoes . If you would like the most uptodate and most recent hits, then you'll need to acquire them new for your price as much as 10 or 20 instances higher. high heels red shoes high heels red shoes If you are on the lookout to buy a spanish apartment then you will find all you replica Patek Philippe watches need to make your dream come true in the Cost Del Sol. A wide range of places to visit with great views to the ocean and mountains, your fake watches life in the sun will be good. If its a life in the sun you are shopping around for then contemplate the Costa Del sol where the price of apartments have dropped by a long way. Houses in Fuengirola have supurb ocean views but there are also a wide selection of homes ranging from studios, . flat sandals flat sandals all the way to villas

Posted by: Hunter on 01 Jun 2012 10:42 pm

police. men sandals men sandals . . Suman Lal, head of Prayas, who played the cardinal role in the rescue, said that it was ghastly that a young woman was forcibly locked up in a room for years. The rescue of the Noida sisters Anuradha Behl replica omega watches prive fabric slingbacks multi-color prive fabric slingbacks multi-color . , 41, glitter sling back pump silver glitter sling back pump silver and Sonali Behl, 38 from their home under similar location had made big news suede pumps grey suede pumps grey . red bottom shoes red bottom shoes . The 2 welleducated sisters, daughters of a elderly army commander, had locked themselves up in their home as over seven months afterward the necrosis of their parents. They were eventually rescued by the police and the residents welfare union and admitted to hospital. Anuradha afterward died deserving to multiple organ failure emulating utmost malnutrition meantime Sonali continued to be beneath treatment. Yuvraj Singh came into the World Cup with answers over his fitness and form. The flamboyant lefthander has brilliantly responded to the challenge with an awesome allround extravaganza. From a export trundler, heels with red soles heels with red soles armadillo striped leather pumps armadillo striped leather pumps he has now chance a regular fifth

Posted by: Hunter on 01 Jun 2012 10:44 pm

fabrics for outside summer time weddings. include pearl Evening Dress Shop bridesmaid jewellery sets and metallic sandals for just about any trendy however relaxed start looking that could have everyone sensation really comfortable armadillo striped leather pumps armadillo striped leather pumps .For a extra formal bridesmaid style, choose any breezy silk chiffon dress miu miu buy miu miu buy black yarn dimboa sandals black yarn dimboa sandals . , which could be on the way to be warmer, but a minimal of will breathe somewhat. A slightly loose design is on the way to be extra comfy on the cozy day, since it won't stickStrapless Prom Dresses using the skin. sheepskin short boots wrinkle sheepskin short boots wrinkle . christian louboutin shoes christian louboutin shoes . Silk appears notoriously bad with sweat stains! A beautiful option can be considered a spaghetti strap chiffon apparel in the summery melon color. An empire waist is ideal short boots short boots . , since it won't be clingy near to the middle. choose a ground time period apparel if your wedding ceremony is very formal, otherwise choose any cooler knee time period style.Cotton is amid probably the most comfy fabrics for summer. red patent leather wedge sandal red patent leather wedge sandal while we often think about it like a really

Posted by: Hunter on 01 Jun 2012 10:49 pm
incorporates products for that marriage ceremony a recentd bodily workout routines that come about through the marriage ceremony. shoes red bottom shoes red bottom The bridewouls robe. . . the reception bouquets. . . headlines. . . images. . christian louboutin boots christian louboutin boots . invites. . . favors. . . limousine support a recentd the service fees for that venue will prair conditioning unittically all operate as responsibisexuallity from the pare nots calfskin tall boots calfskin tall boots . The pare nots ought to address the charges they"ll have so far as outfits. . . nail sandal in silver nail sandal in silver lodging a recentd journey if essential. Marriage ceremony etiquette leaves the groomwouls bout the morningily to pay for for other factors. The groomwouls bout the morningily is usuprair conditioning unittically ally accountable for ptating for that rehearsal dinner . They"d buy the rehearsal dinner invites. . mom of groom
Posted by: samei on 21 Aug 2012 10:32 pm
Outer space Costume favourite British designers within the operating for the job of making THAT wedding dress for the Royal wedding in between Kate Middleton and Prince William sexy women halloween costumes cheap halloween costumes .
Suzanne Neville are a proud British label, who uniquely medieval Costumes Fairy Costume, hand make all of their gowns in London carnival costumes halloween costumes for cats . Suzanne Neville began out 20 years ago using the assist of a company assistance course from the Prince"s Trust, Prince Charles"s extremely personal charity, creating her couture gowns a fitting option for the Royal wedding. Suzanne stated of Kate Middleton"s wedding gown:"There will probably be lots of speculation as to what the selected designer will make for Kate bunny costumes , however the most significant factor will probably be to hear what Kate desires - the dress requirements to reflect Kate"s individual style and
Posted by: samei on 07 Sep 2012 8:57 pm
, explained: ugg outlet "We mail volunteers to nations the place little ones and youth turn into sufferers of sexual exploitation ugg sale boots . We would like our volunteers and neighborhood companions to become are informed of that. We discover it essential the security of kids provides a structural put within our small business. By signing the kid Safety Code we executed little one defense actions within our day-to-day perform. The Code (thecode. org) is undoubtedly an industry-driven accountable tourism initiative co-funded through the Swiss Authorities (SECO) and through the tourism non-public sector cheap black boots , and supported because of the ECPAT Worldwide community. Advisory associates are UNICEF and UNWTO.
The Intercontinental Council of Tourism
Posted by: samei on 29 Oct 2012 8:57 am

sophi?ticated ook. G for apparels t? ballkleider lang ballkleider lang at a'e mad . ? hochzeitskleider hochzeitskleider . up of flaring and trim fabr?cs as a substitute t?an stiff and thick materials. Before ?ou g to acquire and also dimension night attire, con?ult your styist. abiballkleider kurz abiballkleider kurz Your styli?t wil surey g?ve you b?tter id?as relating to billige ballkleider billige ballkleider . , which ?s the trendiest d'ess in t?is se—son blumenkinder kleider blumenkinder kleider . . You c—n also get there at know th? on the web outlets th—t offer night clothes at — che—p pr?ce fro yur stylist. cocktailkleider kurz cocktailkleider kurz Now, make it possible for us supply w?th sme of th? outlet abendkleider outlet abendkleider most ppular together with dimension clothes for eveningwear. Halter neck clothes hae generally been — popul—r solution between together with dimension omen. Wmen haing toned arms seem god in these attire. This style of clothes enables flatte'ing th? arms

Posted by: Hunter on 09 Dec 2012 10:03 pm
outdoors, as well. It is a lot less obtrusive than the PAW1500, and packs a lot of functionality into a welldesigned package fake audemars piguet classic watches . My wife wore it to work to get a day, and no 1 noticed it. I wore it more than 1 day cheap fake watch , and no 1 noticed it on me either: this 1 really is that versatile.Review Of The Citizen Attesa ATV532933 On I had the US version from the Citizen Skyhawk AT (JY000053E) using the caliber anadigi R C module. replica watches on sale By no means had a lick of an issue with that watch. Even the seconds hand hit each and every marker on the dial dead on. fake cartier libre watches Not poor to get a watch that I paid $340 brand new from my nearby Citizen AD. I sold it to a buddy of mine and missed it instantly. fake patek philippe classic watches Initially, I taught of going back and grab an additional new US spec Skyhawk AT cheap fake watches , but as a lot as I liked the watch, I wanted some thing slightly various. cheap rolex For starters, the EB6 slide rule bezel within the Skyhawk by
Posted by: Quees on 19 Jul 2013 3:52 am