Writing Glitch #289

Today’s second (more interesting) glitch:


This example has all sorts of problems…

Do not put dialogue on a separate line from its tag.

Capitalize the first word of a sentence. If it’s for dialogue following a tag, you still need to capitalize the first word of the dialogue, even though it’s technically continuing the same sentence.

Do not use a colon instead of a comma for dialogue following its tag.

You could use a period (for less abruptness) instead of an em-dash after Pinch me, but it needs punctuation of some sort.

A period at the end of dialogue belongs inside the quotation marks, not outside.

Whatever is going on with that em-dash in front of the last paragraph, it’s wrong.

You don’t need both then and afterwards (and it should be afterward, without the s). I’m choosing to keep then so that the sentence ends with vanishes, which seems to be the point.

Your friend tells you, “Pinch me — I’m dreaming.”

You do as he asks.

He then vanishes.



About Thomas Weaver

I’m a writer and editor who got into professional editing almost by accident years ago when a friend from university needed someone to copyedit his screenplay about giant stompy robots (mecha). Having discovered that I greatly enjoy this kind of work, I’ve been putting my uncanny knack for grammar and punctuation, along with an eclectic mental collection of facts, to good use ever since as a Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom. I'm physically disabled, and for the past several years, I’ve lived with my smugly good-looking twin Paul, who writes military science fiction and refuses to talk about his military service because he can’t. Sometimes Paul and I collaborate on stories, and sometimes I just edit whatever he writes. It's worked out rather well so far. My list of non-writing-related jobs from the past includes librarian, art model, high school teacher, science lab gofer… Although I have no spouse or offspring to tell you about, I do have six cats. (The preferred term is "Insane Cat Gentleman.") I currently spend my time blogging, reading, editing, and fending off cats who like my desk better than my twin’s.
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