How to Correctly Punctuate Dialogue for Novels

Punctuation rules for dialog? Here’s a primer provided by author S. Katherine Anthony that is solid and rife with helpful examples! Please, read on!

Writers After Dark

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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Author: John Fioravanti

I'm a retired History teacher (35 years), husband, father of three, grandfather of three. My wife, Anne, and I became business partners in December, 2013, and launched our own publishing company, Fiora Books (, to publish my books. We have been married since 1973 and hope our joint business venture will be as successful as our marriage.

4 thoughts on “How to Correctly Punctuate Dialogue for Novels”

        1. … and bread, cake, pie, muffins, chocolate, potato chips, pizza… my list seems endless, Madelyn! If a person could perfect a hypnotic treatment that would convince our taste buds that all healthy food tastes fabulously delicious and unhealthy food tastes terrible – he or she would make Donal Trump look impoverished! Let’s see… Mr. Google… how do I hypnotize…


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