Edits By Knight

The Role of Commas in Dialogue

     Dialogue has its own set of rules and regulations, which are—arguably—the most complicated of all. I talk more about how to write dialogue in this post, but I’ll give you a brief summary of the role of commas in dialogue here.

If a tag comes before the dialogue itself, you should always use a comma after the tag (before the quotation marks) to separate the tag from the speech:

She said, “Writing dialogue is the worst.”

When the tag appears in the middle of a sentence, a comma should be used before the tag (inside the quotes) and after the tag (outside the quotes):

“Writing dialogue,” she said, “is the worst.”

     Now, if a tag is placed after the dialogue, depending on the tone and purpose of the speech, you may not always use a comma; sometimes, you’ll use an exclamation point or question mark.

However, you should use a comma for any sentence that would end in a period:

“Writing dialogue is the worst,” she said.

     Be sure to check out the rest of the basics of comma usage, and visit visit my blog’s main page to find tips and tricks for editors, writers, and freelancers!

Miko lives in North Alabama with their husband, Mark—two bright blue dots in a really red state. The pair have three cats, Henry, Louise, and Jefferson Twilight, and live the quiet and satisfying lives of two nerdy introverts. The work-from-home lifestyle is perfect for Miko, who was diagnosed with ADHD and autism in their late thirties.

     In their spare time, Miko enjoys gardening, playing the piano, singing, playing JRPGs, Tabletop gaming, and (of course) reading.

For more about me, visit my blog here.

Miko lives in North Alabama with their husband, Mark—two bright blue dots in a really red state. The pair have three cats, Henry, Louise, and Jefferson Twilight, and live the quiet and satisfying lives of two nerdy introverts. The work-from-home lifestyle is perfect for Miko, who was diagnosed with ADHD and autism in their late thirties.

     In their spare time, Miko enjoys gardening, playing the piano, singing, playing JRPGs, Tabletop gaming, and (of course) reading.

For more about me, visit my blog here.