My Writers Circle

Writing => All the Write Questions => Topic started by: Fagins girl on October 26, 2010, 02:47:00 PM

Title: Capital letters after quotation marks?
Post by: Fagins girl on October 26, 2010, 02:47:00 PM
Hi.

 If someone speaks i.e 'I thought is was a good idea at the time.' she said.

Is it correct that even after the full stop `she said` would be in lower case? Or should there be a capital at the beginning of `she`?  ???

Thanks,

xx
Title: Re: Capital letters after quotation marks?
Post by: Hugh on October 26, 2010, 03:11:21 PM
"I thought it was a good idea at the time," she said.

Should be a comma, not a full stop, so your question does not apply.

"Do you think it was a good idea?" she said. (no capital)

Hope this helps.

Hugh
Title: Re: Capital letters after quotation marks?
Post by: Suemcb on October 26, 2010, 11:22:14 PM
Yes I agree with Hugh -  it should be a comma as the 'she said' bit is actually part of the sentence. I had the same problem and kept using fullstops until I had a manuscript assessed and was told to research punctuation for speech etc.  I still have to stop myself using fullstops and have to go over all my work to check it.  :-[ ::) ::)
Title: Re: Capital letters after quotation marks?
Post by: 510bhan on October 27, 2010, 09:08:30 AM
I was unsure so I used to sneak in the character's name after a question was asked.
"What is it?" Henry asked.
Title: Re: Capital letters after quotation marks?
Post by: Fagins girl on October 27, 2010, 09:24:46 AM
Thanks very much Hugh and Soots, I can see you are right.

Thants a cute liitle dog in your pic Soots  :)

xx

Title: Re: Capital letters after quotation marks?
Post by: 510bhan on October 27, 2010, 09:30:12 AM
Single quotation marks for dialogue...what happened to speech marks? Where do they ever get used now? They surely can't be redundant...isn't the name a bit of a giveaway?
Title: Re: Capital letters after quotation marks?
Post by: Fagins girl on October 27, 2010, 09:37:14 AM
Single quotation marks for dialogue...what happened to speech marks? Where do they ever get used now? They surely can't be redundant...isn't the name a bit of a giveaway?

I don`t use double speech marks because in most books I read it is the single quotation mark ' that you can find on the @ button. Enlarged you should see it as one quotation mark. I think it is up to the individual publisher these days and they need to tell you if they want you to change it or not. I know, you can`t win!  ::)

xx
Title: Re: Capital letters after quotation marks?
Post by: Fagins girl on October 31, 2010, 09:35:21 AM
I am presuming it is still lower case after an explanation mark too then?

Title: Re: Capital letters after quotation marks?
Post by: Don on October 31, 2010, 10:30:27 AM
You presume correctly.

Dialogue attribution requires some work to make it flow smoothly. Here's a fun exercise you may enjoy. Pick a dialogue-laden segment of your work and try rewriting it with no he said/she said speech tags at all. Allow the character actions and dialogue to identify the speaker.

"You won't think you're so funny when I'm finished." Don chambered a round in the .45.

Mr. Fullstop stared at the weapon wide-eyed. "Okay, you win. I'll play nicely with others."

"A little late for that, doncha think?"

Crappy pulp fiction, to be sure but there is no confusion as to who the speaker is. Give it a try and let us know how it works out.

Don -




Title: Re: Capital letters after quotation marks?
Post by: A.J.B on October 31, 2010, 06:15:47 PM
It's been a while since I linked anyone to the following piece of brilliance. It pretty much answers any question anyone can ask about punctuating speech. I advise anyone who is unsure of anything to give it a looksee.

http://thegossamerthread.bardicweb.com/?q=node/29 (http://thegossamerthread.bardicweb.com/?q=node/29)
Title: Re: Capital letters after quotation marks?
Post by: bonitakale on November 01, 2010, 09:00:23 AM
I don`t use double speech marks because in most books I read it is the single quotation mark ' that you can find on the @ button. Enlarged you should see it as one quotation mark. I think it is up to the individual publisher these days and they need to tell you if they want you to change it or not. I know, you can`t win!  ::)

xx


I thought it was a nationality thing--US is double; UK is single.

Bonita
Title: Re: Capital letters after quotation marks?
Post by: 510bhan on November 01, 2010, 07:34:49 PM

I thought it was a nationality thing--US is double; UK is single.

Bonita

And I thought it was UK 2 - US 1 !!!
Title: Re: Capital letters after quotation marks?
Post by: Gyppo on November 01, 2010, 08:00:13 PM
I agree with Siobahn, although I've just had a look through a small stack of books and found UK stories with either style.  Just checked in an American book from 2003, which uses singles.

I think perhaps a case of modern publishing, regardless of country of origin.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Capital letters after quotation marks?
Post by: ma100 on November 01, 2010, 08:12:50 PM
Yeah, I always thought it was double for UK too.
Title: Re: Capital letters after quotation marks?
Post by: Gyppo on November 01, 2010, 08:28:54 PM
It definitely was, even if some publishers have now shifted the goalposts.
Title: Re: Capital letters after quotation marks?
Post by: cswillson on November 01, 2010, 08:33:57 PM
I've never seen anything published in the colonies that didn't use two.
Title: Re: Capital letters after quotation marks?
Post by: Gyppo on November 01, 2010, 08:37:34 PM
The thot plickens ;-)
Title: Re: Capital letters after quotation marks?
Post by: 510bhan on November 01, 2010, 09:20:51 PM
"If they're gone," she began, "what will become of the eponymous speech marks?"

Excerpt from Memoirs of a Deranged Author circa 1990s
Title: Re: Capital letters after quotation marks?
Post by: Gyppo on November 02, 2010, 05:35:44 AM
Caring writers will keep small colonies of them in glass tanks next to their processors, milling around in happy confusion like Siamese tadpoles.  Making sure the breed doesn't die out, so that one day, when sanity returns, there will be sufficient breeding stock to meet the needs of the more discerning.

In the meantime they will write small dialogue rich fragments so as to keep the breed true and to weed out any poor stock.

"What?"

"Now."

"Now?"

"Yes.  Now!"

"Really?"

"Really."

"Oh Shit!"

Some truly dedicated writers will even take on the task of breeding apostrophes and exclamation marks, just to keep the line alive.

The die-hard traditionalists will also breed double spaces to follow full stops, and singles to follow commas.

It's a tough job, but someone has to do it in the face of the rising tide of boring bloody expediency and 'dumbing down'.   (See, that's the place for single quotes, in a damned quotation, not surrounding speech..

Gyppo - Having fun with punctuation.
Title: Re: Capital letters after quotation marks?
Post by: WoodridgeNZ on November 02, 2010, 07:43:49 AM
Just a suggestion re the quotation marks: if you write your work using the usual double speech marks and a publisher wants you to change them to single, it's an easy matter of find-and-replace (in MS Word, at least). You can't do it in reverse, because all your apostrophes will be turned into speech marks (don"t you see).  :)

K
Title: Re: Capital letters after quotation marks?
Post by: 510bhan on November 09, 2010, 08:39:39 AM
Just a suggestion re the quotation marks: if you write your work using the usual double speech marks and a publisher wants you to change them to single, it's an easy matter of find-and-replace (in MS Word, at least). You can't do it in reverse, because all your apostrophes will be turned into speech marks (don"t you see).  :)

K

Good tip :D
Caring writers will keep small colonies of them in glass tanks next to their processors, milling around in happy confusion like Siamese tadpoles.  Making sure the breed doesn't die out, so that one day, when sanity returns, there will be sufficient breeding stock to meet the needs of the more discerning.

In the meantime they will write small dialogue rich fragments so as to keep the breed true and to weed out any poor stock.

"What?"

"Now."

"Now?"

"Yes.  Now!"

"Really?"

"Really."

"Oh Shit!"

Some truly dedicated writers will even take on the task of breeding apostrophes and exclamation marks, just to keep the line alive.

The die-hard traditionalists will also breed double spaces to follow full stops, and singles to follow commas.

It's a tough job, but someone has to do it in the face of the rising tide of boring bloody expediency and 'dumbing down'.   (See, that's the place for single quotes, in a damned quotation, not surrounding speech..

Gyppo - Having fun with punctuation.

Do you think there's a government grant for this or perhaps a ministerial position for a speech marks breeder without portfolio?
Title: Re: Capital letters after quotation marks?
Post by: Gyppo on November 09, 2010, 05:33:27 PM
Do you think there's a government grant for this or perhaps a ministerial position for a speech marks breeder without portfolio?

In view of his planned cut-backs I can't see Cameron funding this.  On the other hand he has already appointed several Ministers Without portfolio Brain, so it's still possible :-)

We can live in hope.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Capital letters after quotation marks?
Post by: Lin on November 16, 2010, 01:04:33 PM
Most of the UK novels I read these days are single quotes.  Doubles for the US.

I had to change all my quotes from double as I thought the same as you guys but no, these days its singles for us Brits.

I wouldnt worry about it though - your personal editor at the publishing house will advise.  Plus it's easy to change them with a flick of a switch.  Just check it over afterwards to ensure you haven't inadvertently changed all the apostrophes as well!!  Nightmare!

Lin x