Author Topic: Ellipses and how to use them  (Read 2384 times)

Offline Dawn

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Ellipses and how to use them
« on: December 13, 2012, 11:56:24 AM »
Ellipses are the '. . .'s that both Hillwalker and 510 mentioned. They are done, properly, this way:

1. When you use them between words, to show hesitation, there will be a space, a period, a space, a period, a space, and a final period. You write it this way for your manuscript, but in the published material it may look this this: ...

Don't not let this throw you. You'll need to space the dots properly in your manuscript. If you have a program that automatically converts the . . . into ..., fix it now. The house editors and typesetters will adjust for the publishing house's style.

2. Ellipses that end a sentence, again with hesitation, will look spaced differently, and also end with the proper punctuation.

Period ellipsis: This is the end. . . .

Question ellipsis: This is the end. . . ?

Exclamation mark ellipsis: This is the end. . . !

Again, this is the way you write it in your manuscript. You start with the dot next to the last word, space, a dot, space, another dot, and then the ending punctuation.

3. Like the exclamation mark, overuse is frowned upon. But, good use is still good use if done properly.

The following example come from Akhtar's debut novel, American Dervish: A Novel, which I recommend reading, if you're a fan of Hosseini's The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns.

"I don't know . . . I mean, it's so beautiful . . . are you sure you want to give it to me?"

This is how your ellipses should look. Hope this helps.
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