Sandra Gerth - author of the Writers' Guide Series
Dashes, ellipses, hyphens

When and how to use dashes, ellipses, and hyphens

When I’m editing, I often come across manuscripts in which writers used an ellipsis when they should use a dash or the other way around. Sometimes, I also see hyphens used instead of dashes. So here are some simple rules of thumb for when and how to use dashes, ellipses, …

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How to punctuate dialogue tags and action beats correctly

One little thing that drives many editors crazy is incorrect punctuation of dialogue and action beats. Let’s start with a definition: A dialogue tag is a speaker verb such as “Tina said.” It tells your readers which character is speaking. An action beat is something a character does. Example: “I …

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