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Linguists have found that semicolons, colons, and even commas, are on the wane in everyday usage, and that many speakers no longer understand the use of a semicolon. Non-writers – and you will see this in emails, forum posts, and other written messages – often do not use punctuation at all, but rather let all "sentences" flow into each other, only putting ...


9

"The point of a Horcrux is, as Professor Slughorn explained, to keep part of the self hidden and safe, not to fling it into somebody else's path and run the risk that they might destroy it — as indeed happened: That particular fragment of soul is no more; you saw to that." "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", J. K. Rowling "Lord Voldemort liked ...


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Without an example it's hard to tell, but if you feel like you are writing too much dialogue in proportion to the rest, then perhaps your gut is telling you to dial it down a little. As always, if you read a lot of well written stories, you'll have a good idea of where your story lies in terms of style. Then again, if you're writing a scene like one of the ...


2

I disagree that a colon does not simulate normal speech. A classic example would be when I enumerate something to my dialog partner: "Hey Joe, we offer the following colours: Gray Blue Yellow." There, maybe even with semicola in a single line: "Hey Joe, we offer the following colours: Light Gray, Dark Gray and Eternal Gray; ...


2

In most stories, one doesn't necessarily need a lot of dialogue but it sure helps to display the character's personality more than just telling your readers what they did. I think of it as "showing" vs "telling." A short expletive of especially creative invention can go a long way to describe who your character is, instead of using a lengthy sentence to ...


2

Do not use the second form in narrative prose; it reads like a script. The first version is fine. You do not need to write "said" repeatedly. For example, in the second sentence of the first version you can write: I comforted him, "All I care for is you. I can't leave you here alone! Never!" The use of "however" in this sentence is weak and ...


2

Like "what" said, custom dictates separate paragraphs when speakers change while using the first form. It's also been pointed out that the two forms are context sensitive. Is it a script or a dialog in a story? But I'd like to point out something interesting. In the second form, we know Isaac is angry, and we know you are trying to help. So telling the ...


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Well, you are the author so it is really your call. If you feel that there is too much dialogue, then odds are that there is. Perhaps there needs to be more of a narrative voice to pull it all together and then you can eliminate some of the dialogue that is used to advance the plot.


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The sad truth is that semicolons are slowly dying. NGrams However as one of the few people who still attempt to use semicolons in writing (and a programmer) I sincerely hope they don't die out. Ultimately a lot of it boils down to a lack of proper teaching; teachers these days do not often teach students the correct use of semicolons. In an attempt to stop ...


1

The real answer here is: Whatever makes your message the most clear to your readers. Learn to use punctuation as properly as possible, because this is what people learn at schools. Since they learn it there they tend to understand it as common usage and it's easier for them to gather meaning. And since most people learn to read at school, a common ...



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