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10

em dashes are usually used to denote an interruption or sudden change — whether in dialogue, thought or narrative — ellipses are for pauses, again in all respects. 'I just don't see why— 'I don't care what you think,' Johan barked, turning from me before I could protest. 'She was just...' His face turned pale as his memory returned to that ...


7

If it's important enough to mention the hour then it's important enough to be clear which one you mean, but using "AM" and "PM" in fiction may not be the best way. If the scene already makes it clear which one is being talked about -- on the beach you talk about the sunlight dancing off the waves, for instance -- then you don't need to say anything and "PM" ...


6

You could use empty brackets with a space between them. Brackets are generally used to alter a quote inline, such as fixing grammar or to add information like a name so the quoted material will work within the context of the piece quoting it. "desire[ ] all people to be saved" or don't quote that word: It is possible for God to want "all people to ...


5

Commas are used to increase clarity. In each of your examples, a speaker would pause while reading the lines, indicating a comma is called for. A sentence with too many commas probably means the sentence is overly complicated. Your writing sample is first person and modern, so I would follow contemporary writing and speaking as a guide. A good reference for ...


4

I might use an M-dash for the whale example, because it's startling. For the gold watch, that's more of a thoughtful pause, so it would take an ellipsis. Also related on this site: Using dashes in writing dialogue and How not to overuse ellipsis?


4

If this were a question about usage in a technical paper or an essay, I'd suggest referring to a style manual for guidance. However, outside of formatting and punctuation rules, I don't think there are any absolute rules for fiction. Narrative writing is meant to show people in real world believably, and people don't always use exactly the same terms for ...


4

The method of laying out ideas in the form of a dialogue where both speakers are written by one author is called dialectic. It has its roots in philosophy and has wide application. What you're describing sounds like a very poor example of this technique. It uses the form of the dialectic method, but the content is more akin to the FAQ on a commercial ...


3

I think all your original examples sound fine. Go with your inner ear and let your beta/editor add or remove commas for the sake of grammar. As Bobn points out, the commas indicate pauses, and all those pauses sound natural and appropriate.


2

Small caps can become a temporary convention for something distinct but similar to normal communication. In the same way that ALL CAPS has become symbolic of shouting, other character formatting can be used to imply meaning. In many alternative fiction works, italics is used consistently to symbolize non-verbal telepathic communication. In these cases, ...


2

All caps is for shouting. Small caps could be used as a stylistic device at the beginning of a chapter to look nice, but beyond that I'm struggling to think of where they'd be appropriate. Maybe to quote a poster? For the T-shirt example, if the text on the shirt itself is not in all caps, I'd italicize it (or put it in quotes).


2

Cite the game according to your style guide's format, and provide any more specific context you feel is necessary as part of the lead-in and text surrounding the quote or reference. The Traveller's sudden incarceration on his first arrival in the 233rd Age parallels the Traveller's arrival in Riven: an automated trap is sprung and the Traveller forced to ...


2

Names generally have spaces between the initials because they are representing two names, but that's a matter of personal preference. k.d. lang uses periods but not spaces or capitals. e e cummings used spaces but not periods or capitals. J. K. Rowling uses all three. P.S. and U.S.A. are abbreviations (I have often seen USA with no periods), and always ...


2

I would go with the following. It is possible for God to "[desire] all people to be saved." To me, this suggests that the original quote clearly implied the word desire; a rephrasing like It is possible for God to desire "all people to be saved." leaves more ambiguity.


1

My general rules, adapted from AP style: In narrative prose, use digits for 10 through 99. Use digits for 100 and above unless the number can be expressed in two words (like two thousand or five hundred or a hundred million). In dialogue, write out all numbers. You don't say "47," you say "forty-seven," as @what points out. Write out digits under ...


1

I'd do: De-Shi was holding something that looked like a price tag. It had the numbers "024" written on it. (1) quote any text, no matter if it was spoken or found written somewhere(2) if you don't quote the numbers, 024 is one number (not plural), so either 'the numbers "024"' (read: oh-two-four) or 'the number 024' (read: twentyfour) "Isn't that ...


1

Contrary to what the other answers claim, capitals do not need to mean shouting, but can quite simply mean that what is quoted was written in capital letters. Example: Despite this and other examples, I still stand by my comment that says to avoid all caps. The example would not have changed its meaning if it had read: In one location, Schiavone ...


1

I'd use ellipses for pauses, dashes are usually used for interruption. "I found this - " "That doesn't matter, look what I found!" As opposed to: "She... She's dead."


1

Adding to the answers by Lauren Ipsum and CLockeWork. I'll just look at the second example: Was it an elephant? No, elephants didn't frequent beaches. It was — a whale! Was it an elephant? No, elephants didn't frequent beaches. It was ... a whale! It seems to me that the dash as a sign of a sudden change works well in the ...


1

I'm surprised that you chose BESW's answer which only gives you an example for how to cite a video game, but does not actually explain what you asked for, namely citing events in a video game. I'll try to answer that. To refer to a specific plot element of a video game in a scholarly paper, you need to first identify the structure of the game. Usually ...


1

The primary difference between usage in the terms "screenplay" and "script" is the function of the document. The script the actors use during filming is primarily dialogue with minimal stage direction. This is similar to the 'spec scripts' given to agents and producers to generate interest in the work. The primary focus here is on telling the story, the ...



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