Dialogue follows some straightforward rules. If you need to alter these to convey a particular rhythm of speech, discuss it with your editor, otherwise in general:
- Enclose normal dialogue within single quotation marks.
- Every new line of dialogue is indented, just like a new paragraph (about 1cm).
- Start a new paragraph every time a different character speaks.
- Use double quotation marks if the character speaking is directly quoting someone else. E.g. ‘When I arrived he shouted at me, “Get off my land!” he roared.’
- If someone is quoted within speech and the quote ends the speech, the correct way to close the punctuation would be… land!”.’
- To show odd or quirky use of words within text you can use either single or double quotes, just be consistent.
- Do not change your font to show emphasis, simply use the italic or bold of serif font you are using.
- Do not change font size for emphasis, unless it is a children’s book and the typography plays a role in the page design. If this is so, agree with your designer an A, B, C size guide and mark up the text with the letters.
- Do not show SHOUTING by using capital letters. Simply describe speech style outside the dialogue, e.g. he shouted etc.
Last but by no means least:
Proofread before the book goes to typesetting, it will drastically reduce the number of amends the typesetter will have to take in, which will save you a lot of budget. Typesetters can charge corrections to text that is set at £100+VAT per hour
Edit before your file goes off to the typesetter for the same reason.
Letting us format and proofread your book will save you a lot of time and energy. If you have a project you would like to discuss, don’t hesitate to talk to us about your eBook formatting today.