Digging through every ELU question I can find on the matter, I still can’t locate a specific answer to this question of punctuation. Which of these is correct?
“Maybe...” I said, injecting an intentional pause, “we will find him.”
“Maybe...,” I said, injecting an intentional pause, "we will find him.”
Note that this is an interrupted quotation. It is not a “voice trailing off incomplete sentence,” followed by another sentence. Without the textual interruption, it would be “Maybe... we will find him.”
Comma or no?
ADDENDUM: I'm adding a bit more here, because despite the excellent answers I've already received, there's a point I want to make which hasn't precisely been addressed, and it's this:
I want to retain the structure of the sentence exactly as it is, as a creative choice. The pause implied by a comma alone, although generally sufficient (e.g. "Maybe, we will find him.") is not adequate to my purpose here. Mea culpa, I could not include the amount of contextual material that would have made this clear, but if you accept that I want to get a long intentional pause with a dying inflection (and not the more abrupt pause signified by a dash), then would you consider a comma to be nice punctuation, or unnecessary?
A simpler way of looking at the same question might be this: Which of the following works better?
- "Maybe..." I said.
- "Maybe...," I said.
Perhaps all I'm really asking is, is the usual comma that comes before I said necessary after an ellipsis?