1

In the following statement:

After confronting Nick about it he said “I have helped you out in the past you owe me for that!”.

Should the quoted text be put on a new line and rephrased? This is the only direct speech in the paragraph I am writing.

  • Don’t put a period outside the closing quotation mark when there’s an exclamation mark just inside of the same. And put a comma between it and he. You’ll be just fine. – tchrist Feb 1 '14 at 19:09
  • Your question about rephrasing would most likely depend on the prior paragraph. – CoolHandLouis Feb 1 '14 at 23:27
  • I would also put a comma inside the quote, after 'past'. – WS2 Feb 2 '14 at 0:01
  • @WS2 you tryin' to stir up trouble? Them thar's fight'n words. :) – CoolHandLouis Feb 2 '14 at 12:24
3

Here is the original with potential grammar corrections:

After confronting Nick about it, he said, “I have helped you out in the past. You owe me for that!”

When there is new conversation or a change in speaker, the quote should be put on a new paragraph. You're generally "safe" to be conservative and start on a new paragraph. However, it also can depend on function and style. If the conversation naturally flows with the paragraph, it can be included at the end, as depicted in the following:

Joe called Sue to help out Nick. Joe gave Sue a piece of his mind while Nick fidgeted with his fingers. After confronting Sue about it, he turned to Nick and said, "I have helped you out so many times. You owe me for this one!"

Compare that with a break in scene or mood that would be best served with a separate paragraph:

Joe called Sue to help out Nick. Joe gave Sue a piece of his mind while Nick fidgeted with his fingers. After confronting Sue about it, he gently put the phone down and faced Nick, waiting a few painful seconds for any hint of gratitude.

"What? Nothing to say?" Joe asked sharply. "I have helped you out so many times. You owe me for this one!"

The following link has good advice with many examples on how to handle dialog in prose: http://litreactor.com/columns/talk-it-out-how-to-punctuate-dialogue-in-your-prose

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