0

When writing dialogue for characters that stammer or stutter over the first letter of the first word in their speech, should the first letter remain a capital or become lowercase when repeated?

My question is probably best explained by example...

Retaining capital letter:

"H-H-Hello," he said.

Not retaining capital letter:

"H-h-hello," he said.

Which is correct, or are both acceptable? I wasn't able to find any solid information either way so I thought a discussion could be had in the hopes of reaching a concrete conclusion.

To be entirely clear, I'm only asking about stammering over the first letter and when that first letter should be a capital.

0

I'd stick with the upper case letters. And that doesn't mean you need to use upper case for a stutter all the time. If the stutter starts on a lower case letter then keep it lower case. For example,

I d-don't like that. But if it was I, the I'd use I-I...

That said, I think it' a bad idea to repeat the same letter again and again. It'd be going too much over the top and your reader won't like it. I'd probably stick to a single repetition.

  • I usually only repeat the stuttered letter once, very occasionally twice when I really want to make it obvious that they're struggling. The examples I wrote are just examples. – Emily Feb 25 '16 at 8:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.