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What is the proper punctuation for broken dialogue? I have the following line:

"I just never expected you to be so—" she looked Dan up and down "—human," she finished.

I believe that is the correct way to write that, but I'm not sure. Is there a comma before the dialogue resumes? Do I need spaces before and after the dashes, or are they right next to the words like I have them?

If you could point me in the right direction, that would be great.

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An em dash is usually used only when the dialogue is broken in the middle of a word.

"As I was trying to expl—"

For your example it would be customary to surround the break with em dashes, like so:

"I just never expected you to be so"—she looked Dan up and down—"human," she finished.

  • I'm guessing that spaces around the dashes are writer preference? – Thomas Myron Oct 30 '16 at 17:21
  • Newspapers typically insert spaces while literary authors typically don't. – R.J.C. Nov 1 '16 at 4:40

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