Ask the Editor is on the 3rd Monday of the month. Grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure and more! I will showcase questions and answers. To ask a question, please fill out the form below. (There will be no Ask the Editor in September due to the awesome Alex J. Cavanaugh's Genre Favorites Blogfest. If you haven't signed up for it yet, you should consider doing so.)
I've been a freelance editor since November 2010. If I don't know the answer, I will find it.
M. Pax asks, “How would you punctuate and set off a computer or text conversation? Such as lol. Would you use a period after it?
Most books set text messages and computer conversations (emails/IMs) off in a different font or indent differently. Some use italics or bold the lines. I did a bit of research on the topic, but nothing seemed definite on how to set of text/computer conversations. A key is consistency. If you do it one way, then keep it that way later in the book. As for “lol” with or without punctuate, punctuate how your character would.
For example of a possible text message conversation between my sister and me:
Cherie: Where r u?
Cherie: Be there soon.
You can get a feel of the natural texting. Grammar/spelling rules don't completely apply to texts and computer messages because that's not how a lot of people type, so it is important to show that in a story.