Marji Laine: Faith~Driven Fiction

. . . Authentic and Intense

Writing Tip: Ellipses


This week’s writing tip is about ellipses, the dot-dot-dots that areoften added to writing. To me, the ellipsis is a mood-maker for the sentence.It stutters showing confusion or intense emotion. It can also drift intosilence, indicating a wandering mind or distracted situation.

The correct way to write an ellipsis is to space at the end of the wordthat precedes the mark, then add the three periods, and follow them

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Author: Marji Laine

Marji is a recently "graduated" homeschooling mom whose twin girls have blessed her by sticking around the nest for a little longer. She spends her days directing the children’s music program at her church and working with the authors of Write Integrity Press to put out the best possible version of their books. Raised in suburban Dallas, she got her first taste of writing through the stories of brilliant authors of their day, Mignon Eberhart and Phyllis A. Whitney, and through stage experience. After directing and acting in productions for decades, Marji started writing her own scripts. From that early beginning, she delved into creating scintillating suspense with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.

7 thoughts on “Writing Tip: Ellipses

  1. Ben, you're right, my examples were for creative writing. The same rules apply to research, though. Ellipses will always be used in some type of quotation, either dialogue or direct quote from a research source.


  2. I thought it was only acceptable in quotes when you leave a bit out "For God so loved the world . . . and whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish" Like that. It seems like most of those examples would not fit into an essay 😉 Being included in dialogue and all.


  3. I actually spoke to an editor about this recently, and they said the … was okay. They also said . . . was okay. There is a third option, the one I was taught in school, which is my preferred option… just like that. Attached to the previous sentance. The editor said it was oaky to use any option, as long as you are consistent.


  4. This is helpful. I didn't know about the name of this punctuation, ellipses, or that spaces are needed between the periods.


  5. Oh, you're good, David. So glad you're keeping me honest. I went back to Chicago Style and you're right about the spaces in between the dot. They do say that the "the single-glyph three-dot ellipsis character" is acceptable, but that it would be changed by editors following Chicago style. As far as the period at the end, that's true if the sentence ends but there is more to the quote. In the example above, the sentences weren't complete. That situation is found on 639 of Chicago Manual of Style under the Ellipsis 13.53. (Yes, I had to go look it up and make sure – just LOVE my new book!)Thanks for setting me straight!


  6. Are you certain of this? I was taught to put spaces between the dots, and if they followed a complete sentence to precede the dots with a normal period, making four dots.