At the risk of sounding punctuationally challenged, I learned a new thing today thanks to @kapybara (also the author of the quote above) and her fine beta-reading of my Crow Toes short story. And that thing is named beats. (Shameless voice-thievery…loves ya, Barbara Park!)
Until now, I just knew I wasn’t punctuating my dialogue correctly – but I didn’t know where I was going wrong or why.
@kapybara suggested a new resource for me: Self-editing For Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print. She even helpfully pointed out the pages to look at (148-159). I can’t imagine that there are eleven pages worth of things to say about punctuating dialogue, and frankly I’m looking at that as a very bad sign for my approach to date, but I bravely put in an order to Chapters nevertheless.
I’ll keep ‘yall posted. (Pun intended.)