Amanda Hocking

random English fact

July 30th, 2010 by
This post currently has no comments
My books are being re-edited. I just uploaded a newly edited version of My Blood Approves, and its really good. The typos are gone!

But here’s something that’s been happening every time somebody edits my books: They point out missing quotes, when they’re not.

Here’s a quote from the third chapter of Wisdom:

“I don’t mean in a perverse way,” she said. “Everything I did, I was just looking to feel like someone cared about me, I think. And you were the first person that ever did. I could feel it
“So, thank you.” She laughed nervously.

The purple highlighted part is not in quotes. Most people think it should be, but it’s not supposed to be.

Here’s the rule (with a quote from Jane Austen to back me up):

In most cases, quotations that span multiple paragraphs should be set as block quotations, and thus do not require quotation marks. Quotation marks are used for multiple-paragraph quotations in some cases, especially in narratives. The convention in English is to give opening quotation marks to the first and each subsequent paragraph, using closing quotation marks only for the final paragraph of the quotation, as in the following example from Pride and Prejudice:

The letter was to this effect:

“My dear Lizzy,

“I wish you joy. If you love Mr. Darcy half as well as I do my dear Wickham, you must be very happy. It is a great comfort to have you so rich, and when you have nothing else to do, I hope you will think of us. I am sure Wickham would like a place at court very much, and I do not think we shall have quite money enough to live upon without some help. Any place would do, of about three or four hundred a year; but however, do not speak to Mr. Darcy about it, if you had rather not.

“Yours, etc.”


If the same person is talking in one paragraph, and they’re still talking in the next, the closing quote isn’t needed, because the quotation hasn’t ended yet.

I make a lot of typos and mistakes, which people have been kind enough to fix, but this one thing is not a mistake. The only reason I know about this is because of Ann Rice. Interview with the Vampire is just one long quotation.

Leave a Reply