Wednesday, October 8, 2008


A little while ago, I was reading this incredibly informative post over at kt literary's blog about why she rejected or requested partials for the queries in her pile, and I came across this one:
Query from a YA with a YA. An important bit of writing advice you pick up with experience: use ellipses sparingly, if at all.

I experienced a brief moment of panic as I realized that I had committed this newbie writer faux pas all over my manuscript. Onto my revision checklist went "get rid of ellipses!" and then I started thinking. I've been writing, albeit not novels, my entire life and I never used ellipses the way I do now. I wondered, in an absent, back-of-mind sort of way, where on Earth I had picked up that particular habit.

Then I hopped onto Gmail to chat with a friend for a few minutes, and our conversation went something like this:

Me: Found this great site ... think you'll like it ...
Friend: Yeah ... saw that yesterday ... it was pretty cool

The ellipsis mystery was solved. I asked all of my text-conversant buddies, and every one of them said they constantly used ellipses to denote a pause in their conversation.

I read another publishing industry post about ellipses fairly recently (sorry, I couldn't find this one when I went to look for a link -- I do a lot of surfing) asking, "Authors, what's with all the ellipses?" or some such. I think this is your answer: Gmail ... AIM ... Yahoo ... Jabber ...

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