The Ellipses Your Friend

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What’s an ellipsis and how do you use it. The ellipsis are a series of dots in writing set together  ( . . . ) (. . . .) in a set of three or four.

They are used when omitting a word, phrase, or more from a quoted passage. Ellipses save space or remove less relevant material. They are useful in getting right to the point, delay or distraction.

Ellipses can also be used to express hesitation, mood changes, suspense to thoughts trailing off. Writers also use ellipses to indicate a pause or wavering in an otherwise straightforward sentence.

Although ellipses are used in many ways the three-dot method is the simplest. Newspapers, Magazines, books of fiction, and non-fiction use various approaches that they find suitable.

Some writers and editors feel that no spaces are needed.

         The quick. . .brown fox.

A commonly used method I like is to enclose the ellipse with a space. on each side.

         The quick . . . brown fox.

A four-dot method may be used  to indicate the period at the end of the sentence, then the ellipses to indicate omitted material

         The quick brown fox jumped. . . .

Now you know those dots at the end of a sentence in your mystery novel or your favorite poem are thoughtfully and purposefully put there. With reason. You too can use ellipses with forethought and reason to help move the mood in your novel.

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