Have you ever wondered when it’s appropriate to use those three little dots in your prose? When used correctly, ellipses, as with most literary devices, can help with story progression and character development. But their efficacy will largely depend on how and where you place them in your story.
What do ellipses do?
Well, they have two primary functions:
1.) As a stylistic element, they allow the reader to infer meaning from the prose: whether formal speech patterns (pauses), the act of trailing off, or a switch in subject matter.
2.) They show that text has been omitted—mostly as a means of brevity.
In fiction, ellipses are most often found in speech or thought. Fictional dialogue is meant to feel real, but in reality, it would be impossible to mimic everyday speech without including a bunch of superfluous speech patterns: mis-starts, filler words, and repetitions. In normal speech, we ignore…
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