Creepypasta Wiki


What are Ellipses?

What are ellipses? You know, these things: ...

I'll tell you what they are in this rant/blog/Writing advice piece. They aren't... something... you put into every sentence... like... this... They're ellipses. They're meant for trailing off, more or less. When there's more to be said that hasn't been said, then you put an ellipsis.

"I don't think that's such a good idea, because... you know..." Todd said, hinting at the camera in the corner of the room.

It is also used to omit large sections of text. For example, if a letter a person gets in your story is smeared, the text that is smeared over gets omitted via ellipses. 

""There's a small area to the... It's covered in ice, and full of..."

The remainder of the letter was smeared with blood, making most of the text unreadable."

Another place to put ellipses is an area of hesitation.

"I wasn't really... Well, I mean... Just..."

The thing is, I see alot of people using ellipses almost like they're substituting it for a period. It's not necessary. It hurts the story in a lot of bad ways. It adds unnecessary trailing for the reader and looks awkward, for a start. If your sentence is complete, you only need one dot on the end.

Outside of dialogue, there are not a whole lot of reasons to use ellipses. Mainly, outside-of-speech use is foreshadowing at a certain point in the story or trailing off at a cliffhangar. Even this is limited, so exercise caution.

Many of the wrong uses are things such as using them on unfinished thoughts, believing the reader implicitly understands what is being said there. The problem is: They don't. We don't know what's behind that ellipsis, and it's annoying to see a page peppered with them when they aren't used correctly. Another incorrect use: Interruptions. An ellipses is, again, for trailing off. If you want signal a character interrupting another character, use a dash. A dash is better when you want to signal a sudden stop in the middle of a sentence.

To quote Empy as a TL:DR:

"Ellipses are reserved for pauses in dialogue or omitting words from a quote. Using it in the plot itself comes off as melodramatic like this and if the reader paused every time they used an ellipses, it would take them an extra hour to finish reading. (Some stories have in 50+ times in a three page story.)

You can use commas or periods in place of most ellipses and lose nothing in the process."

Pretty much, I've said all there is to say that I can find about it. If there's anything I've missed, feel free to leave it below.

Also on Fandom

Random Wiki