Punctuation! Not For The Faint Of Heart.

Or something like that, anyway.

Reading–or trying to read–a story where someone has gone through and stripped out all of the ellipses and replaced them with a single period is almost enough to make me tear out my hair. They didn’t bother replacing them with em-dashes, or evaluating each ellipse on a case-by-case basis to see if they actually needed it to stay, they just removed them wholesale. (Or maybe they were never there in the first place, I don’t know.)

“I.” isn’t a sentence. It should not have a full stop at the end. “I…” or “I–” conveys a sense of being uncertain and interrupted, respectively, if that’s what you’re intending. If you want your reader to take a little break, you can start with “I,” add some narrative, then go back to dialogue.

Seriously, there’s a really good reason that style manuals are intended for everything except dialogue: people never ever speak exactly like a style manual was the only book in the house during their formative years. Not even the most rigidly proper speaker of a language does. Not even people who are paid professional editors.