Quotations and Dialogue

Q. Would Chicago weigh in on whether a comma can be used to introduce a block quotation? The second example in CMOS 13.23 suggests that this is acceptable when the quotation continues from the paragraph that introduces it. But what about situations like the following?

According to commentator Jean Smith,

Life for many in the province has been increasingly difficult for nearly a decade . . .

This question has been debated in the forums for years, so we would all love to have some light shed on the subject!

Q. My author wants to know whether a comma is called for in constructions like the following, where a conjunction follows the dialogue tag but doesn’t introduce an independent clause: “It’s very clear,” she replied[,] and moved off to a nearby tree. I tend to think it’s needed but can’t articulate why. I also think it needs to be “she replied, and THEN moved off.” Can you help?

Q. I recently became aware that many sources insist one absolutely must use a comma after “said” to punctuate sentences like this one: She looked up and said, “Hi.” Is this really a universal rule? The more I look into it, the more I feel I’ve slipped into an alternate universe.

Q. I can’t get a consensus from fellow professional editors on how to punctuate the following sentence:

“So up there,” Joe pointed at the window, “that was you waving at me?”

Since there isn’t a dialogue tag, some say to use em dashes per CMOS 6.87.

However, I believe em dashes should be reserved for special emphasis, and pointing isn’t important. Changing the wording changes the author’s consistent writing style.

It’s obvious that Joe is speaking, so why would we need a dialogue tag as well as the action beat in order to use commas? Can’t we eliminate “said” if it’s clear who is speaking and only use the action beat?

Thank you very much for your help.

Q. CMOS 6.65: “A colon may also be used to introduce a quotation or a direct but unquoted question, especially where the introduction constitutes a grammatically complete sentence.” MUST a colon be used or is a period after the introductory sentence also correct?

Q. When a quotation is introduced with “According to So-and-So” or “As So-and-So said,” is the first word capitalized?

Q. In fiction, when a character’s entire dialogue is quoted material or a quoted title of a work, do I need to use both double and single quotation marks around the dialogue? Thanks!

Q. When a character in a novel or story is speaking and pauses or falters between two sentences, and that pause is indicated with an ellipsis, is it correct or incorrect to add a period after the first sentence?

Q. When breaking dialogue with narration (where the verb used is not describing speaking), how should the punctuation appear? “Yes, this is fine,” she stood up. “Please go ahead.” Or should it be: “Yes, this is fine.” She stood up. “Please go ahead.” What if it were “nodded” instead of “stood up”? What about in: “Look,” she pointed to the road, “a blue car.” Do we need to add “said” (or similar verbs) here? Thanks for your time.

Q. How would it be best to punctuate spoken dialogue when a word is repeated to change or clarify meaning? For example: I “like” like you. (Alternatively: I like-like you.) Meaning: I am romantically attracted to you.