Hello, a question from fresh meat to you all. I've been troubling myself with a techical detail about how to write dialogue using open quote markings. When finishing a line with a period and following it with a speaker tag, should the period be removed or left in as is commonly done with exclamation and question marks?


Is it like this:

"How could you be better than me? You don't even understand me." he snarled.

or this

-- You don't even understand me", he snarled.

I'm aware this problem can be circumvented by splitting the line into two parts in this manner:

"How could you be better than me?" he snarled. "You don't even understand me".

...but I would like to know if there are clear rules for this. English is not my first language, so I may not have a clear idea of all the very basics native speakers learn in schools. I would appreciate it if you could point me in the direction of a reliable database of English grammar for future reference in such matters.