July 28th, 2010

Interpolating Exposition into Dialogue Using Dashes

Here's a paragraph from my new story. Can anyone give me a definitive citation for how the dashes and quotation marks around "she held up her massive hands" ought to be formatted here? As far as I can tell there is absolutely zero agreement about this among published novels I've read.

"So that’s Abraxas. And he could be showing up here at any minute, and I’ll have to fight him. Now”--she held up her massive hands--“these hands are formidable things, but nevertheless, given the circumstances, I really wouldn’t mind having a weapon, you know what I mean? You getting the picture?”

I thought that the way I have it here was standard, even though I hate the way it looks and I'd do it differently if I could, but then I just noticed that the copy editor changed it on one of my other stories to something that seems to me even more random, so now I'm totally confused.