Let’s Talk About Dialogue (See What I Did There?)

Helpful dialogue stuff. Read it now!

ENEMY LINES: Dispatches from a Cranky Writer

As a writer and an editor, I have a pile of pet peeves concentrated around dialogue. It seems so simple, and yet it trips up everyone from beginners to pros. Although the basic format long ago became second nature to me, I still find examples of most of my other pet peeves in my first drafts. Sometimes I find examples of these in my published work, and that really drives me nuts. So, what bugs me about dialogue? Let’s dig in ?

Talking Points
“Dialogue format is pretty simple,” said Bob. “But that doesn’t mean it’s easy for beginners.”
Sue nodded. “If you get confused, just grab a novel off your bookshelf to use as a guide.”
“What she said. And start a new paragraph for each speaker.”

The dialogue above demonstrates the two key attributes of the format: indenting for each person and indicating?when necessary!?who’s speaking with phrases outside…

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