Hi, I'm Ray Evans. I'm a certified copyeditor and proofreader.
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Hey there, folks!
I'm your friendly neighborhood editor/writing consultant, here to give you some tips on how to make your dialogue sizzle and pop like a cold beer on a hot summer's day!
Let's start with the basics: formatting.
When writing dialogue, it's important to make sure you're using the proper punctuation and formatting so that your readers can follow along without getting confused.
Each time a new character speaks, you should start a new paragraph, and their dialogue should be enclosed in quotation marks.
Here's an example:
"I can't believe you ate the last piece of pizza," said Sally.
"Hey, I was hungry," replied John.
Notice how each character's dialogue is separated into its own paragraph and enclosed in quotation marks?
This helps the reader keep track of who's speaking and what they're saying.
Now, let's talk about another of the common mistakes in dialogue.
One of the biggest mistakes I see is incorrect punctuation.
Specifically, people often forget to include commas when using dialogue tags.
Dialogue tags are the phrases that indicate who's speaking, such as "he said" or "she asked."
Here's an example of incorrect punctuation:
"I'm going to the store" said Bob.
Do you see the problem 👀?
There should be a comma after "store" to separate the dialogue from the dialogue tag.
Here's the correct version:
"I'm going to the store," said Bob.
3) Unnecessary punctuation/parallel constuction
Now, let's take a look at some examples of dialogue mistakes in fiction writing.
Imagine you're reading a novel and you come across this gem:
"I can't wait to see you!" said Mary, jumping up and down.
"Me too," said John, smiling.
In this case, the author has made a couple of mistakes.
First, the exclamation point after "you" is unnecessary - it's already clear from the context that Mary is excited.
Second, the dialogue tag "said John" should be switched to "John said" for proper sentence structure.
Here's the corrected version:
"I can't wait to see you," said Mary, jumping up and down.
"Me too," John said, smiling.
Remember, folks - proper formatting and punctuation are key when it comes to writing great dialogue.
By avoiding common mistakes and using strong, natural dialogue tags, you can make your characters come to life and keep your readers engaged from beginning to end.
Now go forth and write some killer dialogue!