Daily Archives January 16, 2008

Dialog Tags

For some reason that I cannot figure out myself, many of the writers for whom I have edited have had trouble with dialog tags and formatting. I guess it’s that I just ‘know’ how to do it so I don’t understand the confusion, but dialog is frequently done incorrectly in the manuscripts I see.

The biggest problem I have with dialog in fiction writing I edit is that many writers do not know that each change of speaker requires a new paragraph.

For example, you cannot write:

“Joe, do you want a piece of cake?” Mary asked him. “Yes, Mary, I’d love some cake. Thanks.” “No problem, Joe. I’ll get you a slice.”

The proper way of doing this would be:

“Joe, do you want a piece of cake?” Mary asked him.
“Yes, Mary, I’d love some cake. Thanks.”
“No problem, Joe. I’ll get you a slice.”

If your ...

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