Writing 101: Welcome to the Classroom – A Quick Tip in Dialogue

In my editing journey, here is something I have seen often:

  • Jane shrugged and told him, “I can’t go.”
  • She looked at him and said, “I don’t trust you.”
  • He raised his hand and asked, “When it the homework due?”

But did you know actions can often stand on their own in dialogue?

Dialogue can be represented by both a dialogue tag or an action. However, the action preceding or following the dialogue must point to the speaker.

  • Jane shrugged. “I can’t go.”
  • She looked at him. “I don’t trust you.”
  • He raised his hand. “When is the homework due?”

BONUS: “Where did they go?” The officer lowered his pistol, sweat on his brow. “Did we lose them?”

A quick, easy change that can make a world of difference in the fluidity of your dialogue.

– LoveNLit

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