Dialogue Tags

I’ve been reviewing early submissions to our Evolved Publishing Short Story Contest.  Several issues have jumped out at me—all the usual stuff I deal with as an editor.  However, one of the most prevalent problems affecting many of the submissions thus far relates to one of the most important elements of any story: Poor Dialogue Construction.

  The primary culprit is the use of heavy, awkward “tags” on the dialogue.  A secondary culprit is not knowing how to SHOW a character engaged in dialogue, versus simply TELLING the reader what’s been said.

As I’ve written at some length on this before, I’ll not try to reinvent the wheel here.  Instead, I shall point you to two articles I posted on this very subject.  Please read them in order:

Dialogue Tags vs. Action Leads/Inserts – Part 1

Dialogue Tags vs. Action Leads/Inserts – Part 2

‘Til next time, and as always, remember: To write well, you must work hard.  To succeed in this tough gig, you mustn’t be lazy (or discouraged).

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