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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