DIALOG HAZARDS TO AVOID–THE BASICS


1. Too much faithfulness to speech: um, un, you know, like, well,

2. Unusual spellings. Say yeah, not yeh, or ya.

3. Too much variation in tags. “She averred,” He pontificated.

4. Dialect exaggeration. “Us’s wooking jes’ as fas’ as us kin.’

5. Excessive use of direct address. “Tell me, Frank.” I hate her, Lorna.” “Right Frank”

6. Each new speaker gets a new indented paragraph, set off by quotes. If a speech goes to a new paragraph, no quotes at end of first paragraph.

7. Use italics to show your character’s exact unspoken thoughts. Regular type to show paraphrasing.

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