Melodrama [Part 2 of 2]: 5 Tips for Cutting

  Last week I shared 6 ways to spot melodrama in your writing. This week we are going to talk about some tips for cutting melodrama. First, here’s a quick refresher of the definition: Melodrama [noun]: drama in which many exciting events happen and the characters have very strong or exaggerated emotions ________________ The kindest thing you can do […]

Correcting Your Paragraph Structure Surrounding Dialogue

The best way to illustrate today’s writing tip is to show you an example.   “So you’re telling me that you ate all the leftovers?” He shrugged. “Why do you even care? You hate ham,” he said. She stuck her tongue out at him. “Yeah, but I like carrots and potatoes! What were you thinking?” He shrugged […]

Grammar Tip: Using Commas with Quotes, Dialogue, or Parenthesis

One of the most common mistakes I come across is when commas are added where they shouldn’t be or left out where they’re needed. Incorrect commas is a big problem especially as it concerns quotes, dialogue, and parenthesis, so hopefully today’s grammar tip will help clarify the confusion. || Commas with Quotes Quoted material is usually introduced […]

I Think I Thought: How to Properly Show Character Thought

The problem of proper thought recently appeared (and not for the first time) in a book I was editing a week or two ago. For some, the difference between spoken dialogue, plain narrative, and internal thought is obvious, but for others it isn’t as easy. Spoken dialogue is usually noted in text with quotation marks. […]

Basic Tips for Writing Dialogue Tags

Last Friday I talked about the basics of dialogue with basic writing principle #2. Now, I want to follow that up and talk about dialogue tags. What is a Dialogue Tag? A dialogue tag is, simply, a tag attached to dialogue to show who’s speaking and, in some case, how they’re saying it. The most common dialogue […]

Basic Writing Principle #2: Your Story Must Have Dialogue

I know this seems like a ridiculous problem to even have to mention, but the truth is that I have edited books with no dialogue. This is a serious problem. Of course, if you’re writing a science textbook, you probably don’t need to add dialogue. But for the purposes of this post, I’m going to […]