If you’re struggling with understanding “active versus passive” sentences, I’m here to help with three simple tips. Writing in a passive tone is common, even for experienced writers, but it can be relatively easy to fix.
The question came up during a Wordy Woman webinar, "How can I improve my story's dialogue." How does a writer write good dialogue? What makes dialogue bad?
He said, She said, They said
Using said repetitively as a dialogue tag isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This choice is strictly up to the writer. However, dialogue tags can be used too much during a conversation between two people. If a reader understands who’s talking, then fewer tags are better. But if there are three characters talking, then you may want to increase your tags to provide the reader with direction.
However, don’t assume the reader understands know who’s talking if it’s merely a conversation between two people. You still need dialogue tags. Please don’t leave your reader confused! Using dialogue tags is an art, and it’s necessary.
Do you have a manuscript ready for others to read? Maybe you’re handing it off to critique partners, an agent, a publisher, or an editor. Before you send your draft to someone, below are a few simple tricks to help kick your story into shape.
I’ve edited and critiqued many manuscripts, and my stories have been critiqued and edited by many others as well. All in all, I’ve realized writers make the same mistakes, some more than others. Hopefully, this post will help improve your writing.
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