Monday, December 5, 2011

Revision Tip: Telling in Dialogue

For the month of December, I really need to concentrate on my novel revisions. So instead of my usual Marvelous Middle Grade Monday and ABCs of Writing Middle Grade Fiction I'll be posting short revision tips from various sources.

Today's Tip:

It's easy to hide telling in dialogue. It can also create situations where your dialogue feels off, because you are telling something in your dialogue that doesn't match with what is being shown in the story. Watch for:

- adjectives that explain character emotions, e.g. she said in surprise

- attributions that explain dialogue, e.g. he barked

Cool Quote:  "Every time you insert an explanation into dialogue, you're cheating your readers of a little bit of one of your characters. Do it often enough, and none of your characters ever comes to life on the page."

Renni Browne and Dave King, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers.


  1. Thanks for the tip reminder. It was a good example.

    Have a great week and holiday season!

    She said in surprise

    he barked

  2. Some times it's essential, but there are better ways around it that add richness to your writing.

  3. Thanks for the notes! I, too, am breaking for most of December with MMGMs.


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