Pages

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Writing Tip Wednesday--Punctuation for Dialogue

I admit it. I'm a bit of a grammar nerd.

As PRO Liaison and Push to PRO coordinator for my local RWA chapter, I try to educate members in how to create the best manuscripts they can for submission and publication. A large part of this tends to focus on writing craft. I participate in critique groups and offer new writers a first-chapter crit when I'm not hiding in the writing cave under deadline. My chapter sponsors a writing contest each summer, and I typically judge the maximum number of entries allowed. I've also judged the Golden Heart contest every year since joining RWA.

Punctuation for dialogue seems to be an area where many writers have problems, so here are the basics...

Dialogue tag--identifies the speaker; not required for every piece of dialogue.
Action tag--uses action to identify the speaker instead of using "said," "asked," etc. Also not required for every piece of dialogue.

Examples: Note where periods, commas, and other punctuation are placed in the sentences.

1) "I had a new book release this week," she said.
2) "I had a new book release this week!" she said.
3) "Did you have a new book release this week?" she asked.
4) "The dog ate my manuscript," Mellanie said.
**first word inside quotes is capitalized; comma/exclamation mark/question mark is inside closing quotes; use one space between closing quotes and beginning of dialogue tag, dialogue tag is in lower case unless a proper name is used; period is at end of dialogue tag**

5) She said, "I had a new book release this week."
6) Mellanie said, "I had a new book release this week!"
7) She asked, "Did you have a new book release this week?"
**comma follows the dialogue tag; use one space between comma and opening quotes; first word inside quotes is always capitalized; period/exclamation mark/question mark at the end of the dialogue is inside the closing quotes**

8) Jumping for joy, she said, "I got an offer of publication from my favorite publisher!"
9) "I got an offer of publication from my favorite publisher!" she said, jumping for joy.
**when adding action to a dialogue tag, use a comma between the tag and the action; use lower case for tag after a beginning action except when using a proper name**

10) She grinned. "I completed my first manuscript."
11) "I completed my first manuscript." She grinned at her critique partners.
**action tags are separate sentences with appropriate capitalization and punctuation; period/exclamation mark/question mark is inside the quotes**

Do you have a headache yet? Take a deep breath and get to work fixing those dialogue problems. Your writing career will thank you for it :)

Next week--Comma splices

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With A Kick!

Writing Tip Wednesday Starts Tomorrow

While I don't participate in NaNoWriMo, I know a number of writers who do. Some simply put words on the page, rewriting and revising later. Others have detailed outlines or edit as they write. I've also judged and entered contests, so I've learned to recognize a lot of common mistakes and have received erroneous feedback on my entries (yes, I've also gotten some good feedback).

With these things in mind, every Wednesday I'll be posting writing/editing tips, in hopes of helping fix some of the writing misconceptions and mistakes that I see most often. I'm open to topic suggestions, questions, and comments!

Tomorrow, I'll be covering punctuation for dialogue. "Hope to see you there!" I said.

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With A Kick!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Release Day!!!

Today is release day for Beyond Bewitching!!! Who is Patience Wyndham? And is she truly evil? Find out in the finale of the Bewitching Desires series!
Happy Reading :)

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With A Kick!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

In Print Soon!

I got the cover block for Bewitching Desires Volume 3: Two Times the Trouble/Two Roped and Ready today! That means the print version of BD 5&6 will be available from Amazon and B&N in 4-6 weeks! I'll post the links as soon as they're live :)
Back to working on the foodie contemporary!

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With A Kick!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Surprise, Surprise!

I was checking on sales for Bound by Voodoo and saw that Beyond Bewitching is available for pre-orders!!! Release date is Oct. 29!

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With A Kick!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Release Day!!!

Today is release day for The Sextet Presents...Bound by Voodoo: Legends!!! Compared to my homemade tabasco, I'm pretty sure Bound by Voodoo is hotter :)

Happy reading!

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With A Kiack!

Monday, October 8, 2012

New Cover!!!

I got the cover for Bewitching Desires 8: Beyond Bewitching today!!! Release date is October 29th! It should be available for pre-orders in a couple weeks :)

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With A Kick!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Preorders!!!

I'm taking a quick break from writing to announce...Bound by Voodoo is available for preorders!!!

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With A Kick!