Great article on the subtleties of writing good dialogue. I actually used to write with the thesaurus open so that I could come up with ten different ways to say “said” and “asked”. Just another classic case of over thinking the writing process again. I’m glad I read this article.
Guilty as charged on every single mistake mentioned in here. Particularly number 2.
2. Don’t explain the content of the dialogue.
Stop using -ly verbs such as “I’m afraid it’s not going well,” he said grimly.” This bit explains and is condescending. Grimness can come across by what you say and do–word choice, body language, and context rather than by how you say it. Avoid those telling adverbs that end in -ly. Take out all forms of “suddenly” out of you writing.
Examples: Percy burst into the zoo keeper’s office. Their callous mistreatment was killing the wombats and she wasn’t going to stand for it.
“Is something wrong, sir?” the zoo keeper said.
“Don’t you realize you’re killing those poor innocent creatures, you heartless fascist? Percy yelled.
You can find the full guide here – Archtypewriting.com
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