Writing Rule #10

#10  Dialogue should give the reader the guilty pleasure of eavesdropping.  As an author, get the hell out of the way.  If the people speaking aren’t different enough to make it clear who is speaking, throw in a dialogue tag every once in a while.  You can even, CAREFULLY, allow one of them to use the  other’s name in conversation.  Do not overuse* the words like shouted, whispered, hissed, yelled, guffawed, screamed, snickered, or any adverb that follows the word said.  Your job is to be a good enough writer for me to KNOW the words are being whispered.  That way you can stop telling me and start showing me what’s going on.

*overuse = more than annually


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