As you work through your revision and polish up your work, don’t forget dialogue. Few things can do more for your story than good dialogue, so it’s worthwhile to get it right.

___Check that all spoken dialogue is enclosed in quotation marks and that punctuation occurs inside the quotation marks. [Enclosing all punctuation within the quotes is standard style of most American publishers.]

___Only spoken words go in quotes, thoughts do not need to be set off with quotation marks. Some writers use italics to set off thoughts.

___The best verb for tagging your dialogue is “said.” Use other verbs when they truly add to the moment. And do not use verbs as speech tags unless they actually describe speech — “sneered” or “snorted” and the like are not speech tags.

For the rest of the checklist, listen to the full episode.

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