Category: Copy Editing

Quick Reference Guide to Punctuating Dialogue in Fiction

For those of you who find yourselves either without a style guide, or too busy writing the next great American novel to get bogged down in the nit-picky details, I made you a handy-dandy, quick-reference chart for punctuating dialogue in fiction. Since most fiction is written in Chicago style (CMOS), that’s the style I used.

To cut or not to cut? Use this editing trick to decide.

I learned this editing trick years ago, and still use it today to help me decide whether or not to cut a line, a scene, or whatever. In your manuscript, mouse over and highlight the text in question. Then . . .

Avoid these 7 writing mistakes by listening.

  We writers refer to our writing¬†personalities¬†as voice, because readers “hear” us when they read our words. For the same reason, many of our writing mistakes can be corrected by simply listening to our own voices. With our ears. You can write every word,… Continue Reading “Avoid these 7 writing mistakes by listening.”

More tips for flat-broke indie authors

You know you need these professional services, but you’re broke. Never fear; I’m here for you. If you can’t afford to pay for professional services, consider the following.

6 Tips for Buying Indie Books that Don’t Suck

We all know about indie authors who made it big. Writers like John Grisham, William P. Young, and Amanda Hocking believed in themselves, and their books are now wildly popular. And we all know about indie authors who haven’t put in the time and effort to develop their craft, but decide to publish anyway. And their books suck.

FAQs on Punctuating Dialogue in Fiction

If you write fiction, you want to bookmark this blog for reference. And if you don’t find the answers you need here, feel free to ask your questions in the comment section, and I will answer.

How to Write Better Dialogue

Each of your characters should say what only that particular character would say, if he had all day to think about it first. A great example of this rule is the TV show M*A*S*H…

Self-editing Your Novel, Part 6: Point of View

Point of view (POV) bungling is the most common tell of a newbie writer, and easier to avoid than to fix. POV errors can mean the difference between an agent or editor reading your work, or tossing it into the slush pile for an automatic rejection.

Self-editing Your Novel, Part 5: Timeline

Yes, readers will notice timeline issues. And they will look things up for accuracy. They’ll either be impressed with your attention to details, or impressed by their own ability to prove the writer made mistakes. Your choice.

Self-editing Your Novel, Part 4: Characters

If you dutifully listed every character in your scene descriptions, you can easily skim your descriptions to find every appearance of any character. If you didn’t add every character to your scene descriptions, you can…

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