Tag, You’re It: How to #Write Spectacular #Dialogue Using This #Trend

Dialogue is a way for characters to react and communicate in a story.  It can also be a method to move a story along by adding action rather than paragraph after paragraph of details.  Placing tags before or after the quoted text reveals who is saying what – like “he said” or “she replied”.  Seems cut and dry, right? With emphasis on the dry, these tags don’t give the dialogue much pizazz.

According to Whitney Hemsath, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.  Her delightful post sheds light on a trend that can take a writer’s dialogue from ok to spectacular. Read below.

Photo: Morgue file (diannehope)

Whitney Hemsath

In writing, there are trends. Some people like the trends, others don’t, but knowing the trends and what following them (or not) says about you as a writer can make the difference between getting traditionally published or not.
One trend is in regards to dialogue tags. There used to be a time when people wanted variety, not just “he said” and “she said.” So more authors would use phrases like “she questioned” “he commanded” “she responded” “he replied” “she barked” “he stated”. However, these days professionals look at all those words as signs of amateur writing. The current trend is to only use “said” and “asked” (and maybe an occasional “whisper” or “shout” if the volume they are using is important to note and is otherwise unclear from context.)
The reasoning behind this is that words like “said” and “asked” become invisible to a reader. They are merely…

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How Do You Get #Readers to Trust You?

This post is so profound. It gives every writer something to think about.

When I’m reading a story, I like learning new words or about situations that I’ve never experienced. But if something sounds outlandish, I will side-eye it and get to Googling to confirm whether accurate.  The findings are what determine whether I deem the story or author trustworthy.

My intentions are to write fictional stories that appear as realistic as possible.  This makes the stories believable and more likely to draw the reader in.  As Jacqui mentioned, building credibility helps to build trust.  And my goal is to create the bond that forms a lasting relationship with the reader.

A Writer's Path


by Jacqui Murray

I went to my bi-weekly writer’s critique group last night. We get submittals ahead of time, gather our thoughts and comments, and then each of us gets 5 minutes during the meeting to share our suggestions. This week, we were reviewing the work of one of my favorite group authors–we’ll call her Mari. She is writing an amazing piece about a family coping with Alzheimer’s. It’s character-driven fiction, but could also be classified as creative non-fiction so detailed and realistic are the scenes.

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#Diversity in #Writing

Diversity in a story makes it more realistic.  If you look at our world, you will see people from all walks of life.  Backgrounds and experiences just as similar and different as the sun is to the moon.

Also, the depth of a character’s makeup can be a learning experience for the reader.  At the very least, a cause to research and evolve so that what is foreign is now familiar.

Photo: Sharon Drummond Before You Even Knew You Wanted Them via photopin (license)


Diversity of characters, in my opinion, is one of the most important aspects of a story. I don’t just mean making your characters have distinct personalities. I’m talking race, gender, religion, sexuality, and much more.

Regardless of whether or not most stories are about straight white people (they are, at least the ones that get super popular), it is still important to have diversity.

The way I see it, good, well-researched diversity has two effects: it shows those people who identify with the character that they are not alone, and it educates those of us who have not experienced life the way the character and other people like the character have.

Now, there is something to say for not having diverse writing. I’ve seen people complain about how they always imagined their characters one way and then get upset when people suggest they make their stories more diverse. The response…

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4 Tips in Escaping That Void of #Writing Laziness – Guest Post By Patrick M. Greene

Today I’d like to welcome guest blogger, Patrick M. Greene, who provides practical advice every writer should consider to avoid laziness.  This is something I’ve struggled with from time to time when life or the “I don’t feel like it” hits. Patrick’s insight on setting goals, motivation, and better organization can be the jump-start from stagnation to productive writing.


When you’ve finally generated an appealing story or lead, one stiff question comes to play: how do I actually start this thing? Sadly, when a writer with an average resolve comes up dry on his first few attempts to write the introduction or sustain the intensity, it’s likely going to be a major slack off. Those overstated goals suddenly turn into movie marathons or binge eating.

After losing your purpose and getting rusty, you have to rekindle your inner drive. The writing world has no room for mediocrity. If you want to turn your story to the likes of J.K. Rowling or Stephen King, it’s all about consistency. But first, let’s identify the main influencers of procrastination in writing: Continue reading “4 Tips in Escaping That Void of #Writing Laziness – Guest Post By Patrick M. Greene”

#NewYear #Writing Habit – 2017 Edition

Happy New !!! **throwing confetti and blowing a party horn**  Welcome to my first post of 2017.  True to form, I’m starting the year with a post about goals.  But not just any goals.  Writing goals.

Finding time to write is a juggling act sometimes.  Add in the holidays and any family obligations and the time I set aside evaporates into thin air.

My major writing goal for 2017 is

Continue reading “#NewYear #Writing Habit – 2017 Edition”

How The 5 Senses #Inspire #Writing

Ever have something stimulate your senses to the point that it inspires you to write?

I have a pumpkin spice scented candle that even when unlit, it gives off a wonderful baked pie aroma. There have been times when this scent influenced a writing moment or a scene.

The same happens when I sit in the park.  I’m watching people and nature do their thing – kicking a ball around, taking a stroll, or just sitting on a bench chatting. I’m not fully paying attention to the activities before me, though the atmosphere propels me to write with fervor.

Then there’s music. Sometimes it’s classical, jazz, or Christmas tunes.  But either way it fancies my mind and gets my fingers to tapping the keys.

Taste is one that hasn’t quite caught on yet, though if any of my characters have a meal or go to a restaurant, it will more than likely…

Continue reading “How The 5 Senses #Inspire #Writing”

I Can See Clearly Now the Confusion’s Gone: Demystifying Often Confused #Words

Just like the shoes in the picture, subtle changes can be a big deal. Sure both shoes are red and have the same style, but the grey middle changes the whole complex.  Imagine if you saw these shoes in a box at the store.  Would you purchase them anyway or search for the match?  Most would hunt for the matching shoe.  It’s no different with writing.

Writers want their work error-free with clarity for the reader.  But, when there are words that look or sound alike, it can be Continue reading “I Can See Clearly Now the Confusion’s Gone: Demystifying Often Confused #Words”