Let’s Do Dialogue Convention…

Shirley McLain

Quotation marks
Image via Wikipedia

If you’re anything like me, I had no idea what dialogue convention was.  To put it simply, it is what we as readers are used to with dialogue, looking and performing a certain way. It is “rules of dialogue.”

1.  quotation marks signal to the reader some one is speaking.  “Martha, I read the best book last night.  It was wonderful.”  Sometimes you will see writers use different punctuation from single quotation marks to brackets.  Unless you have a very good reason for not following convention, it is recommended you do not vary.

2. Dialogue dictates one paragraph per speaker, no matter how short the speech.  It makes it easier to follow the flow of the conversation.

3.  Speech tags are used so the reader can know who is doing the talking.  Most of the time we see, he/she said.  Speech tags help the reader to gather his bearings…

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