Quick Tip. KeyboardWelcome back to the Flubs2Fixes blog! I hope you saw my two-part interview with author/educator/editor Emma Walton Hamilton. If you missed it, you can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

It’s the second Friday of the month, so it’s time for a quick editing/writing tip and a resource recommendation.

Fix a Flub with this Editing Tip: Back to dialogue tags – be sure you use words that are means of conveying speech: say, said, muttered, yelled, etc. When you look at your writing, you may find you’ve used “he grinned,” or “she laughed,” or “Mom sighed,” as dialogue tags. These are actions. You can’t laugh a line of speech. If you’re using an action to identify your character, end your character’s speech with a period and quotation mark, and make “He grinned” a separate sentence. That is perfectly acceptable.

Check out this Resource for Writers! If you’re looking for a resource to help you improve your dialogue-writing skills, check out Dialogue by Gloria Kempton, one of the books in the excellent Write Great Fiction series from Writer’s Digest. And here’s a good post from Writer’s Digest on The 5 Best Ways to Make Your Characters’ Conversations Seem Real, by Scott Francis.

See you next week for the Grammar Owl’s take on a grammar/word use question! If you have a question you’d like the Owl to tackle, you can leave it in the comments, or send a message using the Grammar Owl’s contact form, here.