Dashes, ellipses, hyphens

When and how to use dashes, ellipses, and hyphens

When I’m editing, I often come across manuscripts in which writers used an ellipsis when they should use a dash or the other way around. Sometimes, I also see hyphens used instead of dashes. So here are some simple rules of thumb for when and how to use dashes, ellipses, …

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6 tips for using dialogue tags

Dialogue is one of the most important parts of writing a novel or a short story, so every writer has to know how to use dialogue tags. What are dialogue tags? Dialogue tags are things like “Tina said” that tell us which character is speaking. How to use dialogue tags …

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How to use action beats in your writing

Have you ever stumbled over too many “he said” and “she said” in your story? One of the followers of my blog apparently encountered that problem, so he’s trying to cut down the number of dialogue tags by replacing it with character actions. But what’s the correct way to do …

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How to punctuate dialogue tags and action beats correctly

One little thing that drives many editors crazy is incorrect punctuation of dialogue and action beats. Let’s start with a definition: A dialogue tag is a speaker verb such as “Tina said.” It tells your readers which character is speaking. An action beat is something a character does. Example: “I …

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