It hardly sounds like mass-market material. But Geek Love has been a perennial bestseller for 25 years, and its cultural influence has been prodigious. The book has inspired and moved writers, artists, and performers to tell their own wild stories.
There are specific ways to punctuate your dialogue. Learning to do this correctly will make you look more professional and accomplished as a writer to potential publishers and agents.
- Speech followed by a dialogue tag: “Come on,” she said. Use a comma after the speech, treat the dialogue tag as being part of the same sentence.
- One sentence of speech split by a dialogue tag: “Come on,” she said, “or you’re going to make us late.” Only punctuate with a full stop right at the very end of the whole sentence. Start the second part of speech with a lower case letter.
- Two sentences of speech split by a dialogue tag: “Come on,” she said. “We can’t afford to be late again.” End the tag with a full stop and start the new sentence of speech with a capital letter.
- Speech separated by action: “Come on.” She pulled on her shoes and opened the door. “We can’t afford to be late again.” The action can’t be rolled into the same sentence as the speech, so it becomes three separate sentences.
And remember that all punctuation marks attached to the speech itself should be placed inside of the speech tags.
Read two books, write two stories & a one-act play, and write a second draft of my essay.
These are the unrealistic expectations I have put on myself this week.
I’m not sure I understand. If you do a complete rewrite, wouldn’t that just be another first draft?
It sounds like you’re doing it “right.” I put “right” in scare quotes because I’m not sure there is a right way to do anything as far as writing goes.
I’d personally make the major changes first (paragraph cuts and stuff), then get deeper and work on the sentences (no point in editing sentences you’re going to cut.)
I usually type the piece again on a different document. That way if something occurs to me (usually a description that was not in the original) I can add it in extemporaneously.
Write everyday, send finished works to literary magazines, contests, agents, and so on, put up with a lot of rejection and then maybe, just maybe one day somebody will like your stuff enough to publish it.
I have not been published yet, but I feel like this is a pretty sound formula. I’m still in the writing process, but I’m about the start the sending process.
For any of my followers who feel they’re ready to submit something:
procrastinating on your writing by doing other writing
1. Go somewhere where there are no other people around
2. Close anything that might distract me (if I want to return to my spot later in these distractions, I will bookmark them)
3. Read over the last couple of pages I wrote to get me back in the feel of things
4. Do some light edits for the same purpose (I know many people work better if they don’t edit their first draft until it’s done, but small edits help me get more into a writing mindset)