• Linda Ulleseit, author

  • NaNoWriMo!

Dialogue

“Today,” Mrs. Ulleseit told her class, “we will be discussing how to write and punctuate dialogue.  Pay attention so you can make your stories more interesting and your dialogue more relevant.”

The sixth graders looked at each other blankly.  Jing raised his hand.  “Are you saying that our stories aren’t interesting?” he queried.

“Some of them are very interesting,” Mrs. Ulleseit assured them.  “Others, well, just pay attention, okay?  What do we already know about dialogue, class?”  She called on the first student who raised a hand.

“I know that every time a different person talks, you need to start a new paragraph,” Thi offered.

“And only put quotation marks around the actual words that actually come out of the speaker’s mouth,” insisted Edmundo.  His teacher smiled at the emphatic speech.

“One important thing to do while writing dialogue is to make sure the dialogue is important to the story.”  Mrs. Ulleseit showed an example of student writing that went on for almost a page exchanging exclamations and pointless discussion about shopping.  “This is actually a story about an alien invasion,” she told the class.  “See how off-track the shopping discussion is?”

Annie stated, “I think it’s boring to read only dialogue.”

“It can be,” Mrs. Ulleseit agreed.  “In order to make it interesting, show the reader how the character feels during the conversation.  Also, add details about what the characters are doing while they are talking.”  As she spoke, she wrote an example on the board with three girls talking while eating hamburgers and drinking diet Cokes.  By the time she was done, the whole class was laughing at the antics of one of the characters.  “The best part is,” the teacher concluded, “that all this detail adds length to your overall project.”

“I’m excited now about writing dialogue!” exclaimed Susie.

“But what if I don’t have that much to say?” protested John.

“That would be news to me,” muttered Jing.  The students sitting near him snickered, and the teacher glared at them.

Mrs. Ulleseit told John that sometimes he could use indirect quotations, where no one actually says anything.  She pointed out that people did it all the time in conversation when they quoted someone else.  Hadn’t they all mentioned to their friends something that had been said by someone else?  No quotation marks.

“Hmmm,” Annie mumbled thoughtfully, “maybe I can write good dialogue.”

“Of course you can!  It’s a lot to learn, but once you practice you will improve quickly.”

“I know that practice makes perfect,” Thi commented, “but writing is hard.”

“Anything that you aren’t good at is hard,” Jing objected.  “Practice and you will get better.  Then it will seem easy.”

“Nicely said, Jing.” Mrs. Ulleseit smiled approvingly at him.

She shifted the lesson to punctuation of dialogue and pointed out that all punctuation belonged inside the quotation marks.  Mrs. Ulleseit told them to make sure the sentence had punctuation.  It was easy to leave the periods or commas out completely when you were focusing on writing good dialogue.

The final point to be made about dialogue was regarding the dreaded SAID.  “No one should ever use SAID,” Mrs. Ulleseit cautioned.  “There are thousands of more interesting, more specific verbs out there.  Don’t be lazy!”

SO, can you find examples of the following in this post?  Respond with your answers…

1.  direct quotation

2.   indirect quotation

3.  good verbs that mean said

4.  narrative interspersed with the dialogue to add interest and length

5.  new paragraph for a new speaker

6.  no new paragraph because it is NOT a new speaker

7.  punctuation inside quotation marks

8.  dialogue that is relevant to the topic

9.  speaker identified at the beginning of the quotation

10.  speaker identified at the end of the quotation

11. speaker identified in the middle of the quotation

12.  speaker is not identified, but you know who is talking.

13.  speaker says more than one sentence

On my Kindle: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

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26 Responses

  1. Sample answer:
    1. “I’m excited now about writing dialogue!”
    2. Mrs. Ulleseit told John that sometimes he could use indirect quotations, where no one actually says anything.

    Come on, you can do it. 🙂

    Like

  2. The Prologue of my story:

    “Do you have the elixr?” A dry, cracking voice whispered in the darkness. Every word seemed like a gasp of breath, every breath seeming like his last.

    “Not quite yet, Master. The children are arriving tomorrow.” A dark, cloaked figure stepped out from the shadows. “their combined efforts should lead us to succeed. We hope we won’t prevail this time.”

    The old man gingerly lifted his hand, sending wisps of light to brighten the night. “Go James. We don’t want to keep them waiting.”

    Like

  3. What i find really hard about dialogue is how do you make it sound very good, and how to describe the person saying it. Could you post something that teaches people how to describe how the person is speaking?

    Like

  4. 1. “No one should ever use SAID,” Mrs. Ulleseit cautioned.
    2. Mrs. Ulleseit told John that sometimes he could use indirect quotations, where no one actually says anything.

    Like

    • 1. “No one should ever use SAID,” Mrs. Ulleseit cautioned.
      2.Mrs. Ulleseit told John that sometimes he could use indirect quotations, where no one actually says anything.
      3. commented
      4.“That would be news to me,” muttered Jing. The students sitting near him snickered, and the teacher glared at them.
      5.“Hmmm,” Annie mumbled thoughtfully, “maybe I can write good dialogue.”

      “Of course you can! It’s a lot to learn, but once you practice you will improve quickly.”
      6. “No one should ever use SAID,” Mrs. Ulleseit cautioned. “There are thousands of more interesting, more specific verbs out there. Don’t be lazy!”
      7.“Nicely said, Jing.” Mrs. Ulleseit smiled approvingly at him.
      8.“And only put quotation marks around the actual words that actually come out of the speaker’s mouth,” insisted Edmundo. His teacher smiled at the emphatic speech.
      9. Jing raised his hand. “Are you saying that our stories aren’t interesting?” he queried.
      10.“I know that practice makes perfect,” Thi commented.
      11.“Anything that you aren’t good at is hard,” Jing objected. “Practice and you will get better. Then it will seem easy.”
      12.“There are thousands of more interesting, more specific verbs out there. Don’t be lazy!”
      13.“Of course you can! It’s a lot to learn, but once you practice you will improve quickly.”

      Like

  5. 1. “Today,” Mrs. Ulleseit told her class, “we will be discussing how to write and punctuate dialogue. Pay attention so you can make your stories more interesting and your dialogue more relevant.”
    2. She shifted the lesson to punctuation of dialogue and pointed out that all punctuation belonged inside the quotation marks.
    3. “Nicely said, Jing.” Mrs. Ulleseit smiled approvingly at him.

    Like

  6. 1. “I know that every time a different person talks, you need to start a new paragraph,” Thi offered.
    2. Mrs. Ulleseit told them to make sure the sentence had punctuation.
    3. protested, commented, mumbled
    4. “One important thing to do while writing dialogue is to make sure the dialogue is important to the story.” Mrs. Ulleseit showed an example of student writing that went on for almost a page exchanging exclamations and pointless discussion about shopping. “This is actually a story about an alien invasion,” she told the class.
    5. “Of course you can! It’s a lot to learn, but once you practice you will improve quickly.”

    “I know that practice makes perfect,” Thi commented, “but writing is hard.”
    6. “Hmmm,” Annie mumbled thoughtfully, “maybe I can write good dialogue.”
    7. “Others, well, just pay attention, okay? What do we already know about dialogue, class?”
    8. “And only put quotation marks around the actual words that actually come out of the speaker’s mouth,” insisted Edmundo.
    9. Annie stated, “I think it’s boring to read only dialogue.”
    10. “Nicely said, Jing.” Mrs. Ulleseit smiled approvingly at him.
    11. “I know that practice makes perfect,” Thi commented, “but writing is hard.”
    12. “Of course you can! It’s a lot to learn, but once you practice you will improve quickly.”
    13. “It can be,” Mrs. Ulleseit agreed. “In order to make it interesting, show the reader how the character feels during the conversation. Also, add details about what the characters are doing while they are talking.”

    Like

  7. 1.“Today,” Mrs. Ulleseit told her class, “we will be discussing how to write and punctuate dialogue. Pay attention so you can make your stories more interesting and your dialogue more relevant.”
    2.The sixth graders looked at each other blankly.
    3.“Are you saying that our stories aren’t interesting?” he queried.
    4.“I’m excited now about writing dialogue!” exclaimed Susie.
    5.“Of course you can! It’s a lot to learn, but once you practice you will improve quickly.”
    6.“Today,” Mrs. Ulleseit told her class, “we will be discussing how to write and punctuate dialogue. Pay attention so you can make your stories more interesting and your dialogue more relevant.”
    7.“But what if I don’t have that much to say?”
    8.“It can be,” Mrs. Ulleseit agreed. “In order to make it interesting, show the reader how the character feels during the conversation. Also, add details about what the characters are doing while they are talking.” As she spoke, she wrote an example on the board with three girls talking while eating hamburgers and drinking diet Cokes. By the time she was done, the whole class was laughing at the antics of one of the characters. “The best part is,” the teacher concluded, “that all this detail adds length to your overall project.”
    9.Jing raised his hand. “Are you saying that our stories aren’t interesting?” he queried.
    10.”Anything that you aren’t good at is hard,” Jing objected.
    11.“I know that practice makes perfect,” Thi commented, “but writing is hard.”
    12.“One important thing to do while writing dialogue is to make sure the dialogue is important to the story.”
    13.“In order to make it interesting, show the reader how the character feels during the conversation. Also, add details about what the characters are doing while they are talking.”

    yay i did it;D

    Like

  8. 1. “I know that every time a different person talks, you need to start a new paragraph,” Thi offered.
    2. Mrs. Ulleseit told John that sometimes he could use indirect quotations, where no one actually says anything.
    3. objected
    4. “No one should ever use SAID,” Mrs. Ulleseit cautioned. “There are thousands of more interesting, more specific verbs out there. Don’t be lazy!”
    5. “Of course you can! It’s a lot to learn, but once you practice you will improve quickly.”
    6. “Anything that you aren’t good at is hard,” Jing objected. “Practice and you will get better. Then it will seem easy.”
    7.“There are thousands of more interesting, more specific verbs out there. Don’t be lazy!”
    8.“Nicely said, Jing.” Mrs. Ulleseit smiled approvingly at him.
    9.Annie stated, “I think it’s boring to read only dialogue.”
    10.And only put quotation marks around the actual words that actually come out of the speaker’s mouth,” insisted Edmundo.
    11.“Anything that you aren’t good at is hard,” Jing objected. “Practice and you will get better. Then it will seem easy.”
    12.“Of course you can! It’s a lot to learn, but once you practice you will improve quickly.”
    13.“It can be,” Mrs. Ulleseit agreed. “In order to make it interesting, show the reader how the character feels during the conversation. Also, add details about what the characters are doing while they are talking.” As she spoke, she wrote an example on the board with three girls talking while eating hamburgers and drinking diet Cokes. By the time she was done, the whole class was laughing at the antics of one of the characters. “The best part is,” the teacher concluded, “that all this detail adds length to your overall project.”

    Like

  9. 1. “I’m excited now about writing dialogue!”
    2.“Of course you can! It’s a lot to learn, but once you practice you will improve quickly.”
    3.“That would be news to me,” muttered Jing.
    4.“I know that practice makes perfect,” Thi commented, “but writing is hard.”
    5.“But what if I don’t have that much to say?” protested John.

    “That would be news to me,” muttered Jing. The students sitting near him snickered, and the teacher glared at them.
    6.“Anything that you aren’t good at is hard,” Jing objected. “Practice and you will get better. Then it will seem easy.”
    7. “But what if I don’t have that much to say?”
    8. “I think it’s boring to read only dialogue.”
    9.Annie mumbled thoughtfully, “maybe I can write good dialogue.”
    10.“Nicely said, Jing.” Mrs. Ulleseit smiled approvingly at him.
    11.“I know that practice makes perfect,” Thi commented, “but writing is hard.”
    12.“Of course you can! It’s a lot to learn, but once you practice you will improve quickly.”
    13.“It can be,” Mrs. Ulleseit agreed. “In order to make it interesting, show the reader how the character feels during the conversation. Also, add details about what the characters are doing while they are talking.”

    Like

  10. 1.“Hmmm,” Annie mumbled thoughtfully, “maybe I can write good dialogue.”

    2.Mrs. Ulleseit told them to make sure the sentence had punctuation.

    3.“That would be news to me,” muttered Jing

    4.“Today,” Mrs. Ulleseit told her class, “we will be discussing how to write and punctuate dialogue. Pay attention so you can make your stories more interesting and your dialogue more relevant.”

    5.“Anything that you aren’t good at is hard,” Jing objected. “Practice and you will get better. Then it will seem easy.”

    “Nicely said, Jing.” Mrs. Ulleseit smiled approvingly at him.

    6.“It can be,” Mrs. Ulleseit agreed. “In order to make it interesting, show the reader how the character feels during the conversation. Also, add details about what the characters are doing while they are talking.”

    7.“No one should ever use SAID,” Mrs. Ulleseit cautioned. “There are thousands of more interesting, more specific verbs out there. Don’t be lazy!”

    8.Annie stated, “I think it’s boring to read only dialogue.”

    “It can be,” Mrs. Ulleseit agreed. “In order to make it interesting, show the reader how the character feels during the conversation. Also, add details about what the characters are doing while they are talking.”

    9.Mrs. Ulleseit cautioned. “There are thousands of more interesting, more specific verbs out there. Don’t be lazy!”

    10.“But what if I don’t have that much to say?” protested John.

    11.“I know that practice makes perfect,” Thi commented, “but writing is hard.”

    12.“Anything that you aren’t good at is hard,” Jing objected. “Practice and you will get better. Then it will seem easy.”

    13.“It can be,” Mrs. Ulleseit agreed. “In order to make it interesting, show the reader how the character feels during the conversation. Also, add details about what the characters are doing while they are talking.

    Like

  11. 1. “I know that practice makes perfect,” Thi commented, “but writing is hard.”
    2. Mrs. Ulleseit told John that sometimes he could use indirect quotations, where no one actually says anything.
    3.“Hmmm,” Annie mumbled thoughtfully, “maybe I can write good dialogue.”
    4.“One important thing to do while writing dialogue is to make sure the dialogue is important to the story.” Mrs. Ulleseit showed an example of student writing that went on for almost a page exchanging exclamations and pointless discussion about shopping.
    5. “I know that practice makes perfect,” Thi commented, “but writing is hard.”

    “Anything that you aren’t good at is hard,” Jing objected. “Practice and you will get better. Then it will seem easy.”
    6.“It can be,” Mrs. Ulleseit agreed. “In order to make it interesting, show the reader how the character feels during the conversation. Also, add details about what the characters are doing while they are talking.” As she spoke, she wrote an example on the board with three girls talking while eating hamburgers and drinking diet Cokes. By the time she was done, the whole class was laughing at the antics of one of the characters. “The best part is,” the teacher concluded, “that all this detail adds length to your overall project.”
    7.“Nicely said, Jing.” Mrs. Ulleseit smiled approvingly at him.
    8.“Anything that you aren’t good at is hard,” Jing objected. “Practice and you will get better. Then it will seem easy.”
    9. Annie stated, “I think it’s boring to read only dialogue.”
    10.“I’m excited now about writing dialogue!” exclaimed Susie.
    11.“Hmmm,” Annie mumbled thoughtfully, “maybe I can write good dialogue.”
    12.“Of course you can! It’s a lot to learn, but once you practice you will improve quickly.”
    13.“Anything that you aren’t good at is hard,” Jing objected. “Practice and you will get better. Then it will seem easy.”

    Like

  12. 1.“Hmmm,” Annie mumbled thoughtfully, “maybe I can write good dialogue.”
    2.Mrs. Ulleseit told John that sometimes he could use indirect quotations, where no one actually says anything.
    3.“But what if I don’t have that much to say?” protested John.
    4.“One important thing to do while writing dialogue is to make sure the dialogue is important to the story.” Mrs. Ulleseit showed an example of student writing that went on for almost a page exchanging exclamations and pointless discussion about shopping.
    5.“I’m excited now about writing dialogue!” exclaimed Susie.

    “But what if I don’t have that much to say?” protested John.
    6.“Some of them are very interesting,” Mrs. Ulleseit assured them. “Others, well, just pay attention, okay? What do we already know about dialogue, class?” She called on the first student who raised a hand.
    7.Annie stated, “I think it’s boring to read only dialogue.”
    8.“I know that every time a different person talks, you need to start a new paragraph,” Thi offered.
    9.Annie stated, “I think it’s boring to read only dialogue.”
    10.“It can be,” Mrs. Ulleseit agreed.
    11.“Today,” Mrs. Ulleseit told her class, “we will be discussing how to write and punctuate dialogue.
    12.“Are you saying that our stories aren’t interesting?” he queried.
    13.“Some of them are very interesting,” Mrs. Ulleseit assured them. “Others, well, just pay attention, okay? What do we already know about dialogue, class?” She called on the first student who raised a hand.

    Like

  13. 1. “Hmmm,” Annie mumbled thoughtfully
    2. Mrs. Ulleseit told John that sometimes he could use indirect quotations, where no one actually says anything.
    3. mumbled, commented, and exclaimed
    4. “I know that practice makes perfect,” Thi commented, “but writing is hard.”
    5. “Anything that you aren’t good at is hard,” Jing objected. “Practice and you will get better. Then it will seem easy.”
    6. “Today,” Mrs. Ulleseit told her class, “we will be discussing how to write and punctuate dialogue. Pay attention so you can make your stories more interesting and your dialogue more relevant.”
    7. !, ?, .
    8. I’m excited now about writing dialogue!” exclaimed Susie.
    9. “Of course you can! It’s a lot to learn, but once you practice you will improve quickly.”
    10. “But what if I don’t have that much to say?” protested John.
    11. “Anything that you aren’t good at is hard,” Jing objected. “Practice and you will get better. Then it will seem easy.”
    12. “I think it’s boring to read only dialogue.”
    13. “It can be,” Mrs. Ulleseit agreed. “In order to make it interesting, show the reader how the character feels during the conversation. Also, add details about what the characters are doing while they are talking.” As she spoke, she wrote an example on the board with three girls talking while eating hamburgers and drinking diet Cokes. By the time she was done, the whole class was laughing at the antics of one of the characters. “The best part is,” the teacher concluded, “that all this detail adds length to your overall project.”

    Like

  14. 1. “I’m excited now about writing dialogue!” exclaimed Susie.
    2. Mrs. Ulleseit told John that sometimes he could use indirect quotations, where no one actually says anything.
    3. “I know that every time a different person talks, you need to start a new paragraph,” Thi offered.
    4. As she spoke, she wrote an example on the board with three girls talking while eating hamburgers and drinking diet Cokes. By the time she was done, the whole class was laughing at the antics of one of the characters. “The best part is,” the teacher concluded, “that all this detail adds length to your overall project.”
    5. “And only put quotation marks around the actual words that actually come out of the speaker’s mouth,” insisted Edmundo. His teacher smiled at the emphatic speech.
    6. The final point to be made about dialogue was regarding the dreaded SAID. “No one should ever use SAID,” Mrs. Ulleseit cautioned. “There are thousands of more interesting, more specific verbs out there. Don’t be lazy!”
    7. “But what if I don’t have that much to say?” protested John.
    8. “I know that every time a different person talks, you need to start a new paragraph,” Thi offered.
    9. Annie stated, “I think it’s boring to read only dialogue.”
    10. “I know that every time a different person talks, you need to start a new paragraph,” Thi offered.
    11. “Anything that you aren’t good at is hard,” Jing objected. “Practice and you will get better. Then it will seem easy.”
    12. “Practice and you will get better. Then it will seem easy.”
    13. “I know that practice makes perfect,” Thi commented, “but writing is hard.”

    Like

  15. 1. “I know that every time a different person talks, you need to start a new paragraph,” Thi offered.
    2. Mrs. Ulleseit told John that sometimes he could use indirect quotations, where no one actually says anything.
    3. “Hmmm,” Annie mumbled thoughtfully, “maybe I can write good dialogue.”
    4. “That would be news to me,” muttered Jing. The students sitting near him snickered, and the teacher glared at them.
    5. “Anything that you aren’t good at is hard,” Jing objected. “Practice and you will get better. Then it will seem easy.”
    6. The sixth graders looked at each other blankly. Jing raised his hand. “Are you saying that our stories aren’t interesting?” he queried.
    7. “Anything that you aren’t good at is hard,” Jing objected. “Practice and you will get better. Then it will seem easy.”
    8. No one should ever use SAID,” Mrs. Ulleseit cautioned. “There are thousands of more interesting, more specific verbs out there. Don’t be lazy!”
    9. Annie stated, “I think it’s boring to read only dialogue.”
    10. “Nicely said, Jing.” Mrs. Ulleseit smiled approvingly at him.
    11. “Today,” Mrs. Ulleseit told her class, “we will be discussing how to write and punctuate dialogue. Pay attention so you can make your stories more interesting and your dialogue more relevant.”
    12. “Of course you can! It’s a lot to learn, but once you practice you will improve quickly.”
    13. “It can be,” Mrs. Ulleseit agreed. “In order to make it interesting, show the reader how the character feels during the conversation. Also, add details about what the characters are doing while they are talking.”

    Like

  16. 1. “I know that practice makes perfect,” Thi commented, “but writing is hard.”
    2. Mrs. Ulleseit told John that sometimes he could use indirect quotations, where no one actually says anything.
    3. mumbled, exclaimed, protested
    4. “Hmmm,” Annie mumbled thoughtfully, “maybe I can write good dialogue.”
    5. “It can be,” Mrs. Ulleseit agreed. “In order to make it interesting, show the reader how the character feels during the conversation.
    6. One important thing to do while writing dialogue is to make sure the dialogue is important to the story.” Mrs. Ulleseit showed an example of student writing that went on for almost a page exchanging exclamations and pointless discussion about shopping. “This is actually a story about an alien invasion,” she told the class. “See how off-track the shopping discussion is?”
    7. “but writing is hard.”
    8. “Of course you can! It’s a lot to learn, but once you practice you will improve quickly.”

    “I know that practice makes perfect,” Thi commented, “but writing is hard.”
    9. Annie stated, “I think it’s boring to read only dialogue.”
    10. “I’m excited now about writing dialogue!” exclaimed Susie.
    11. “No one should ever use SAID,” Mrs. Ulleseit cautioned. “There are thousands of more interesting, more specific verbs out there. Don’t be lazy!”
    12. “Of course you can! It’s a lot to learn, but once you practice you will improve quickly.”
    13. “It can be,” Mrs. Ulleseit agreed. “In order to make it interesting, show the reader how the character feels during the conversation. Also, add details about what the characters are doing while they are talking.”

    Like

  17. 1. “I know that every time a different person talks, you need to start a new paragraph,” Thi offered.
    2. Mrs. Ulleseit told them to make sure the sentence had punctuation.
    3. told
    4. “Hmmm,” Annie mumbled thoughtfully, “maybe I can write good dialogue.”
    5.“Of course you can! It’s a lot to learn, but once you practice you will improve quickly.”
    6.“The best part is,” the teacher concluded, “that all this detail adds length to your overall project.”
    7.“In order to make it interesting, show the reader how the character feels during the conversation.
    8.“One important thing to do while writing dialogue is to make sure the dialogue is important to the story.”
    9.Annie stated, “I think it’s boring to read only dialogue.”
    10.“But what if I don’t have that much to say?” protested John.
    11.“I know that practice makes perfect,” Thi commented, “but writing is hard.”
    12.“Of course you can! It’s a lot to learn, but once you practice you will improve quickly.”
    13. “There are thousands of more interesting, more specific verbs out there. Don’t be lazy!”

    Like

  18. 1.“Today,” Mrs. Ulleseit told her class, “we will be discussing how to write and punctuate dialogue. Pay attention so you can make your stories more interesting and your dialogue more relevant.”
    2. Mrs. Ulleseit told them to make sure the sentence had punctuation.
    3.“And only put quotation marks around the actual words that actually come out of the speaker’s mouth,” insisted Edmundo.
    4.Mrs. Ulleseit told John that sometimes he could use indirect quotations, where no one actually says anything.
    5.“I know that practice makes perfect,” Thi commented, “but writing is hard.”
    6.The final point to be made about dialogue was regarding the dreaded SAID.
    7.Annie stated, “I think it’s boring to read only dialogue.”
    8. As she spoke, she wrote an example on the board with three girls talking while eating hamburgers and drinking diet Cokes.
    9.“That would be news to me,” muttered Jing.
    10.She pointed out that people did it all the time in conversation when they quoted someone else.
    11.“Nicely said, Jing.”
    12.She called on the first student who raised a hand.
    13.“I’m excited now about writing dialogue!” exclaimed Susie.

    Like

  19. 1.“Hmmm,” Annie mumbled thoughtfully, “maybe I can write good dialogue.”
    2. Mrs. Ulleseit told them to make sure the sentence had punctuation.
    3.cautioned
    4.“No one should ever use SAID,” Mrs. Ulleseit cautioned. “There are thousands of more interesting, more specific verbs out there. Don’t be lazy!”
    5.“Of course you can! It’s a lot to learn, but once you practice you will improve quickly.”

    “I know that practice makes perfect,” Thi commented, “but writing is hard.”
    6.“Some of them are very interesting,” Mrs. Ulleseit assured them. “Others, well, just pay attention, okay? What do we already know about dialogue, class?”
    7.“Nicely said, Jing.”
    8.“Today,” Mrs. Ulleseit told her class, “we will be discussing how to write and punctuate dialogue
    9.Jing raised his hand. “Are you saying that our stories aren’t interesting?” he queried.
    10.“I’m excited now about writing dialogue!” exclaimed Susie.
    11.“Anything that you aren’t good at is hard,” Jing objected. “Practice and you will get better. Then it will seem easy.”
    12.“One important thing to do while writing dialogue is to make sure the dialogue is important to the story.”
    13.“In order to make it interesting, show the reader how the character feels during the conversation. Also, add details about what the characters are doing while they are talking.”

    Like

  20. 1. “Are you saying that our stories aren’t interesting?”

    2. Mrs. Ulleseit told them to make sure the sentence had punctuation.

    3. Stated, commented, cautioned, objected, mumbled, muttered, protested, exclaimed, agreed, told, insisted, offered, assured, queried.

    4. “It can be,” Mrs. Ulleseit agreed. “In order to make it interesting, show the reader how the character feels during the conversation. Also, add details about what the characters are doing while they are talking.” As she spoke, she wrote an example on the board with three girls talking while eating hamburgers and drinking diet Cokes. By the time she was done, the whole class was laughing at the antics of one of the characters. “The best part is,” the teacher concluded, “that all this detail adds length to your overall project.”

    5. “Hmmm,” Annie mumbled thoughtfully, “maybe I can write good dialogue.”

    6. “No one should ever use SAID,” Mrs. Ulleseit cautioned. “There are thousands of more interesting, more specific verbs out there. Don’t be lazy!”

    7. “Nicely said, Jing.”

    8. “I’m excited now about writing dialogue!” exclaimed Susie.

    9. Annie stated, “I think it’s boring to read only dialogue.”

    10. “That would be news to me,” muttered Jing.

    11. “Anything that you aren’t good at is hard,” Jing objected. “Practice and you will get better. Then it will seem easy.”

    12. “Of course you can! It’s a lot to learn, but once you practice you will improve quickly.”

    13. “Today,” Mrs. Ulleseit told her class, “we will be discussing how to write and punctuate dialogue. Pay attention so you can make your stories more interesting and your dialogue more relevant.”

    Like

  21. What bothers me about people who persistently use words other than “said” all the time is that sometimes, they run out of words to say. Two things may happen.

    One, the author start to repeat the same words over and over (e.g. “murmured” and “glowered” in Twilight). Isn’t that counterproductive?

    Or two, the author, in an attempt to avoid…regurgitating words they have used before, start using increasingly complex and confusing verbs (e.g. “spieled”).

    I don’t know about you, I’d rather read through a lot of “said”s than be confused about (unnecessary!) ambiguous wording.

    Perhaps I’m just nit-picky.

    Like

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