Writing Glitch #78

Today’s glitch:

glitch81

Don’t put the dialogue tag and the dialogue itself in separate paragraphs.

Under normal circumstances, a comma, not a colon, is used to separate dialogue from its tag. It is sometimes acceptable to use a colon instead of a comma. Julia: “You’re such a dork. I’d rather date your brother.” (The Chicago Manual of Style says, “A colon may also be used instead of a comma to introduce a quotation, either where the syntax of the introduction requires it [emphasis added] or to more formally introduce the quotation.” So, y’know, don’t use a colon after said or any variation thereof.)

Capitalize the first word of each sentence!

Someone you know barges through your front door and says, “Whatever happens, whoever comes knocking, I’ve been here for at least an hour.”

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About Thomas Weaver

I’m a writer and editor who got into professional editing almost by accident years ago when a friend from university needed someone to copyedit his screenplay about giant stompy robots (mecha). Having discovered that I greatly enjoy this kind of work, I’ve been putting my uncanny knack for grammar and punctuation, along with an eclectic mental collection of facts, to good use ever since as a Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom. I'm physically disabled, and for the past several years, I’ve lived with my smugly good-looking twin Paul, who writes military science fiction and refuses to talk about his military service because he can’t. Sometimes Paul and I collaborate on stories, and sometimes I just edit whatever he writes. It's worked out rather well so far. My list of non-writing-related jobs from the past includes librarian, art model, high school teacher, science lab gofer… Although I have no spouse or offspring to tell you about, I do have six cats. (The preferred term is "Insane Cat Gentleman.") I currently spend my time blogging, reading, editing, and fending off cats who like my desk better than my twin’s.
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