Here are the top 10 dialogue mistakes I’ve seen story and novel writers make — along with tips for how to fix them in your own writing.

Whether you’re writing your first story or finishing your third novel, take a glance back through your dialogue and scenes and try out some of these tips.

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

1. Check for incorrect grammar, punctuation, or attribution

Pick up a copy of Strunk and White or head to your nearest internet browser for a refresher on commas and quotations, exclamation points and attributions.

Here’s a version of a scene riddled with all sorts of errors…


Photo by Jimi Filipovski on Unsplash

If you haven’t been living under a rock, you know what it feels like to be inundated with content pretty much 24/7. We consume articles alongside ads before hopping over to Twitter for a minute and then maybe clicking on a few Buzzfeed lists or checking your email (again). Three random videos on YouTube and forty minutes later, you look up and wonder how your evening got away from you. And what was that article you’d started reading even about?

Our time on the internet can sometimes feel like the digital equivalent of forgetting why you walked into a room…if…


Making a good first impression on a literary journal editor

Photo by Lonely Planet on Unsplash

You’ve written a story. You’ve revised it 20 times. You have a list of literary journals you’re hoping will want to publish it. You’re ready to hit “submit.”

You log onto Submittable…and you’ve completely forgotten you need to include a cover letter with your story or poem.

How do you format a bio? How much background information should you give? What do lit journal editors even want to know about you or your submission?

Even if you’re new to writing or submitting, read these tips to learn how to present…

Jane Bishop

Life & writing advice.

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