My job was to help us spruce up our dialogue, and I reviewed seven problems I see often in my own first drafts, giving examples of the opposite by reading aloud excerpts from some of my favorite books. Here's a summary of the "dialogue busters," as I call them (I promised I'd post them here on my blog), and writers who exemplify the better way:
- Annoying Ascriptions (Laura Ingalls Wilder's Farmer Boy).
- Abounding Adverbs (Sherman Alexie's Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian).
- Badly-placed Beats. (Edward Eager's Half-Magic).
- Random Reactions (L.M. Montgomery's Jane of Lantern Hill).
- Pesky Pauses (Laurie Halse Anderson's Prom).
- Disturbing Dialect (Maud Hart Lovelace's Emily of Deep Valley).
- Irritating Information (Louisa May Alcott's Eight Cousins).
P.S. For those who attended, here's my list of Kid/YA agents on twitter.