I really don't want to turn Friday Fricassee into a grammar lesson, but I just have to say this one little thing, and then we'll move on. Fair enough?
It's this: YOU ARE A WRITER. PLEASE LEARN HOW TO USE PUNCTUATION.
There. I've said it.
Specifically (and yes, I'm actually ignore the whole learn-to-use-commas-with-non-restrictive-clauses thing today), I'm talking about correct punctuation with quotation marks. To wit:
"Close the door," he said.
IT IS NOT
"Close the door," He said.
IS IS ALSO NOT
"Close the door." he said.
It's COMMA, END-QUOTE, small letter for the tag. UNLESS it's the character's name, which, of course, is capitalized.
"Close the door," Trent said.
"I thought it was you." She laughed. "I feel silly."
YOU CANNOT LAUGH WORDS. THEREFORE, IT IS NOT
"I thought it was you," she laughed, "I feel silly."
IT IS ALSO NOT
"I thought it was you," She laughed. "I feel silly."
BEATS ARE NOT DIALOGUE TAGS. So it's PERIOD, END-QUOTE, CAPITAL LETTER TO BEGIN A NEW SENTENCE.
I know a lot of you don't need this advice. But I am honestly bamboozled by the number of simple punctuation errors I come across in my editing. They're not isolated typos, either--they are consistent, repetitive errors.
Easy fix: learn the rules. It's the least you can do for your craft.
Okay. I feel better now.
Now for the "other things":
1. The Premiere Critique spot has been filled. Check back next month if this is something you're interested in.
2. In the vein of "First Kiss", I'm open to suggestions for other theme-specific in-house critiques. What sort of thing would you like to see? Please share your ideas below.
3. It's FRIDAY and it's SPRINGTIME! Have a lovely weekend.