Author C.S. Lakin provides ten useful reminders to writers as they progress through crafting their next masterpiece on the website Write to Done. Her advice within her post entitled How To Write Well: 10 Essential Self-Editing Tips goes from the simple “use commas” to the a little more tricky “watch your tenses.” What we really appreciate is that for most of her tips she provides quick and dirty examples to hammer her point home.
#8. Ditch extraneous tags when writing dialog.
If the reader knows who’s speaking, you don’t need to tell them over and over — especially in a scene with only two characters.
Flowery verbs such as quizzed, extrapolated, exclaimed, and interjected, stick out. Instead, use said and asked, with an occasional replied or answered.
While reading through piles of submissions, sometimes it’s easier for agents to look for reasons to say no rather than reasons to say yes to a manuscript. There are just so many amazing stories out there and so little time in the day to get to all of them. Taking these self-editing tips to heart and utilizing them for your next story may increase your chances of providing less reasons for agents to pass, allowing the real qualities of your story to shine through.