EDITING: Dialogue & POV

Point of View

  1. Has the right POV per scene been chosen? Has the POV from the character with the most at stake emotionally been used?
  2. Is the POV consistent throughout the scene? Or does the scene head-hop from one character’s POV to another’s POV?
  3. Is the POV character clear from the beginning of the scene?
  4. Is the narrative true to the POV character for what he is seeing and experiencing?


  1. Does the dialogue say what needs to be said?
  2. Does the dialogue have a point, serve a purpose (supplying description, showing character development, expressing ideas important to the story)?
  3. Does the dialogue depend on tags to get a point across?
  4. Is the dialogue true to what a character would say?
  5. Are there minimal speaker attributions used other than “said” (hissed, barked, explained, etc.)?
  6. Can any speaker tags be eliminated?
  7. Is there action interspersed through the conversation?
  8. Are the dialogues too long, sounding like speeches?
  9. Do the conversations sound natural?
  10. Are names used too often in conversations?
  11. Do the different characters “sound” different?
  12. Have contractions, slang, idioms and regionalisms been used to give a sense of character and place?
  13. Does the use of dialect disrupt the reading, such as creative spelling?
  14. Is there too much internal dialogue?
  15. Can thinker attributions be converted in internal monologue by changing it to third person or Italicization?
  16. Are actions with pieces of dialogue repeated too much?

Grammar & Punctuation in Dialogue

  1. Do too many adverbs follow the quotation marks?
  2. Are a couple of dashes (–) used to show an interruption?
  3. Is an ellipsis (…) used to show a pause or a gap?

The Smarts

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This website is the work of Starla Criser, an author who has published more than 50 stories, both traditionally and through self-publishing routes.