How to Format Dialogue

by Laura Michelle Thomas, Senior Editor jaBlog!


Format Dialogue jaBlog!Our Insider Plus+ Writing Challenge for October 3rd was to write a short piece of dialogue in the proper formatting for a traditional, double-spaced fiction manuscript. Everyone who participated received feedback, but this piece by 15-year-old Cindy Green of Canada was the winner.

Cindy did everything right. She indented the start of every new paragraph. She did not put extra spaces between paragraphs. She used quotation marks and internal punctuation properly. I also like how she avoided using “said” and instead gave us actions to go along with the dialogue.


Opposites Attract

by Cindy Green


“I’m sorry.”

Mandie looked up.

“What for?”

“I didn’t like you when we first met.” Joy’s eyelashes touched her cheeks. She couldn’t look at Mandie.

Mandie was speechless. Then she laughed.

Joy half-smiled incredulously.

“What’s so funny?”

Mandie caught her breath and grinned.

“I didn’t like you, either!”

Joy’s lips fell apart. “Really?”

“Really!” Mandie giggled. “You had friends. I was jealous. I thought you were a popular snob!”

“I thought you were annoying!” Joy laughed.

They shared a quick hug.


Mandie looked up.

“What for?”

“Being my friend.” Joy smiled.

Mandie smiled back.

Then they hugged again.


Laura Michelle Thomas

About Laura Michelle Thomas

Laura Michelle Thomas is a novelist, freelance writer, writing mentor, and the owner of Laura Thomas Communications. She is the creator and administrator of the Junior Authors Contests and Junior Authors Conferences. Laura is publisher and senior editor of jaBlog! and is dedicated to fostering the development of young writers worldwide.

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