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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
julie sellers said:
Well, your rank is really strong, so the reviews don't seem to be influencing readers.

That's a GREAT thing!
Actually it was higher. MUCH, MUCH higher. The bad reviews actually did effect my books quite drastically. In April and May all three of my books were top five for their category and all below 400 in the overall Kindle store. However, all books have to peak and fall, and my books have probably also experienced some natural fall. It's inevitable.

Oh dear, Monique, that very well could be what irritates people. Like I said, I use them a lot because I like to put it how it was said--ie, bellowed, muttered, blurted etc, but I can see where that can drive someone up a wall. At the same time, I've also heard the argument that many people unknowingly scan over dialogue tags...
 

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Like I said, I use them a lot because I like to put it how it was said--ie, bellowed, muttered, blurted etc, but I can see where that can drive someone up a wall. At the same time, I've also heard the argument that many people unknowingly scan over dialogue tags...
Well, "said" is often cited as an invisible sort of word, ie, one the reader doesn't notice. But words like bellowed, muttered, etc are not. The more you use that sort of dialogue tag, the more it jumps out at people. I try to vary my dialogue so that it's maybe one third dialogue tags, one third action tags, and one third no tags at all. Too many tags are annoying, and the more you use descriptive verbs, the more people notice them. A lot of authors add adverbs on top of that ("he bellowed angrily"), which can be even more irritating to the reader when overused.
 

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I think the theory is that "he said" is invisible, while other "showy" tags draw attention to themselves.

ETA: What Ellen said.
 

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Rose Gordon said:
Oh dear, Monique, that very well could be what irritates people. Like I said, I use them a lot because I like to put it how it was said--ie, bellowed, muttered, blurted etc, but I can see where that can drive someone up a wall. At the same time, I've also heard the argument that many people unknowingly scan over dialogue tags...
Those attributions you mentioned would be a problem. A good story editor would have lined them out, excess adverbs and adjectives too, they are not a good thing.
 

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Those attributions you mentioned would be a problem. A good story editor would have lined them out, they are not a good thing.
They are best used sparingly, to be sure. But overuse of dialogue tags is a common problem for a lot of writers. When I got back the rights on my second novel (which was not well edited by the original publisher), I was shocked to see how many dialogue tags I had used (along with a glorious plethora of adverbs). I had to do some serious editing on that one when I re-released it. It might not hurt to go through your books and consider what dialogue tags you can get rid of-- most of us use way too many of the things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Hi Jack,

Yes, that one (or should I say, those three) from Kaitlyn was a doozy. She didn't even finish the sample of two of my three books before reviewing them--I think she read only 2-3% of one of them. Goodness.

Did I know her in a past life? Possibly. I actually grew up in Eugene, OR (where she's from) so it's possible, but I don't think so. She was quite nasty, wasn't she? She even accused me writing my own reviews because apparently my books are so terribly written they couldn't get a good review otherwise, then left a 1-star to help restore balance to the reviews.

Monique and Ellen,

I'll try to amend what I said (no pun intended), I do try to watch how much I use the others (muttered, bellowed etc) and I've actually counted how many times I've used those words in a book and it's really not that much, it's mainly "said" or "asked" that I use, but I've been known to throw in the others every now and then to give a little variety and/or show emotion. Either way, I know it's something that needs to be cut down on, however, dialogue tags cannot ruin an entire book, can they? Or maybe they can, that's just not what I was thinking of when I read that I needed an editor, but maybe that's it.
 

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EllenFisher said:
They are best used sparingly, to be sure. But overuse of dialogue tags is a common problem for a lot of writers. When I got back the rights on my second novel (which was not well edited by the original publisher), I was shocked to see how many dialogue tags I had used (along with a glorious plethora of adverbs). I had to do some serious editing on that one when I re-released it.
I've recently read a few big name franchise authors with the same problem. You know great dialoge when you read it--it just flows back and forth and tags get in the way.
 

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Rose Gordon said:
Either way, I know it's something that needs to be cut down on, however, dialogue tags cannot ruin an entire book, can they?
For me, yes. Absolutely.

Take a look at the first few pages of Intentions of the Earl and I think you'll be surprised at how often you used them. It's so hard to notice things in your writing. I know I miss all sorts of things in my own work. Try reading a few pages looking just at the tags.
 

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Rose Gordon said:
Hi Jack,

Yes, that one (or should I say, those three) from Kaitlyn was a doozy. She didn't even finish the sample of two of my three books before reviewing them--I think she read only 2-3% of one of them. Goodness.

Did I know her in a past life? Possibly. I actually grew up in Eugene, OR (where she's from) so it's possible, but I don't think so. She was quite nasty, wasn't she? She even accused me writing my own reviews because apparently my books are so terribly written they couldn't get a good review otherwise, then left a 1-star to help restore balance to the reviews.

Monique and Ellen,

I'll try to amend what I said (no pun intended), I do try to watch how much I use the others (muttered, bellowed etc) and I've actually counted how many times I've used those words in a book and it's really not that much, it's mainly "said" or "asked" that I use, but I've been known to throw in the others every now and then to give a little variety and/or show emotion. Either way, I know it's something that needs to be cut down on, however, dialogue tags cannot ruin an entire book, can they?
Well, you can see she's not a very happy person or something and there is little criteria, balance or objectivity--it's a throwaway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Monique said:
For me, yes. Absolutely.

Take a look at the first few pages of Intentions of the Earl and I think you'll be surprised at how often you used them. It's so hard to notice things in your writing. I know I miss all sorts of things in my own work. Try reading a few pages looking just at the tags.
All right, be completely honest, do you (or does anyone else) think dialogue tags are problematic enough to re-edit an entire book that's been out for four months and has potentially already peaked?

Thanks Vicki, I'll go read that article.

I'm glad I came here to ask, I had NO idea it was dialogue tags that were the problem. Although, I'm sure it could still be something else entirely, but this does give me something to go off of.
 

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"All right, be completely honest, do you (or does anyone else) think dialogue tags are problematic enough to re-edit an entire book that's been out for four months and has potentially already peaked?"

When a book has the rankings yours do, I'd suggest readers are saying, "No."
 

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Rose Gordon said:
All right, be completely honest, do you (or does anyone else) think dialogue tags are problematic enough to re-edit an entire book that's been out for four months and has potentially already peaked?

Thanks Vicki, I'll go read that article.

I'm glad I came here to ask, I had NO idea it was dialogue tags that were the problem. Although, I'm sure it could still be something else entirely, but this does give me something to go off of.
Honest? Right now you are working on another book to release so right now: No. Your books have really good ranking and sales despite a few bad reader reviews and on the flip side of the coin you have some great reviews. At this moment I'd be getting the new book ready to go live.

Then, if you want, you can go back and get those nasty attributions and other clunky stuff. Like adverbs.
 

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Rose Gordon said:
All right, be completely honest, do you (or does anyone else) think dialogue tags are problematic enough to re-edit an entire book that's been out for four months and has potentially already peaked?

Thanks Vicki, I'll go read that article.

I'm glad I came here to ask, I had NO idea it was dialogue tags that were the problem. Although, I'm sure it could still be something else entirely, but this does give me something to go off of.
In my opinion, it's never too late to make your book the best it can be. If that means another edit, that's what it takes. I would definitely hire an editor who will nix those tags, and help make that book the best it can be.

If you're getting good sales, you want them to come back. A so-so book might not make a return customer.

PM me if you want the name of my editor. She's great, and won't hesitate to nix the tags.

Vicki
 

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Rose Gordon said:
... but I've been known to throw in the others every now and then to give a little variety and/or show emotion. Either way, I know it's something that needs to be cut down on, however, dialogue tags cannot ruin an entire book, can they?
I took a look at your sample and I also feel that you are overusing dialogue tags. On the first page there are six, three per character. She exclaims, he demands, she asks sarcastically, he spat, then snorted, finally she snaps. All that is telling. Not showing. Good dialogue doesn't need that kind of assistance.

As I read your sample I noticed other things here and there: a tense issue, punctuation, use of modern phrases (such as "role-playing"), word repeats, grammatical and wrong-word uses. I do think your story would benefit by an edit.

It sounds from the favorable reviews like you've written an excellent story. I think it's worth it to deal with this to make it as good as it can be.
 

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As an editor, I spend a lot of my time removing unnecessary dialogue tags and explaining to clients how to get rid of most of the rest of them.  :D

The great thing about eBooks: It's never too late to get an editor.

Once your book is edited, you can even let Amazon know, and they will send a nifty e-mail to everyone that purchased your book telling them that you corrected some "formatting issues," and that they can get an updated version by clicking (or responding, I forget which.)

That way, those hundreds of people who have your book languishing on their Kindles might read and review the "new" version. You only have one review mentioning editing now, right? Guess what? After one, they begin to multiply. It's like that one review will give others courage to speak up or something.  :D :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Thanks all, I just contacted another editor. One who I have some real confidence in.

By the way, Lynne, no it's not just one of these reviews. As you said, once one person does it, it gives others courage to do the same and I actually already have several and expect I'll continue to get more, whether because of this thread or just other annoyed readers, I don't know, but I already figured out once one person said something, it was more common for others to join in.
 

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Victoria lane said:
You will always find someone that has something bad to say. When you are 100% correct. Don't waste any more money on proofing.
:eek: :eek: :eek:

Someone just pointed out four specific errors, and mentioned several general ones, from the sample.

She's getting bad reviews regarding the editing issues, yet your advice is to just ignore it? ??? :eek:
 

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I agree with Lynn. If someone complains about formatting or grammar, and you're absolutely certain there are no problems, then it's okay to ignore the review. But if there are in fact problems, then they should be fixed. It's better for your long-term career.
 
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