- Always clearly indicate who's speaking using 'he said', 'she asked', etc.
- Never force your reader to stop to figure out who's saying what.
- This is especially crucial when several characters are conversing.
- Never let attributions get in the way of your story.
- Cute tags like “he barked” or “she whimpered” pull the reader's attention out of your novel's spell and aren't needed when dialogue is strong.
- The tone of a character's language should emerge from both the words themselves and the dramatic context.
- Use dialogue and the description around it to more powerfully convey what you might be tempted to describe by attaching adverbs to tags.
- Don't write dialogue like "I'm going home," she said happily.