|Lesson 3 - Assignment 1: Dialogue and Simple Tags (500 words)
"Hello Mr. Brown" said the banker. "What can I do for you today?"
"Well, I need to cash my check and make my mortgage payment."
"Fine, Mr. Brown, will you sign the back of your check please?" she asked.
"Of course" he answered.
"There you go, Mr. Brown. Thank you and have a great day."
"I certainly will' he said, "I'm going fishing."
"Sounds like fun" she said.
Mr. Brown met up with his friend Sam. "Hello Sam! How are you doing?"
"Oh, I'm doing just fine, Joe Brown. How's life been treatin' you?"
"Not too bad." Joe said. "Did you catch anything yet?" he asked.
"Nope, not a single bite" his friend replied.
"Well we had better get busy and catch something. My wife is expecting some fresh fish for supper this evening. If I don't come home with any, she will be awfully disappointed." Joe said.
"That sure sounds good," said Sam.
"Hey, why don't you join us for supper then?" Joe asked. "I guess we better catch some fish first though."
"I don't want to be a bother," said Sam.
"It would not be a problem. I promise you. Joann would be happy to see you. She hasn't seen you in quite some time now."
"I would be very happy to join you then," replied Sam.
"I have a story for you, Sam. I went fishing last week with my brother Tom. We went up to White Lake and took the boat out. We were about in the middle of the lake. It was deep out in that area. The sky was clouding up and we were talking about heading on home if it started to rain. It started sprinkling, but we really did not want to quit. We kept on fishing, because we had not caught anything yet after 3 hours and did not want to go home empty handed. All of a sudden, I got a bite. I realized I had caught another line, and thought I might have been snagged on something. As I reeled in my line, I saw a bobber attached to the other line. My brother and I had a good laugh over that. Then, as I reeled it in some more, I realized I caught a 30 inch Northern Pike. He sure had some fight left in him. I finally got him up into the boat. I was pretty proud of myself when I brought that fish home and had my wife take a picture of me with my fish out in the back yard. After we got the pictures back, I was very surprised to see that in the picture, it looked like I was holding an empty string. The dark clouds had cast a shadow on my fish. So here I was with this huge smile so proud, and no fish to be proud of. My wife sure got a kick out of that."
"I'll bet she did," said Sam
"I have plenty more fishing stories if you would like to hear some more sometime," said Joe
Lesson 3 - Assignment 2: Dialogue and complex tags (500 words)
"Hello Sally" yelled Kayla.
"How are you doing?" She questioned Kayla
"I'm doing good. I am just running I have to get my 3 miles in today." Kayla gasped.
"That's great!" Sally yelled back.
Kayla returned home to see her mother parked in the yard. "What are you doing here mother? I thought you were at work," she snickered. "I was just out running and I ran into Sally. She looks good since she lost all that weight," Kayla explained.
"I just stopped by to see what you were doing tonight for supper? I was going to ask if you and Tim wanted to come over. I plan on making a turkey and all the trimmings and I know that is your favorite. So what do you say? Can you make it?" Becky inquired.
"Oh that sounds so good. I haven't made any plans for supper yet, so that would be great" Kayla answered excitedly. "What time should we be there?" Kayla asked her mother.
"I was thinking about 6:00 if that is good for you both. What do you think? Can you make it for 6?" Becky said impatiently. "I have to go. I have to get back to work now."
"Ok, mom" replied Kayla, "we will see you about 6 then."
Kayla ran into the house and the phone was ringing. She ran to answer it and breathlessly spoke into the phone, "Hello"
"Hi, Kayla. This is Tracy. How are you doing?" she asked.
"Fine" responded Kayla. "What's up?"
"I was wondering if you had any left over paint from your kitchen because I have some touching up to do in the bathroom and I didn't want to have to buy any more if you had some left" explained Tracy.
"Yes, in fact I do have some of that yellow paint left. You can have it if you want. I probably wouldn't save it anyway because there isn't that much left that would make it worth it. For some touchups, you will have plenty."
"Oh cool, I really appreciate it. Could I pick it up tonight after work?" Tracy asked.
"Sure" Kayla replied "as long as you get here before 5:30 because we are leaving to go to my Mom's house then."
"I will definitely be there before then. I get done working at 4, so I should be there by 4:30," Tracy responded.
"If for some reason, I am not here, I will leave it on the back porch for you," explained Kayla.
"Great" Tracy exclaimed. "How much do I owe you for the paint then?"
"Oh, don't worry about it, Tracy. I would have just thrown it out anyway. So you take it and use it," explained Kayla.
"Ok, I will talk to you later. Say hi to your Mom for me. Tell her I missed seeing her at the bowling banquet," Tracy trailed off. Bye for now."
Kayla hung up the phone and decided to got sit down and rest for a while. She finally had regained her breath and felt like relaxing a little before she went on to finish her housework. The dog ran up to her and spilled the soda on the table next to her. "Get down!" she screamed. She then picked up the dog and comforted him saying "I'm sorry Fluffy. I know you didn't mean it. Come and sit down with me for a little while," she whispered.
Lesson 3 - Assignment 3: Few or no tags
"I need more sleep Mother."
"Then don't stay up until 3 in the morning."
"But that is when I get the most homework done, when everyone else is sleeping and the house is quiet. I can't concentrate when the whole family is up and running around and making noise."
"Then the only thing I can think of is for you to take a nap when you get home from school, so you can stay up later and study."
"That is not a bad idea, Mother. I will have to try that. In fact, I will try it tomorrow when I get home from school and we will see how it works out for me."
"I sure hope it helps, Tom. I know how hard it can be when you have a full day of work ahead of you and you didn't get enough sleep the night before. It is very difficult. You will have to let me know how it goes."
After arriving home from school, Tom meets up with his mother in the kitchen.
"How did it go, Tom? Do you feel any better today? Did taking a nap help?"
"It sure did. Thanks Mom. It has made a big difference and that is what I am going to try to do from now on."
"That's great, Tom. I am so glad to hear it. Now if we could just get your baby brother to take a nap, we would all be sleeping a little better."
"Hello Father" said Tom. "Isn't it a great day?"
"Why are you in such a good mood today? I haven't seen you in such a good mood in a very long time."
"Well, I have been getting more sleep lately. I discussed the problem with Mom and she suggested I take a nap after school, so I can stay up later and study when everyone else is in bed asleep and the house is quiet. It has made a world of difference."
"I am might glad to hear that. The two of you did a good job figuring out how to solve that problem. Now I have a few problems maybe you two good find solutions for. I'm just kidding son, but I am very happy for you and happy to see this brighter side of you."
After Math class, Tom's teacher asks "Do you have a minute?"
"Sure, Mrs. Smith, what can I do for you?"
"Oh there is nothing you can do for me. I was just wondering why your homework has improved noticeably this week. It seems like you have been getting better grades on all your homework. Have you been spending more time studying?"
"No, Mrs. Smith. I have actually been spending less time studying, but I have been taking a nap after school, so I can stay up late and study when the house is quiet. It has been working out very well for me. I have a much easier time concentrating."
"Great! Then I will be able to expect straight A's from you from now on?" she chuckled.
Lesson 3 - Assignment 4: My preference
I prefer to use a combination of all three. Too many complex tags seems to drag the reading. Too much dialogue without tags, may get confusing as to who is speaking, and may get a little boring. The simple tags, I feel, are the ones I would prefer to use the most, adding a few complex tags, and a few without tags.
This has helped me to think about this as I am writing my novel. It will certainly come in handy.