“What brings you to my hermitage on this stormy night?” asks the old man.
“I want to learn how to write dialogue. I… I’m a writer.”
“Are you?” he says. His eyes take me in for a moment. Then he opens the door.
“I want to know where the punctuation goes,” I say, wringing out my cloak in the hall.
“Punctuating dialogue properly is important,” says the old man, “But actions speak loudly, too. When I offered you tea, and you unlaced your boots at my hearth, we didn’t need any words stating that there was a comfortable lull in our conversation. The careful placement of details created a little pause. It was a good example of showing rather than telling.” —Writing Effective Dialogue (Punctuation and Actions in Creative Writing) | Jerz’s Literacy Weblog.