Dialogue Tags

When I first began writing, everyone searched for the perfect dialogue tag--the very one that seemed to go best with the sentence such as:
 replied, answered, queried, proclaimed, shouted, whispered, groaned, and so on.

Today the experts all say use said or asked, that people just skip over those words and that's enough.

Better still, use an action for the dialogue tag. The action can move the story along or even be a descrition.

"Get your butt in here this very instant." Mother emphasized each word with a bang of her wooden spoon against the counter top.

She filled my cup without asking. "I know you have time enough to drink another cup of coffee and tell me what happened in front of your house last night."

Tom ran his finger through what was left of his graying hair. "When are you going to tell me the truth about what happened last night?"

See how many he said and she said you can get rid of in your writing by using an action or description for a dialogue tag.



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