Monday, November 8, 2010

Tuesday Tips a day early! Dialogue Tags

Tuesday Tips is a day early this week! Something really fun going on tomorrow!!!

Before I continue, I first of all need to thank my AMAZING editor at Lyrical Press, Piper Denna! Please check her out here! Without her, I would not be where I am. She took my MS and helped me turn it into something fantastic. I learned so much from the experience!

Okay..on with today's post!

When I first started writing, I thought every line of dialogue had to have the word "said" with a name or he/she/I. I started getting creative and used my thesaurus for different words that also meant "said". I thought I was being cool by mixing it up. And the adverbs. Oh my.

And then I realized that not every line has to have a tag (I finally found out what they were actually called).

And as I learned to show instead of tell by adding actions, those lines didn't need tags either.

The Old Way: "I love this dress!" Sally said as she twirled in front of the mirror.

The New Way: Sally twirled in front of the mirror. "I love this dress!"

When there are just two people in a conversation, the reader can usually figure out who is talking. But be careful, so it's not confusing to the reader. Make sure you add in actions what's going on while they are conversing. There's nothing worse for a reader to be in the middle of a conversation and having to stop and go back because they can't keep track of who's saying what.

Hope this helps. Remember, I in no way imply I am an expert here and my apologies if something I said is clearly wrong!! LOL! I'm still learning myself!!


  1. I just figured this out to !!!!

  2. I was the same way at first but now I mostly use action tags. It makes things clearer and tighter at the same time.

  3. Exactly Nicole!!! I never used to work action into the lines of dialogue...but once I figured that, such a difference it made! :)

  4. Great! I love the action/dialogue way. But of course, a little variety adds to the fun.

  5. needs to be mixed up!! Thanks for stopping by everyone!!

  6. Thank you for the reminder. I keep thinking I have it down, but then I read what I've written and well, thanks for the reminder.

    Ooohh, I can't wait to find out what you have up your sleeve.

  7. Great tips Stephanie, thanks :)


  8. Hey, check you out! Can't wait to read that sequel...
    Thanks for the kind words, chica.

  9. Thanks for stopping by ladies!!!!! Glad I;m helping you!!

    Thanks Piper....I've learned so much from working with you! :) Can't wait for you to read the sequel!