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The main use of dialog tags is to avoid reader confusion about who is speaking. If there is no confusion, as in a simple back-and-forth between two people, then your dialog tags can be nonexistent. Or every 3rd or 4th utterance, just so they don't lose track, and those can be trailing dialog tags, or embedded dialog tags. If there MIGHT be confusion, it is ...


0

There's a third option, especially as you say the speech involves whole paragraphs: You can insert the dialog tag (or speaker-identifying action) after the first spoken sentence. So instead of either "Go away! How dare you show your face again? [rest of the long speech]", I said. or I said, "Go away! How dare you show your face again? [rest of the ...


3

Rather than a definitive case of one always being correct it's more situational based on what you're trying to achieve and also whether the preceding text gives the reader enough information to know who is speaking without a leading tag (or indeed any tag at all) Let's look at some examples: Bingley shook his head and slumped back in his chair. "Go Away!"...


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I also prefer to avoid dialogue tags as much as possible. But when I do need them, I first try to consider if the reader will have a good idea who is speaking. If not, put it before the speech to signpost it. Otherwise, I use which ever way sounds more natural to me.


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There is no correct order, although, placing the tag after the speech is wildly more popular. Technically, the speaker always speaks in whole paragraphs - think about it. On a side note: my peers berate me for being a non-reader. However, it occurs to me, this, and of questions posted on this forum are unnecessary. The answers can be found by reading any ...


1

My own preference is to completely avoid dialog tags where possible. Some of my favorite authors (including the one I sleep with) do so as well. If you can't tell who's speaking without tags, either there's a missing context cue, or the speakers don't have enough individuality (in word choice, for instance). Yes, there are situations where you simply can'...


2

Perhaps the biggest indicator of pain is not the actions of the injured one, but of those who care about them. Make them somewhat frantic, visibly upset and even a little irrational. Have them snap at the nurses/doctors, accusing them of not doing anything (then apologizing if it fits the character). Have them pacing the room, wringing their hands. Don't ...


2

"he physical implications of pain such as curling up or raising your eyebrows help, but I don't want to bore the reader getting this pre and post dialogue description of pain whenever I am writing dialogue from a character that is in pain." The description of pain (unless excessive or clumsy) will not bore, but rather create a sense of empathy. If I may ...


1

The only time I use exclamation points is in dialogue, thought, or in describing a thought process or feeling that is not put into worded thought by the character. My narrator (3rd person limited) never uses an exclamation point. I don't think of my narrators as a personality, they do not get themselves excited, confused, or have any emotions. My ...


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Here's a completely non-scientific random sampling based on a book I grabbed from my shelf, Honor of the Queen by David Weber. I opened random pages from around the middle third of the book (small paperback, 422 pages total): 1st random page: 1 exclamation point in dialogue 2nd random page: 0 exclamation points 3rd random page: 4 exclamation points in ...


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Do not use adjectives and adverbs in dialogue tags, or anywhere else, to avoid exclamation points. Use them when they are needed. I've read many novels with more than two or three exclamation points in them. They never jar me when used reasonably. Semicolons, not exclamation points, are what one should almost never use.


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user11233 is correct in their assessment of the grammar. You don't see colons or semicolons in dialogue in current fiction because they don't work for stylistic reasons. Thus, in the things you hate sentence, I would go with an m-dash. It's much cleaner. Dialogue doesn't have to be grammatically correct either. People talk in incomplete sentences all ...


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