Showing posts from June, 2006

Dialogue tags

These days, editors prefer action beats to dialogue tags. Some are absolutely ballistic about them, some aren't. It's up to you, but I would suggest getting rid of as many dialogue tags as you can, just in case an editor happens to be a "tag nazi." Also, dialogue tags tend to "tell" rather than "show." Often, the tag is redundant because you already "show" in the line of dialogue what the tag "tells," such as who is speaking, or who the person is speaking to, or how they are saying it. For example: “What you did was wrong, young man,” his mother said sternly. We already know who’s being addressed, who’s talking, and how she’s saying it by her dialogue line. SELF-EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERS by Renni Browne and Dave King talks about dialogue tags versus action beats.