“P.S. It’s Time To Remove Those Adverbial Dialogue Tags” by Amanda Patterson | 20th November, 2016 | Writers Write.
“Do you pepper your dialogue tags with adverbs? Do you have to make your character’s tone clear, just in case the reader didn’t get it from the dialogue?
What is a dialogue tag?
Dialogue tags tell us when a character is speaking. They are every ‘he said’ and ‘she asked’ in the books you read and write.
They are important, because they tell us who is speaking. Readers do not like to be confused and you do not want them to lose interest and stop reading.
They are also useful when you want to:
- Break up long pieces of dialogue.
- Create or cut tension.
- Insert an action or a reaction.
- Add body language.
- Give us an idea of your character’s rhythm of speech.
Good writers make these tags disappear into the story. They do not litter their writing with detracting synonyms for ‘said’, like ‘urged’, ‘whispered’, ‘uttered’, ‘exclaimed’, and ‘grunted’. (I’m even cringing as I write them.) They do use these, but they do so sparingly.
Just as importantly, they stick to ‘said’ and ‘asked’ without over-indulging in adverbial abuse.”
Read more via P.S. It’s Time To Remove Those Adverbial Dialogue Tags