If you're at all like me you'll agree, spring is the season of creativity. Gardeners bring out their trowels, turning the winter browns into the sunshine yellows of daffodils and pansies. The trees burst with wondrous colour as birds strut their stuff searching for the perfect mate. Humans awaken from their winter's rest, revived and …
Use dialogue cues, not tags!
by Laura Drake
They’re not to me.
Even if you don’t share my pet peeve, why settle for something so boring? You write a sparkling line of dialogue, and slap ‘he said’ on the end? Why not continue the sparkle instead?
But first, a few rules of dialog you may or may not be familiar with:
1. The ONLY time you need a tag is if the reader wouldn’t know who was speaking otherwise. I’m always surprised by how many NYT authors have tons of unnecessary tags. If there is only a man and a woman in the scene, and someone says, “Excuse me, I have to go to the ladies room.” do you really need a tag? Many times the dialogue itself cues the reader.
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