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Eight tips on using dialogue tags


Ylva Publishing

1038123_people_seriesIn our last post on writing tips, we gave general advice on how to write good dialogue. Today, we want to blog about so-called dialogue tags.

A dialogue tag is a verb such as “said” or “asked.” The function of a dialogue tag is to let the reader know who’s speaking. If used correctly, dialogue tags are a good thing because they avoid confusion, so here’s some advice on how to use dialogue tags:

1) Avoid “creative” dialogue tags

Some writers become overly creative when it comes to dialogue tags. They seem to think that “said” is boring, so they use a plethora of tags such as whined, admitted, yelled, grumbled, etc. Please don’t do that.

“Said” and “asked” (and the occasional “shouted” or “whispered”) are actually the best verbs to use in a dialogue tag. Readers’ minds skip over it, while other tags pull the readers’ attention away from the dialogue and become a…

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JACQUIE BIGGAR  is a USA Today bestselling author of Romantic Suspense who loves to write about tough, alpha males and strong, contemporary women willing to show their men that true power comes from love.   She is the author of the popular Wounded Hearts series and has just started a new series in paranormal suspense, Mended Souls. She has been blessed with a long, happy marriage and enjoys writing romance novels that end with happily-ever-afters. Jacquie lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her family and loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. She swears she can't function without coffee, preferably at the beach with her sweetheart. :)

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