Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Writing Tidbit #1: Dialogue Tags

     Kate turned the chair backwards before sitting and leaning forward against the rails. "Okay, guys. The thing is, dialogue tags slow things down."
      Jill frowned. "What do you mean?"
     "I mean, if you can use action to indicate the speaker, you don't need a lot of 'she saids' or 'he askeds' in your writing."
     Bob raised his hand. "What about 'exclaimed,' 'responded,' or 'replied?'"
     Kate shook her head. "Avoid them. Seriously. They really don't read well. 'Said' and 'asked' are okay, but it's better to streamline everything. It's one more aspect of 'show, don't tell.' The occasional 'screamed' or 'hissed' is acceptable, too, but don't overuse them."
     Jill snorted. "What about writing your own dialogue in the third person? Isn't that a little pretentious?"
     The sword flashed across the space between them, and Jill's hand flashed up to the thin cut that welled blood across her cheek.
     Kate shrugged. "I don't take criticism well... even implied criticism."

And... scene.

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