Weekend TwitTips, Feb 25-26

Another week, another weekend. Let’s see what Vysed had to say this week, both with random tips and a series of tweets dedicated to dialogue tags.


For those who do not know what dialogue tags are, think he said/she said. They’re the phrases you choose to assign a speaker for your quotes.

–> Example: “Get off my jock,” he exclaimed.

For a while a lot of writers went off the beaten path of ‘said’ and tried to get creative, but when you are writing a lot of dialogue, did you know that your creativity could actually hinder the experience for readers? The majority of readers actually get so into the story, they skip or ignore tags — unless they’re the ones you scoured your thesaurus for.

By assigning the speaker a tag like hissed or counseled orgroaned, you actually pull the readers attention out of the story. In today’s reader/writer relationship, you technically don’t need tags after you’ve established the initial speaker.

“Hello, what’s your name?” Ben asked.

“What a great name.”

–>  Here the first person speaking was assigned a tag.

Or if you want to challenge your creativity… try something like this: “Didn’t anybody go to the dance?” Alice tapped her foot on the porch. “All that shopping for nothing!” (Yeah, I just made that one up. Cliched Alice is cliched)

I found one BRIEF article that spell it out easily and may help you understand the modern ban on tags… http://fictionwriting.about.com/od/crafttechnique/qt/dialoguetags.htm

Authors? Have I thoroughly ruined your evening? Don’t cut all tags out. And don’t cut all creative tags out. Use them sparingly! … and avoid phrases that will overpower your quote/dialogue.Hissed’ can ruin a chapter. HA HA. So can, “I didn’t do it. I promise. I wasn’t even there,” Bella vomited.(YES, I’ve seen that before!)


More TwitTips:
  • Accept/exceptaccept–receiving or approval / except–not including
  • Affect/effectaffect--denote influence or emotion / effect–consequence or result
  • A while/awhile: a while–a length of time (used with a preposition like for or ago) / awhile–basically always means “for a while

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