Tags (like name tags) identify. A dialogue tag is group of words following quoted speech (e.g. ‘she said’), identifying who spoke and/or the way they spoke. Other words for ‘said’ can indicate:
- Volume (e.g. yelled, shouted, bellowed, screamed, whispered)
- Pitch or tone(e.g. shrieked, groaned, squeaked)
- Emotion (e.g. grumbled, snapped, sneered, begged)
The relation between these components of voice will also be important. It might be strange, for example, for a character to ‘sneer’ the text ‘I love you’, since the word ‘sneer’ connotes contempt which is as opposed to love.
Considering that you can find countless verbs that may take the place of ‘said,’ if you simply find a stronger, more emotive one and employ that?
Not always. Check out strategies for using dialogue tags such as for example said and its particular substitutes well:
1. Use all dialogue tags sparingly
The situation with dialogue tags is they draw awareness of the author’s hand. [Read more…]