Writing effective, compelling dialogue has multiple elements.

rx online

Writing effective, compelling dialogue has multiple elements.

Tags (like name tags) identify. A dialogue tag is selection of words following quoted speech (e.g. ‘she said’), identifying who spoke and/or how they spoke. Other words for ‘said’ can indicate:

  • Volume (e.g. yelled, shouted, bellowed, screamed, whispered)
  • Tone or pitch (e.g. shrieked, groaned, squeaked)
  • Emotion (e.g. grumbled, snapped, sneered, begged)

The relation between these aspects of voice are also important. It will be strange, for example, for a character to ‘sneer’ the text ‘I love you’, because the word ‘sneer’ connotes contempt which will be contrary to love.

Considering that there are countless verbs that may substitute for ‘said,’ should you simply find a stronger, more emotive one and use that?

Not at all times. Here are a few tips for using dialogue tags such as for example said and its own substitutes well:

1. Use all dialogue write my essay tags sparingly

The issue with dialogue tags is they draw attention to the hand that is author’s. Continue reading “Writing effective, compelling dialogue has multiple elements.”