SPEAKER: Linda is a member of AWSA, and is available to speak to your organization, at your conference, or as part of a workshop.
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AGENT: Linda is a an agent with Hartline Literary Agency. She would love to represent that next great American novel! She will look at nonfiction, but she LOVES FICTION--historic, suspense, romance or all of the above.

AUTHOR: Linda writes romance in all categories, but what is her fave? Suspense, and not only suspense, but SUSPENSE SEALED WITH A KISS

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dialogue Tags: Outdated or Out of Favor?

Thought you all might enjoy this article about dialogue tags by
multi-multi-pubbed author, Gail Gaymer Martin. It explains
why you should do away with them to make your POV stronger,
and if you do use them, to only use said and asked (I don't necessarily
totally agree with just said and asked, but who can argue with 28
very successful books?) I try to use tags sparingly and when I do, try to keep them to said and asked and an occasional whispered.

Okay, I admit it. I love the tag, whispered. Is there a writers' support group for that? Although, I'm sure saying, his words fell in a tickle of warm breath against her ear, would have more impact. That would be whispered, right? Hmmm, okay, may have to rethink the whispered addiction.

Here you go:

Do you try and avoid the use of the tired tag? Or do you growl and snarl your way through a story? Leave more to the reader's imagination by leaving them out? Let us know how you feel and how you handle dialogue tags...

Swing by Hartline's blog tomorrow where we'll discuss this some more.


  1. Okay, Linda. I'll give you "whispered." That's one that works fine. But none of this queried, requested, responded, retorted, demanded, or anything else. Instead make the writing story enough to let the reader know how the line is being said. Those other tags are signs of weak writing and most editors will agree. : ) Had to add my little thoughts.

  2. Yeah...I use whispered too, but only sparingly! ;)

  3. Thanks all, good to know I'm not the only whispered addict, but I think I like what I did with it better. Woohoo! Love to get these discussions going!

  4. I use them sparingly, but I do include the very occasional "responded" or "demanded" or "whispered." I much prefer an action beat to remind readers of who's speaking. But anything overused calls attention to itself, so I mix them up.