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Branwyn
10-24-2006, 07:47 PM
Is it-- "I'm sorry," she sighed.

OR "I'm sorry." She sighed. I was told you can't sigh dialogue, yet I see it in some books.

"Hi, there," he smiled.
Or "Hi there." He smiled. Same thing here--you can't smile dialogue.

Jamesaritchie
10-24-2006, 07:54 PM
Is it-- "I'm sorry," she sighed.

OR "I'm sorry." She sighed. I was told you can't sigh dialogue, yet I see it in some books.

"Hi, there," he smiled.
Or "Hi there." He smiled. Same thing here--you can't smile dialogue.

Just turn it around or rewrod it. It's true, you can't smile dialogue, and you can't sigh dialogue. Yes, you see it in some books, but is this really a reason to do it yourself?

I tend not to like any version of these things, but if you're going to go with it, then put the smile first. Even He smiled and said "Hi, there."
Or He smiled. "Hi, there," he said.

Branwyn
10-24-2006, 08:03 PM
I just wanted to know what was correct. It became confusing when I saw it in another book. You know how that goes--look at all these errors and yet they're published--I wanted to double check. I'm actuallygetting better at picking out the errors. And in this book, that I'm reading, there are plenty.

Thanks, James.

K1P1
10-24-2006, 08:10 PM
I think it's a question of style and what effect you want it to have on your reader.

"I'm sorry," she sighed.
When I read this I get the impression that the words came out in a sigh - it indicates the expression in her voice as she said them.

"I'm sorry." She sighed.
On the other hand, when I read this, I understand them to be two separate things, happening one after the other. First she says she's sorrry, then she sighs.

So, I guess I believe you can say something while sighing and that you should use which ever one is closest to what you want to express.

On the other hand, I agree that you can't smile dialogue. I'd be more inclined to write something like this:
"Hi, there," he said with a smile.

Branwyn
10-24-2006, 08:36 PM
"I'm sorry," she sighed.
When I read this I get the impression that the words came out in a sigh - it indicates the expression in her voice as she said them.

That's what I thought, originally.

Bufty
10-24-2006, 11:03 PM
He smiled. "Hi, there."

Sandi LeFaucheur
10-25-2006, 01:07 AM
I think you can definitely sigh dialogue. A sigh is an exhalation, and if you speak whilst exhaling--you're sighing the dialogue. The tone of voice is quite different than saying something, then sighing.

And--although I shall be shot down for this--I even think you can smile dialogue, if you speak when you're smiling. Once again, there's a difference between smiling as you say something and smiling afterwards. If you're on the phone to someone who is smiling as they talk, you know it. It's in their voice.

I am now donning my bullet-proof vest and awaiting the barrage of bullets.

Ow! I'm not ready!

FloVoyager
10-25-2006, 04:08 AM
I agree that you can sigh dialog (or scream or whisper it, for that matter).

"I'm sorry," she sighed.
Works for me.

I also agree that if someone is smiling while speaking, you can usually tell even if you can't see the person. The trick is to word it so it works in print.

"Hi, there," he smiled.
Hmmm.

I like these better:
He smile. "Hi there."
"Hi there." He smiled.
"Hi there," he said, smiling.

TemlynWriting
10-25-2006, 05:30 PM
It's true, you can't smile dialogue, and you can't sigh dialogue. I've been known to sigh while speaking words. It's not at all uncommon, as I've heard others do it, too.

Scarlett_156
10-26-2006, 12:01 AM
I agree-- you can "sigh" words but you can't "smile" them; ex., "I sighed, 'Oh, whatever!' " and "I said smiling (or with a smile), 'Oh, whatever!' "

sammyig
10-26-2006, 07:50 PM
I always get around it by doing it this way.

"Hello," she said with a smile.

JustinThorne
10-26-2006, 07:56 PM
"Hello," he said smiling.

Becky Writes
10-26-2006, 08:06 PM
I, too, believe people can sigh dialogue, but not smile dialogue.

JustinThorne
10-26-2006, 08:09 PM
I tell you what else I have seen, people laughing dialogue.

"No," he laughed.

Becky Writes
10-26-2006, 08:17 PM
I tell you what else I have seen, people laughing dialogue.

"No," he laughed.


Can people laugh dialogue?

"You bet," she laughed.
"You bet," she said laughing.

Hmm...the first one sound better to my ears...

JustinThorne
10-26-2006, 08:18 PM
Sure...

Say "Of course they can," as you laugh...

JustinThorne
10-26-2006, 08:19 PM
"A, b, c, d, e, f, g," he burped.

:tongue

jpserra
11-07-2006, 05:10 PM
Is it-- "I'm sorry," she sighed.

OR "I'm sorry." She sighed. I was told you can't sigh dialogue, yet I see it in some books.

"Hi, there," he smiled.
Or "Hi there." He smiled. Same thing here--you can't smile dialogue.

Some might consider this a dialogue tag, but in fact, it is an expression of action, not emotion. And your use of the comma might be allowable, only if the dialogue continues. Otherwise, use a period at the end of the brief.

John Serra

ErylRavenwell
11-09-2006, 08:05 AM
Is it-- "I'm sorry," she sighed.

OR "I'm sorry." She sighed. I was told you can't sigh dialogue, yet I see it in some books.

"Hi, there," he smiled.
Or "Hi there." He smiled. Same thing here--you can't smile dialogue.

"I'm sorry," she said sighing.
"I'm sorry," she said, letting out a sigh.
She sighed. "I'm sorry."
Sighing, she said, "I'm sorry."
She let out a sigh. "I'm sorry."

Similarly-
"Hi, there." He greeted him with a smile.
He smiled. "Hi, there."
"Hi, there," he said, a smile creasing his face.

You don't need to always use said/answered etc to terminate a dialogue.

You could do something like that also.

He turned to her--a smile creasing his face. "Hi, there."

or you simply could just write: "Hi, there." (under certain circumstance only.)

But under no circumstance use sighed/smiled in the same way as said/answered/stated/returned etc.