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Jedi Dad
05-31-2007, 12:40 AM
What is the best, preferred, accepted use for dialogue?

Anyone else feel repetive with "said"?

How about conversations?

alleycat
05-31-2007, 12:50 AM
There are a few other tags you can use occasionally in place of "said", but stick with "said" for the most part. You want the tags to be as unobtrusive as possible. And whatever you do, don't try to get creative with it. And remember, if a tag isn't needed (that is, it's clear who's speaking), then don't use one.

This isn't just my opinion, it's basically the opinion of just about everyone these days.

I hope that helps.

Cath
05-31-2007, 01:01 AM
Yup, as usual, Alley's right. Said is one of those invisible words, it's difficult to overdo. Replied can be acceptable, but only used sparingly.

I usually just stick to those two.

eric11210
05-31-2007, 01:25 AM
I'll chime in and agree.

"That movie sucked," John said.
"Oh, it wasn't so bad," Debbie commented.
"Are you kidding?" John asked. "It sucked," he insisted.
"I'm telling you, I loved when the kid called the radio show," Debbie responded.
"Dumb. What kind of father would actually let his kid get into a position of getting on a plane for bound for New York?" John asked.
"But it was sweet," Debbie insisted.
"Whatever," John said.

Now look at it like this:

"That movie sucked," John said.
"Oh, it wasn't so bad," Debbie responded.
"Are you kidding? It sucked."
"I'm telling you, I loved when the kid called the radio show. ."
"Dumb. What kind of father would actually let his kid get into a position of getting on a plane bound for New York?"
Debbi looked askance at her boyfriend, "but it was sweet."
"Whatever. . ." John responded, rolling his eyes.

Soccer Mom
05-31-2007, 02:06 AM
My try: One said. No other tags.

John opened the car door for Debbie. "That movie sucked."
"Oh, it wasn't so bad," she said.
"Are you kidding? It sucked."
"I loved when the kid called the radio show."
"Dumb. What kind of father would actually let his get on a plan bound for New York?"
Debbie looked askance at her boyfriend. "But it was sweet."
"Whatever." John rolled his eyes and shut the door.

MelodyO
05-31-2007, 02:52 AM
I like to mix it up. A few "said" and "asked", a rare "snapped" or whatever, and the rest of the time, no tag at all. Not so wearisome that way.

scarletpeaches
05-31-2007, 02:55 AM
I hate dialogue tags. There's no need to add "she responded" or "he asked" if we already know who's talking. And if there's a ? we know it's a question, so why the "she enquired" or "he questioned"?

Jedi Dad
05-31-2007, 08:05 AM
Thanks everyone. :hooray:

Stijn Hommes
05-31-2007, 12:29 PM
When it works I often use no tags at all. Otherwise, I usually use said.
It's the kind of word people skim over if used sparingly.

JeanneTGC
06-03-2007, 02:23 AM
Unpolular opinion coming -- my daughter and I (both avid readers) are both sick to death of only seeing the word "said". My daughter on more than one occasion has stormed into my office, wanting to know if any writers these days know any word OTHER than said.

And, as a reader, I liked the first version the best, the one giving me all the description I want (which isn't all that much) while at the same time making sure I don't lose who's saying what.