Bite Size Writing Tips: Dynamic Dialogue Part Four

Here’s part four in my writing dialogue series. If you missed part one, click here. For part two, click here. For part three, you’ll find it here.

Now for part four:

‘He said’ or ‘she said’ are fine as dialogue tags. There’s no need for lots of variations e.g. he/she yelled, shouted, screeched, shrieked, expressed, explained, commanded, announced, intoned, stated, breathed, muttered, murmured and so on. Too many of these detract from the actual words of dialogue and they slow the pace.

If there are only two characters having a conversation, establish who they are and then you can do away with dialogue tags all together e.g.:

“Where were you last night?” Tom asked.

“At my mother’s,” Chloe said.

“I rang her at nine o’clock and she had no idea where you were!”

“Did I say my mother’s? I meant Melanie’s. I went to see Melanie.”

“Who on earth is Melanie?”

“I went to school with her. I bumped into her the other day in town and she suggested I go round one evening.”

“What a load of rubbish!”

See how it’s easy to tell which words are Tom’s and which Chloe’s.


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9 Responses to Bite Size Writing Tips: Dynamic Dialogue Part Four

  1. Ritu says:

    Great tip Esther. Saves on unnecessary words 💜

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