|Author:||Nola||Published:||about 4 years ago|
|Tags:||speech tags, speech, dialogue, fiction||Category:||Writing tips|
Well-written dialogue can add texture and realism to your story. It helps readers learn more about the characters and puts them in the middle of the action. However, poor dialogue can make your manuscript groan rather than sing. The humble speech tag or dialogue tag (e.g. he said) is often the difference.
Consider the following exchange:
‘I’m hungry,’ Angelina announced. ‘Let’s get some lunch,’ Brad replied. ‘Where do you want to go?’ Angelina questioned. ‘How about over there?’ Brad responded. ‘I hope they have gluten-free,’ Angelina worried. ‘Only one way to find out,’ Brad remarked.
You’ll be happy to know this is not an extract from my novel. There are at least three problems with it.
Now consider this revision:
Angelina’s stomach growled. ‘I’m hungry.’ ‘Let’s get some lunch,’ Brad said. ‘Where do you want to go?’ Brad pointed to the café across the road. ‘How about over there?’ ‘I hope they have gluten-free,’ Angelina said as she wrung her hands. ‘Only one way to find out.’
This passage may not win a Pulitzer Prize, but it’s an improvement. Here are some reasons why.
Why not look back at one of your manuscripts and see if you can add more spark to your dialogue. Alternatively, finish the conversation I started above. I can’t wait to hear if Angelina got that gluten-free treat.