Dialogue tags and ‘show, not tell’ #WriterWednesday #AuthorToolBoxHop #AmWriting #WritingTips

D.E. Haggerty

show not tellShow, not tell. The advice is the bane of every writer’s existence. Of course, we want to show you our story and not tell it. But how? For me this is especially difficult with dialogue. Dialogue tags are my personal nemesis, and my novels are dialogue-driven. Eek! He said, she said sounds horrible (not to mention boring!) to me. On the other hand, writing ‘he grunted with annoyance’ or some such drivel doesn’t sound great either. So, what’s the solution?

I’ve combined the ‘show, not tell’ with the ‘don’t overuse dialogue tags’ advice to come up with a strategy. Instead of indicating who is speaking and the manner in which they speak (grunting, whispering, etc.), I now try to show what the speaker or listener is feeling. Please note: Like all good advice, this shouldn’t be overused. Otherwise, your dialogue will be difficult to find between all the information about…

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About Anna Dobritt

Anna Dobritt is an independent eBook author and an indie publisher of RPG PDFs and fantasy maps through Cartography Unlimited for RPGs. She loves to read and write, and lives in Michigan. Anna enjoys watching Dr. Who, both the classic episodes from the 1960s-1980s and the current episodes. Anna has three trilogies in the queue: Ravynwyng Chronicles Universe – Volume 1: The Beginning has been released, and Volume 2: Discovery, is going through the editing and revision process, with plans to self-publish in 2016. Volume 3: Truth is currently being written. Two other trilogies are The Archivist — Lenara Lenquil Adventures, and the Guardian Blades Trilogy. Anna has self-published Volume 1 of the Ravynwyng Chronicles Universe titled The Beginning; three short stories: The Hunter, First Raven, Raven Voice; a novelette titled Raven Flight, and a collection of short fiction titled Whispers from Within. Where the imagination soars on glowing wings! May the words ever flow!
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