I have a problem. I like dialogue tags. Why simply “he said,” “she said,” when he can “shout,” “aver,” “repudiate” or “concur”?
My editor taught me this simple lesson. The more complicated the dialogue tag, the more the author is telling not showing. In fact, she believes no dialogue tag is the best dialogue tag. It should be clear from what is being said who is saying it and how.
‘“I don’t care about you,” he frostily declared before exiting the room.’ is better as ‘”I don’t care about you.” His shoulders rose as he inhaled sharply, turned his back, and strode out the door.’
The first way tells, and the second way shows. Big improvement, huh?
I love big, fancy, complicated words. Being a professor, they are my cache, my favorite currency. But if my reader needs a dictionary to read my book, I’ve failed. I can expound in the classroom, but in my novels, I have to be clear, concise, and evoke emotion. And since frustration is not what I’m after, the fancy dialogue tags had to go.
If you read my newest book, you’ll see I’ve learned her lesson…well, almost learned it anyway. I’m a work in progress, and I hope as time goes by, my writing and my stories get better and better.
Ann’s latest book is One Wet Summer
Maura Fields loves her uncomplicated, independent, single life, but things quickly change when a summer vacation opens the door to an unexpected world of passion and desire. Wealthy Savannah hotelier Ben Driscoll had his playboy lifestyle upended when his ex-wife died, entrusting him to care for their daughter—a child he sequesters and vows to protect from future heartache and disappointment. Can the wall Ben has built around his heart withstand the assault from the intriguing, beguiling Maura, or will it crumble, leaving him vulnerable to the undeniable attraction and unbridled need to make her his own?
One Wet Summer is available at--
All Romance ebooks
Please visit her at http://www.annmontclair.com/
Ann, thanks again for taking time out to visit my blog today, I absolutely love your discussion on dialogue tages! Great tips from a great author :) Can wait to read One Wet Summer!