To War Against the Dialogue Tags!I am waging a war. Consider this your invitation to join my army.To War Against the Dialogue Tags!3 years ago in Writing More Like This
What is this war about, you ask? It's about destroying dialogue tags. What are dialogue tags, you ask? They are the parts that explain who's talking, like "he said" and "she asked". Why am I doing this, you ask? It's not that they kicked my puppy (I don't even have one, despite the opposition's claim). It's not that they burned my toast. It's not even that they opened my favorite book too far and creased the spine. Here. Let me explain why you're going to be fighting the good fight.
Dialogue tags have a use. It's a very useful use, even. They prevent confusion about who generated what dialogue. So why am I up in arms about them? Simple. They take up space and often are unnecessary.
There will come a time in your career, if you pursue your writing, when you will have to pay close attention to word count. Dialogue tags are used so often that they eat into your precious word total something fierce. So what can be done? Read
The Necessity of Flaws in CharacterizationOkay. Close your eyes (well, maybe just one) and imagine your favorite fictional character. Are they strong? Compassionate and giving? Witty and clever? Wise and intelligent? No matter the make-up of their awesomeness, they probably bring a smile to your face and that warm, fuzzy feeling to your insides. You probably remember vividly their adventures and hijinks, their clever retorts, or how amazing they were at figuring out some wild and crazy puzzle. They probably inspired your own writing. You probably wanted to recreate that smile and fuzzy feeling with your own readers, so you made your version of the character (or took some of their traits) and integrated them into your prose.The Necessity of Flaws in Characterization3 years ago in Writing More Like This
This is all fine and dandy, especially considering there's nothing new under the sun, but there's a good chance you missed out on something really important. Let me explain.
It's great to have a badass character who kicks ass and takes name. But what makes them so badass? Is it that they can lift a Hummer w