Agree or disagree?

Dialogue tags

– he said, she said, he replied, she asked –

are the devil.

Have none in your manuscript.

Agree or disagree?

Published by Dan Alatorre AUTHOR

USA Today bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 50+ titles published in more than 120 countries and over a dozen languages.

26 thoughts on “Agree or disagree?

  1. Yes and no. Given that you have to introduce who is speaking in a new paragraph, I would be inclined to argue that if the character is asked a question and referred to in a previous paragraph then it is okay, but it is beneficial to be inconsistent with it because can potentially become confusing. So in truth I think that as long as it isn’t overused it should be writer’s discretion.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Undecided – I enjoy writing lines of dialogue where it’s obvious who is speaking, but if the plot and dialogue are moving along, readers hopefully will not notice a few she saids and he saids.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. And yet.…..
    John Scalzi…sf writer has whole interludes of
    ‘………..….’ he said
    ‘………..….’ she said
    ‘…………..’ he said
    ‘………..……….’ she said.
    Must be the rest of the story line which drives the narrative, I suppose. (got me beat how he gets away with it)

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I think there are several sides to that coin.

          First of all, when we are all famous and have a huge following, they are buying us more than they are buying anything else. So they have come to expect certain things from us and tolerate certain things from us. That gives us more latitude.

          Second, until that time, we are best served by doing things in the way that is most acceptable to most people.

          Finally, it’s not as though the famous authors get to do whatever they want. Rather, their stories are strong enough to make small irritations insignificant.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I’ll take that on board
            It had to be the stories, because I have several on audio book and were collecting them even though the ‘he said’….’she said’ was annoying the heck out of me.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. If there are three or more people in a room, sometimes there’s got to be something there for clarity. If it’s just a back and forth I’d rather minimize the tags and include some actions to keep the story grounded.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I agree if there is a two-way dialogue, adding he said/she said once the speaker is identified is ridiculous. However, I have seen writers that do not start a new paragraph when the speaker changes. I would think you would have to have some type of identifier. I would assume we all agree that saying he said/she said is better than saying she/he shouted, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think they should be used where necessary for clarity, and that thought should be given to the word choice. I will say that I hate it when people throw in a random “ten dollar” word for said or shout for no other reason than to use a bigger word.

    Liked by 1 person

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