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

International bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 17 titles published in over a dozen languages. From Romance in Poggibonsi to action and adventure in the sci-fi thriller The Navigators, to comedies like Night Of The Colonoscopy: A Horror Story (Sort Of) and the heartwarming and humorous anecdotes about parenting in the popular Savvy Stories series, his knack for surprising audiences and making you laugh or cry - or hang onto the edge of your seat - has been enjoyed by audiences around the world. And you are guaranteed to get a page turner every time. “That’s my style,” Dan says. “Grab you on page one and then send you on a roller coaster ride, regardless of the story or genre.” Readers agree, making his string of #1 bestsellers popular across the globe. He will make you chuckle or shed tears, sometimes on the same page. His novels always contain twists and turns, and his nonfiction will stay in your heart forever. Dan resides in the Tampa area with his wife and daughter. You can find him blogging away almost every day on www.DanAlatorre or watch his hilarious YouTube show every week Writers Off Task With Friends. Dan’s marketing book 25 eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew has been a valuable tool for new authors (it’s free if you subscribe to his newsletter) and his dedication to helping other authors is evident in his helpful blog.

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.

  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.

  3. Disagree. Without them the reader will have no idea who is speaking. One of my favorite authors, the late Elmore Leonard, said not to be afraid to use them. @v@ <3

  4. 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)

        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.

          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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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