The Dos and Don’ts of Dialogue Tags

 

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by Ryan Lanz

Writers use dialogue tags constantly. In fact, we use them so often that readers all but gloss over them. They should be invisible. However, there are ways to misuse them and make them stand out.

In an effort to avoid that, let’s take a closer look at dialogue tags. Toward the end of “Tag travesties” is something I sorely wish someone had told me before I started writing.

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Avoiding First Chapter Blunders

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You’ve got your idea. Your characters are fleshed out. The setting is crystallized in your mind.

You power up the laptop, and you place your fingers on the keys. Chapter one.

There’s a magic in that. You can practically feel the readers forming an orderly line to purchase your book, even before you finish the first paragraph. But what do you want to accomplish? What are the things to avoid in your first chapter? In this post, we’ll look at the nitty-gritty of a novel’s first chapter.
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Altering the Reader’s Perspective

 

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Who doesn’t like the thought of being able to direct someone’s thoughts or emotions? Sure, it’s typically in fantasy only, but I’m sure most have skirted around the thought. When we imagine someone doing so, it’s usually an evil villain’s doing, involving elbow-length gloves and an over-sized, veiny head.

But actually, we writers do this all the time. We use words at the tip of our brushes to paint the reader’s emotions. We essentially angle wording in a way to guide the reader how to feel.

Now, you may be thinking, “Ryan, that’s ridiculous. The readers come to their own conclusions.” And yes, they do. However, let’s visit an example.
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