Dialogue Tags

Tags are tricky, because, as with everything else in writing, there's a balance. We can use them too much or not enough. How do we know when to go with what?

There are so many options. There's the classic he said. Then we can spice things up with she spat. Or there can be the line of dialogue with nothing more - I actually do this the most, because I feel it makes the words more dynamic. That could be just me.

We all write in different styles and have different methods, and I don't know what works for you. But I can share what works for me. It may be a little silly, but when I'm writing the first draft of a novel I go back and comb through whatever page I've finished and allow myself to keep just a few tags, making sure that I've used say or said at least once and those decorative tags only a couple times.

Then, of course, there's where to put the tags. I've noticed that some writers tend to use them before the line of dialogue. Example: He said, "No, I don't think so." Myself, I use the tag after, but whatever works, right? Guess we all just have to practice and experiment and find what how we like to write our conversations.