Thursday, July 22, 2010

No Tag Dialogue

In looking through my work, I notice I very rarely use dialogue without some kind of tag. More often than not, I use an action tag, rather than the traditional "said", "asked", "replied", etc.

Here's one example I found in my current mss. Most of the time I use action/internal thought, but there are a few spots with no tag at all.

She shook her head to clear the disturbing memory. “So, how have you been?”

His warm, brown eyes met hers. “I’m doing okay. How about you?”

“About the same. Getting used to the way things are now.”

He nodded.

“I saw the girls at Mom’s house the other day.”

Chase’s eyes softened at the mention of his twin four year olds. “I can’t believe how fast they’re growing.”

Erika smiled. “It seems like only yesterday you were bringing them home from the hospital.”

“Tell me about it.”

“How are the custody arrangements working out?”

He grimaced. “I miss seeing them every day. Tucking them into bed each night. When I pick them up on the weekends I feel like I’ve missed out on so much during the week.” His expression turned thoughtful. “Funny, isn’t it?”


“Well, you know how I felt when Lauren told me she was pregnant?”

He hadn’t been overjoyed, if memory served Erika right.

“I wasn’t ready to be a father. Hell, I’d never planned on being a husband, let alone a dad. But now, I can’t imagine my life without Sami and Steph. They’re the most important thing in the world to me. I never thought I could love anybody the way I love those girls.”

Can you follow the conversation?

Until next time,

Happy Reading!



  1. The conversation read smooth without tags. Good job!

  2. Yes it does. It's great to use a mix of both, I think.

  3. It's fine, Debra, no problem knowing who is speaking. I think it's best to have the mix, as you say.