Dialogue: Conversation between characters. Dialogue moves the story forward and reveals emotions of the characters. “Quotation marks” show what the characters are saying.
Dialogue Tag: (also called an attribution) shows who is talking. They should also reflect howthe character is speaking, such as: he commanded, or she whispered.
Descriptive Dialogue Tags: using strong action verbs to show the mood of the dialogue and make the writing more descriptive and interesting.
Writing Dialogue Tags:
Use a strong verb (instead of said)
EXAMPLE: whispered, shouted, spat, cried, murmured, howled, questioned, growled,
exclaimed….. (to name a few) “You forgot your homework at school again?!” Mom spat.
“Fine,” Ben sighed, “she never has anything interesting happen to her anyways.”
Use a comma to separate the quote from the tag ONLY if the tag has a speech verb in it. A dialogue tag, when followed by a quote should be in lower case.
EXAMPLE: “What is wrong?” he asked.
If the dialogue tag interrupts a sentence of dialogue, the second portion of the dialogue should be in lower case.
EXAMPLE: “Now then,” he said, “let’s see how fast this car can drive.”
If you want to put a dialogue tag in between two sentences, capitalize the second sentence of dialogue.
EXAMPLE: “Now then, let’s see how fast this car can drive.” he said. “Buckle up.”
If the information following a quote is not a dialogue tag (a speech verb), the quote should end with a period.
EXAMPLE: “I thought I would find you here.” She closed the door quietly behind her. Practice: Write the most creative descriptive dialogue tags to set the mood…
“Did you bury it?”
“What do you think? Of course I did.”
“Did anyone see you do it?”
“I don’t think so…Anyway, I’m just relieved it’s finished.”
All I know is that nobody will ever see it again.”
Adapted from firstname.lastname@example.org and http://themackennasaga.blogspot.com