Discussion 7

7-1 Discussion: Authentic Dialogue and Dialogue Tags

Contains unread posts Available on Saturday, February 29, 2020 11:59 PM EST
In the article Ten Mistakes Writers Don’t See (But Can Easily Fix When They Do), author, publisher, and industry expert Pat Holt writes that:
“Dialogue writing is different than prose writing. ‘Snapped, sighed, barked, spat’ . . . get in the way of the reader’s ability to absorb what people are saying in conversation. The only reason to put he said/she said in at all is to quickly remind the reader who’s talking, and then the author steps out. [The] emotional state . . . will be conveyed in what is said rather than an adverb showing how it’s said . . . Use those stronger verbs but never ever in dialogue.”
Many beginning writers try to vary their dialogue tags to liven their prose, but most literary agents and publishers advise using only the dialogue tags “said” and “asked” with very few exceptions.
In your initial post:

  • Define in your own words what makes dialogue “authentic” and why and give an example of “good dialogue” from one of the two books you have read this term to support your answer.
  • Write your opinion on using dialogue tags.
  • Do you agree with Holt’s advice? Why or why not?

In your responses to your peers, add to their evaluation on the authenticity of dialogue, and explain whether you agree or disagree with the points they brought up regarding the use of dialogue tags, supporting your stance with evidence.
Please read the example that I have given to decide on what you want to use as the reading material.


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