Ask the Divas: Creative Dialogue Tags – Write Divas | Write Divas

Creative dialogue tags are a topic of some heated discussion among writers. Do you use them? I’d love to know if you agree with Jen Matera of Write Divas, who writes that “Creative dialogue tags can become a crutch for the author, and then they’ll begin to take the place of creative narrative.”

If you’re a fiction writer, you’ll want to read Ask the Divas: Creative Dialogue Tags – Write Divas | Write Divas, and I look forward to your comments below.

Happy Writing,


Candace Johnson is a professional freelance editor, proofreader, writer, ghostwriter, and writing coach who has worked with traditional publishers, self-published authors, and independent book packagers on nonfiction subjects ranging from memoirs to alternative medical treatments to self-help, and on fiction ranging from romance to paranormal. As an editorial specialist, Candace is passionate about offering her clients the opportunity to take their work to the next level. She believes in maintaining an author’s unique voice while helping him or her create and polish every sentence to make it the best it can be.

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6 thoughts on “Ask the Divas: Creative Dialogue Tags – Write Divas | Write Divas”

  1. As a reader, I don’t like to just see he said, she said throughout a dialogue; it starts to look like a play instead of a novel. If I look at a sentence, there is often more than one way to express it; so a helpful verb can help me imagine this expression in my mind as the author intended. It’s often not what you say that matters, but how you say it, in speech, so writers need a way to mimic this. There are places where this is quite useful, and so this may be more effective there. If it’s used all over the place, it will probably lose its effect.

  2. I #*&(@# hate dialog tags like “he argued” and “she sighed.” If the reader can’t tell from your narrative that an argument is happening, then you need to rewrite it. It sounds hokey. And you don’t ‘sigh’ words. Carolyn Wheat rightfully tears such tags up as bad writing in “How to Write Killer Fiction.”

    Also hokey is writing “she asked” after a question mark. Really? She asked? I had no idea why a question mark was there.

    Don’t mind me. I’ve been in a misanthropic mood all week.

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