Friday, December 18, 2009
Too Many Shoes, Part 2
So, we've talked about exclamation points and adverbs this week. We also need to be careful about using too many dialogue tags, especially non-said ones. But, like we discussed with adverbs, some authors get away with the overuse of dialogue tags, so why can't we? Again, it's another one of those contradictions. The use of tags like 'he screamed' or 'he demanded' is in a sense telling rather than showing. The dialogue itself, in most instances, can be worded so that the reader gets the idea of what tone the speaker is using. If the dialogue doesn't quite get it across, then the characters actions might be able to do so. For example, you could say this: "I don't want to go to school," she screamed. Or you could say this: "I don't want to go to school." Her face reddened as she clenched her fists. Both sentences portray the same meaning, but the second one shows instead of tells. Don't get me wrong; there will be instances when a non-said dialogue tag will be the only way, or the best way, to get the meaning across, but like with adverbs, their use should be limited. Now, on a final note, I will be unplugging next week, but will be back the week after for a few more posts on contradictions. I want to thank those of you who have given me awards recently, and I hope you all enjoy whatever holiday you celebrate. See you on the 28th!