“I hate you” she ejaculated.


Can you read that without laughing?

Blurted, enthused, hissed. All of these are just terrible. Variety in writing is important, but when it comes to dialogue tags, readers need simplicity. Said, or says is plenty. It camouflages itself into the story because readers have been trained to barely regard it.

But he said, she said, they said, does get redundant.So how does one avoid this?



Writers constantly hear “Show don’t tell.” This is the perfect opportunity. Do people generally freeze when they talk? No, they express more with their movements, their posture. Add that in.

“I hate you!” She balled her hands into fists and beat at his chest.

Skipping the generic dialogue tag for action is a great way to give your story life while also offering more for the reader to eat up. A healthy balance of, he said, she said, sprinkled in with actions can make a book much more enjoyable.