Narrative Basics Lesson 4: Speech and Dialogue

Ways of writing speech and dialogue

Speech tags

When we write dialogue, we often need to identify who is saying what. We do this with speech tags.

"Let’s go into the center of it," said Gregory.

"That would be a really bad idea," Kalgrash warned.

Gregory’s voice was dead, somehow pallid. He said, "It would be great to go in there. Just to see."

"No," said Kalgrash. "It would be kind of awful and you wouldn't live. You’d be pulled apart or something and you’d come out the other end all scissored up."

The Suburb Beyond the StarsM.T. AndersonSource
She said, he said
What order?

“I wouldn’t if I were you,” I warned.

The leader lion laughed, rough and mocking. “If you were me you’d be a big scary lion. Not a tasty little boy,” he said. 

“And if I were you I wouldn’t be Clever Gobgap, who knows many things,” I said.

“Well?” Carmen asked, eyes laughing. 

“Well what?” I replied.

“What did you think?”

I smiled and looked away, not entirely sure what to say.

I meekly muttered, “It was… fun, I guess.”

“You guess!?” Carmen exclaimed, and wheeled to face me. “Come on, Eliza! Live a life!”

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