By Rob Hart
Expressive dialogue tags are the mark of lazy writing, because they break one of the cardinal rules--they tell instead of show. This is why 'said' and 'asked' are all you ever need.
Maintaining action is paramount in fiction, but sooner or later we’ll need to deliver expository details for our stories to make sense. So, how do writers engage while providing character depth?
Smart actors use the stage business of peeling an apple or lighting a cigarette to create a layer of interest that dialogue alone can never convey. Learn to punctuate your dialogue with gesture and attribution to propel interest and achieve better pacing.
The temptation for new writers to answer every question raised in a fictional dialogue with a perfect, clever, instant response is very strong. Chuck demonstrates how this flattens the energy of a scene and what to do instead.