View Full Version : how to make your characters talk in a book

12-20-2012, 02:01 PM
i was wondering how you make characters talk when your writing a book do you use the word said at the end of every sentence or do you use something else.sorry if this isn't in the right place i just didn't know where else to put it.

12-20-2012, 02:42 PM
Yeah, Rio's probably going to move your thread. (to the writer's section, I don't hang out there so I don't know the specific location. :p) But while it's here....

It's called a DIALOGUE TAG.
So when done correctly, looks something like this: (Courtesy of Peanuts)

"I will love you forever." he said.
"Yes yes yes!" she said.
"Forever being a relative term." he said.
She creamed him with a waffle iron.

Now, one musn't always use "said" for a dialogue tag, it's quite dull after awhile, actually. Keep in mind though that they are, for the most part, invisible to the reader.

Shouted, sighed, whispered, breathed, snorted, guffawed, laughed, chuckled, sobbed, cried, bleeped, blipped, etc...
Get a thesaurus to help you with some more original

A word of caution. Some writer's like to use verbs as dialogue tags. While this works under some cases ("He grinned") it is often times sloppy and over down. Use sparingly.
(I mean, come on, how many people can actually "bark" an order for a three-cheese pizza?)

12-20-2012, 02:46 PM
Just use 'said' until you're a better writer, otherwise you'll feel compelled to find the appropriate word for every situation and your writing will be nigh unreadable to anyone who notices.

12-20-2012, 04:32 PM
ok thanks guys

12-20-2012, 04:49 PM

12-20-2012, 05:20 PM
You didn't even say anything Cake!

12-20-2012, 05:40 PM
I c so its gonna be like that

12-20-2012, 07:50 PM
Once the speakers become easily identifiable—whether it be by the pattern of the dialogue or the unique style of speaking the character have—then tags may become unnecessary.

"I think we should go now," he said.

She glared sharply. "Be patient. We can wait."

"Why not?"

"Because it's dark out, and we won't be able to find our way!"


Also, AnimeRebel's examples are incorrect. Whenever the tag is at the end of the quote, the punctuation right before the end of the quote can never include a period. The period is changed to a comma.
"Who are you? Where did you come from?" he asked.

"I don't think that's any of your business. You have all the information you need until tomorrow. Now please excuse me, I must be go—"

"Wait! Don't walk away! Why did you even come here?"

The strange woman stopped in her tracks. Without turning to face him, she said, "You'll see in due time."

"You better be telling the truth. I really hate liars. And even more than that, I really hate tricks," he murmured under a growl.