#WordyWednesday – Dialogue Tags

For the life of me, I had no idea what I might post about today.  That is until my conversation this morning with mysaid-is-dead developmental editor regarding adverbs.  In the beginning, adverbs are a writer’s best friend.  They express everything we need to relay, but the unfortunate side of that coin is they also become the bulk of our dialogue tags, making the story one big –LY fest.

As a writer starts to grow in their craft, they begin to notice how adverbs dominate each page and struggle to fix the issue.  I admit, I’m one of those lost souls.  I’m in the process of doing a new edit on some of my former books and WOW!  Say hello to the Queen of Adverb Village.  It’s amazing to see how far I’ve come over the years and I look forward to where I’ll be going.

Part of my growth has come from a list of words I’ve compiled over the past few years.  These are words that can replace the dreaded, ‘he said loudly‘ or ‘she said incredulously‘ tags.  This list is still growing, but I have to admit, it saves me from falling back into the grasp of the adverb monster.  Hopefully it can do the same for you.


Dialogue Tags

accommodated lamented
accused laughed
acknowledged lectured
added lied
addressed maintained
admitted meditated
admonished mewled
advised mimicked
agreed moaned
amended mocked
announced moped
answered mumbled
apologized mused
argued muttered
asked nagged
assaulted noted
assented objected
assured observed
attacked offered
babbled opined
balked orated
barked panted
bawled paused
begged persisted
bellowed pleaded
bemoaned pledged
berated pondered
blamed postulated
blathered prattled
bleated pressed
blustered proclaimed
boasted prodded
bragged promised
breathed prompted
cackled protested
cajoled purred
called pursued
caterwauled quarreled
challenged queried
chastised questioned
cheered quipped
chided raged
choked ranted
chortled rasped
chuckled reassured
clamored rebuffed
clarified rebuked
coaxed rectified
commanded reflected
commented refuted
complained reiterated
conceded rejected
confessed relented
considered remediated
consoled remedied
contended remembered
continued replied
cooed requested
corrected responded
counseled retorted
countered returned
cowered revised
cried ridiculed
croaked roared
crooned ruminated
crowed sang
declared scoffed
declined scolded
deflected screamed
demanded screeched
denied seethed
disagreed shivered
disputed shouted
drawled shrieked
droned shuddered
echoed sighed
encouraged simpered
exclaimed snapped
explained snarled
exploded sneered
faltered snickered
fibbed sniveled
fished snorted
fretted sobbed
fumed soothed
fussed squabbled
gagged squawked
gasped squelched
giggled stammered
goaded stressed
grilled stuttered
griped suggested
groaned sulked
groused supplied
growled swallowed
guffawed swore
gulped threatened
harassed thundered
heckled tittered
hedged told
heralded urged
hesitated uttered
hinted ventured
hissed vociferated
howled volunteered
huffed vowed
implored wailed
informed waned
inquired warned
inserted wept
insinuated wheezed
insulted whimpered
interpolated whined
interrogated whispered
interrupted winced
intoned wondered
invited yelled
jested yelped
joked yowled

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