1.2 List of Dialogue Tags
In the first section of this chapter, I spent a lot of time rambling on about speaker/dialogue tags and actions/beats. I was going to add a link to the bottom that consisted of a huge list of dialogue tags, but I quickly gave up trying to find a list that was both correct and thorough, so I decided to compile my own bank of tags.
In case you skipped the first section, let me go over a few quick things:
First of all, just because there are tons of synonyms for ‘said,’ that doesn’t mean you need to use all of them; many professional editors and critics will slap your wrists for doing this. The only tags you really need are ‘said,’ ‘asked,’ and ‘replied,’ because they’ll become invisible on the page, but occasionally it’s okay to insert a ‘whisper’ or ‘murmur’ for the sake of variation and tone.
A speaker tag / dialogue tag is an attribution that comes after dialogue. Its purpose is to let the reader know who said what.
An action tag / beat describes what the character does before, during, or after they speak. At the end of this chapter, I’ve included an ongoing list of actions that are often misused as dialogue tags.
List of Dialogue Tags
Acknowledged Added Admitted Advised Affirmed
Agreed Announced Answered Argued Asserted
Babbled Barked Bargained Bawled Begged
Bellowed Blurted Blustered Boasted Bragged
Called Chimed Choked out Claimed Commanded
Commented Complained Concurred Confessed Continued
Contributed Cried Croaked Crooned Crowed
Declared Demanded Denied Described Dictated
Emphasized Exclaimed Explained Expressed
Groaned Growled Grumbled Grunted
Implied Implored Inquired Insisted Instructed
Jabbered Joshed Justified
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Writing & Editing: A Self-Editor's HandbookNon-Fiction
This is a collection of commonly misused grammar, punctuation, spelling and syntax rules with simple explanations, as well as various tips to help you improve the overall quality of your writing. ...