My protagonist is using a different name at the beginning of the book, but changes half-way through. How should I write the dialogue tags?

Asked by: Lori Pearson

How do you write dialogue tags?

The dialogue tag should begin with a lowercase letter unless it’s a proper noun. Dialogue example: “Let’s go away,” she whispered, “forever.” Place dialogue tags at the end of a sentence.

What is an example of a dialogue tag?

Dialogue tags are those short little phrases in dialogue that identify the speaker. Here’s an example: “I’m so excited about this subject!” Amy said. “I’m so”—Amy inhaled—“excited about this subject.”

How do you write an action between dialogue?

Writing movement and action in dialogue: 6 tips

  1. Use background action to add tone and mood.
  2. Add movement to dialogue to keep the story moving.
  3. Use mid-dialogue actions for tense interruption.
  4. Reveal character relationships through movement and action.
  5. Add dramatic emphasis to characters’ emotions in a scene.

When should you use the no speech tag?

If there are only two characters present or participating in the conversation, you don’t need a speech tag every time one of them says something. The back and forth paragraph structure of dialogue will signal when the speaker switches from one character to another.

What are some examples of dialogue?

Here are some examples of writing questions in dialogue:

  • “Will you ever stop being a child?” she asked.
  • “What about that man over there?” he whispered, pointing in a old gentleman’s direction. “Doesn’t he look odd too?”
  • “What’s the big deal, anyway?” she huffed.


How do you start a sentence with dialogue?

If the dialogue is the beginning of a sentence, capitalize the first letter. End the dialogue with the appropriate punctuation (period, exclamation point, or question mark), but keep it INSIDE the quotation marks.

Can smiled be used as a dialogue tag?

2. Don’t use actions or facial expressions as a dialogue tag. No one can “laugh,” “smile,” “snort,” etc., a line of dialogue.

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What is Pace in writing?

Pacing refers to how fast or slow the story is moving for the reader. This is determined by the length of a scene and the speed at which you, the writer, distribute information.

What can I say instead of Said in dialogue?

Here are dialogue words you can use instead of ‘said’, categorised by the kind of emotion or scenario they convey:

  • Anger: Shouted, bellowed, yelled, snapped, cautioned, rebuked.
  • Affection: Consoled, comforted, reassured, admired, soothed.
  • Excitement: …
  • Fear: …
  • Determination: …
  • Happiness: …
  • Sadness: …
  • Conflict:

What is a juicy word?

A Juicy Word is a word that has some real substance to it. Juicy Words are special, more so than your everyday, dried-out variety of words. Everyone has their own ideas about what makes a word juicy, and they vary based on our prior experience and exposure.

How do you begin a story?

Starting Stories: 5 Great Beginning Strategies

  1. Strategy 1: Begin with action or dialogue. …
  2. Strategy 2: Ask a question. …
  3. Strategy 3: Describe the setting. …
  4. Strategy 4: Begin with background information. …
  5. Strategy 5: Have the main character introduce himself or herself.


How do you write a conversation between two characters?

9 Tips for Writing Dialogue Between More Than Two Characters

  1. Format your dialogue for clarity. …
  2. Use dialogue tags sparingly. …
  3. Stage your characters. …
  4. Write dialogue with action. …
  5. Create a unique voice for every character. …
  6. Keep it real. …
  7. Read dialogue out loud. …
  8. Avoid introducing new characters during a conversation.

How do you write overlapping dialogue in a book?


Function right where you can have two characters speaking at the same time they each have individual lines and they're just set side by side.

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How do you write different characters?

Here are key suggestions for every writer creating characters drastically different from themselves:

  1. Observe people and places intently. …
  2. Prepare a questionnaire. …
  3. Find the Devil in the details. …
  4. Contradict or nullify your personal views and biases. …
  5. Choose empathy over knowledge.


How do you write a scene with multiple characters?

Four Tips for Writing Scenes with Many Characters

  1. Stick to a single point of view. Stay in one character’s point of view throughout the scene. …
  2. No more than four or five speakers (maybe six) …
  3. Don’t introduce any new characters in this scene. …
  4. Try to use as much dialogue as possible, but use tags to keep it clear.


How do you introduce multiple characters in a novel?

The easiest solution is to split up the introduction. If it’s possible at all, have the MC share a scene with one or two characters, then with two or three others, and so on until you’ve introduced them all. It can also be helpful to mention a character not present in the scene, before he is properly introduced.

How do you write multiple lines in dialogue?

Multiple lines of dialogue



For a paragraph with several sentences of dialogue, put the dialogue tag, if you use one, at the end of the first sentence. The tags are for readers, to keep track of the speaker.

How do you write a good first person?

Here are some writing tips for how to begin your first-person story:

  1. Establish a clear voice. …
  2. Start mid-action. …
  3. Introduce supporting characters early. …
  4. Use the active voice. …
  5. Decide if your narrator is reliable. …
  6. Decide on a tense for your opening. …
  7. Study first-person opening lines in literature.
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How do you introduce your character?

Here is some writing advice to help you introduce your characters as effectively as possible:

  1. Don’t get bogged down in physical appearance. …
  2. Give your character a memorable character trait. …
  3. Start with backstory when appropriate. …
  4. Introduce a character through action. …
  5. Introduce the main character as soon as possible.


How do you talk in first person without using I?

Try recasting sentences that start with ‘I’ more objectively, so that the focus is on the what – the emotion, the object, the person, the action and so on – rather than the sense being used to experience it or the I-narrator doing the experience. Use the principles of free indirect speech to reduce your ‘I’ count.

How do you write character thoughts in first person?

Avoid obvious tags.



In first person, avoid phrases that take the reader out of the character’s thoughts—for example, “I thought” or “I felt.” While one of the advantages of first-person writing is knowing what the narrator is thinking, don’t get stuck in the character’s head.

How do you remove the first person in writing?

Use the correct pronouns.



Third person refers to people “on the outside.” Either write about someone by name or use third person pronouns. Third person pronouns include: he, she, it; his, her, its; him, her, it; himself, herself, itself; they; them; their; themselves.

What is 1st 2nd and 3rd person examples?

I, me, my, mine, myself, we, our, ours, ourselves — First person. You, your, yours, yourself — Second person. She, her, hers, herself, he, him, his, himself, they, them, themselves, their, theirs — Third person.