Some Bad Writing Advice for the day: This post I’m sharing would have you use florid attribution. See here:
Why is it bad advice? Because 198 of the entries on this list will almost certainly cause an agent to reject your submission. Only “says” and “asks” should be used.*
* When it comes to writing, there are always exceptions to every rule. So here’s the explanation:
I think of this (what the Writer’s Circle would have you do) as first level dialogue, or “Thesaurus Dialogue”: putting in unnecessarily complex or florid attribution. (e.g. “I’ll get it,” Harry expressed. He opened the door. “Hi Hermione!” he exclaimed.) Overuse of it makes your work look like that of an amateur, and agents know to look for this. Don’t do it–you’d be dramatically reducing your chances of getting published.
(A similar style, let’s call it level 1.5, “Adverbial Dialogue,” is when you attribute dialogue using “says” or “asks,” but then you also add an adverb, e.g. “I’ll get it,” Harry said quietly. You shouldn’t do this either–and especially not with one of those more florid words, like “shouted angrily” or “opined reasonably.” It’s distracting and you’re almost always better off expressing how the person said something from context.)
Second level dialogue, or “Clean Dialogue,” is to use only “said” or “asked,” which makes your text cleaner and much less distracting. (e.g. “I’ll get it,” Harry said. He opened the door. “Hi, Hermione!”
Third level dialogue, or “Context Dialogue,” is to use no attribution at all, but simply make it clear from context who said what. (e.g. “I’ll get it.” Harry opened the door. “Hi, Hermione!”)
Fourth level dialogue, or “Voice Dialogue,” is to use no attribution, but have the characters have such a clear voice that it’s obvious who’s speaking. (Tough to give an example without sufficient build-up, but if I’ve constructed Harry as a shy, nerdy type, it might look something like this: e.g. “I’ll–I’ll get it.” Harry opened the door. “Hermione! Uh, hi!”)
Good dialogue is usually a mixture of level 2 (Clean; asks/says) and level 3 (Context: attribution through context), whilst occasionally elevating itself to level 4 for effect. You can get away with level 1 dialogue every so often, but it has to be for a specific purpose, and the word has to be so carefully chosen that nothing else would have sufficed. (And I’m not going to give an example of that, because it would literally take several chapters to *earn* the power to use one of those words.)
As always, my writing advice is always *my* advice, and should not be taken as gospel. There are always exceptions and you may find that your own writing goes a different way.
Best of luck to all!