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#Dialogue

“So, who do you write all your songs about?”

“What?”

“Who do you write all your lovey-dovey songs about? I mean, you’ve had to have written all these songs and ballads about someone.”

“Uh- no… nobody in particular…”

“Come on, A! Just give me a name! I’m not gonna stop asking until you tell me!”

“This is absurd, B. I-“

“Please, please, please!”

“No, I-“

“Come on! Please!”

“They’re about you, you idiot!”

“Wait- what?”

“In nearly every song, I describe an aspect of you. Haven’t you noticed?”

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I was tagged by @nectargrapes apparently to get back at me, and it was a very nice job, 8/10 or something

okay, I’m slowly slinking back into my original fiction again, but I’m mostly worldbuilding right now, so fanfiction is still the only story I’ve been writing (I’m almost finished with the main story arc, just got like the second half of the 5th part to write((but also I keep writing fanfic of my fanfic, I DON’T KNOW)))

I’m apparently a teensy bit obsessed with characters talking about their family relations and also about how they’re not interested in marrying each other

“Marriage creates families,” he points out, leaving the obviously unspoken. “And now would be a perfectly good time to ask for permission.”

Lin Meili does hit him this time. The punch bounces off his upper arm and only hurts a very little bit. “Ouch,” he says anyway, on principle.

I admit that I, also, love talking about (fake) family relations and how I’m not interested in marrying people. why am I like this? I reiterate that I DON’T KNOW

no tags! because. I am tired.

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  • Chirped - their voice is high, cheerful, energetic, sweet, you likely want to pinch their cheeks
  • With feeling - that feeling isn’t named, but given the context of the conversation, you don’t need specifics, this person is feeling multiple things and you can hear the multitude in their voice
  • Blinked - people blink all the time, but you just know this one was caused by being taken aback and those eyelids are heavy with words all by themselves
  • Indignant - not just annoyed, not just upset, not just “with feeling”, the person is offended and retaliating on behalf of their own pride or another’s and it is likely adorable
  • Fondly - affectionately, but with nostalgia and a little bit of an ache present, this is exactly what you’d expect from them and you can’t help loving them for it
  • Blandly - there’s inflection here, but it’s so slight and almost calculated in how slight it is that the only intention can be that they’re trying to make oatmeal but with words
  • Far too cheerfully - because they have no business being so, not when you’re suffering, and even if they aren’t grinning hard enough to split their face open, that’s okay, you’ll do it for them, the bastard
  • Deadpanned - a classic, a novelty, too spicy to be bland but with somehow less inflection, it’s weird but you know exactly what they mean
  • Stopped - you know, in the middle of a thought, sometimes because they’re figuring out what they want to say, but often just because they’re a little bit incredulous over whatever the heck you’ve just done and maybe there are no words to be said
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I see butterflies

I remember something silly that Heureca told me… she made it seem so important.

Tell me if you ever see butterflies!

It was ridiculous, really.

She said, If you see the butterflies, it means your broken heart is bleeding and you will likely die.

I said… I thought butterflies were supposed to be in your stomach.

No, she said. Heartburn comes from your stomach. Butterflies come from your heart.

It was the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.

Never even occurred to me it could be true.

- Fine Print, Stjepan Sijic ( @nebezial-asheri )

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An expansion on this post from the other day.

In my work as an editor, I come across the use of spoke as a dialogue tag somewhat regularly, with a noticeably higher use within certain demographics, which include first-time novelists and ESL writers.

“I don’t see what the problem is,” she spoke.

Caveat: As with all creative writing, there is obviously a certain amount of leeway and freedom for the author to do whatever they want. If you really want to use spoke as a dialogue tag, I personally cannot stop you. (Your editor and publishing house are other matters entirely.) That said, what if we try changing it to present tense?

“Still not sure I see the problem,” she speaks.

Does that seem awkward?

Spoke is the past-tense form of speak. Despite both being verbs, neither is traditionally used as a dialogue tag; instead, both tend to function as action tags (thus taking periods), while said/says act as dialogue tags (thus taking commas).

Past tense:

He spoke quietly. “I’ll see you later.”

vs.

He said quietly, “I’ll see you later.”

Present tense:

“I’ll see you later.” He speaks quietly.

vs.

“I’ll see you later,” he says quietly.

It’s possible most readers won’t consciously discern these differences, but best practice is to treat spoke/speaks is an action tag and said/says as a dialogue tag.

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Person A: “Why do you keep doing that?”

Person B: “Doing what?”

Person A: “Dodging the question about what you are.”

Person B: “….Because I don’t know the answer either.”

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