Had a constructive conversation the other day with the delightful
Which are necessary if you have two middle aged, over-educated heteronormative white guys talking to one another. On the other hand, if you have a stuffy old closeted professor of Classics talking to a newly-immigrated Somali cab driver, you could get away with almost no tags whatsoever, other than a little blocking assistance. These two characters will have very different speech registers, and very different assumptions about the world.
One of my more extensive experiments in flash was working on integrating dialog with characterization, blocking, setting and other story elements so I could get away from “Jane said”/”Aaron said” tennis matches. Finding ways to signal the speaker through their actions or context or placement in the scene allowed words to do double, treble or quadruple duty, all while cleaning up the text. This makes the story world both economical and interesting.
What’s a favorite example from your own work, or others, of how to embed dialog like this?