Tag lines, though not always necessary, help the reader keep things straight. I've seen short ones; I've seen long ones. And I'm curious, what's your opinion about long tag lines? Consider the following example:
“Who's your pick to win the Super Bowl?” inquired big, tall, handsome Ned of Walter, Ned’s skinny, awkward-looking dining partner at Cattle City Steakhouse.I am not a fan of long tag lines. I think that they can be cumbersome and intrusive. When I read, I don't want to get tangled up in them. There are other ways to add important info other than stuff it into a tag line. What do you think? How would you repair this tag line?
I'm always on the lookout for dialogue pointers. Author Nancy Kress offers her thoughts on using adverbs in her article, Who Said That? She also addresses pacing and ways to avoid tag lines altogether. Todd Stone offers further insight in How to Edit Dialogue.
Do you write fiction? Non-fiction? Even if you write non-fiction, writing dialogue can be a good opportunity to stretch the imagination and skills. So, tell me, how would you repair this?
“Who's your pick to win the Super Bowl?” inquired big, tall, handsome Ned of Walter, Ned’s skinny, awkward-looking dining partner at Cattle City Steakhouse.
Rescue the reader from a lousy rendition of what's happening at the Cattle City Steakhouse. Repair this, please! :)
Image credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/856552