Use clever replies

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A clever reply can provide the context for the reader, making the tag redundant.

‘I hate you,’ she whispered

This can be replaced with no speech tag, but a clever reply.

I hate you.’

‘What did you say? Speak up.’

And again …

‘I hate you,’ she shouted.

This becomes:

‘I hate you.’

‘No need to shout. I got the message.’


Review a piece of your own writing and scrutinise each speech tag verb.

For every  speech tag, ask yourself: Could you lose that speech tag and instead convey what you want via a clever reply?

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