The dangers of dialogue, tags that is.

So I have been doing quite a bit of critiquing lately, I actually really love it, too much perhaps. What I particularly enjoy about it is the benefit for my own writing, I have learnt almost as much reviewing others work as I have writing my own.

One of the things that really stands out for me as a problem area is dialogue, I have already written one post about it  this time it’s not the actual dialogue itself but the words that attach themselves to it in some cases inextricably that are causing no small amount of irritation.

The, she said, he joked, she flirted. STOP! When I read I want to be there – unless it’s something particularly scary, then I might want to just be nearby – I do not want to be in a TV style live audience. What is she talking about I hear you cry. Well when I am avidly reading through you well constructed prose I find it very disturbing when some one jumps up out of nowhere holding up a sign saying LAUGH. Which is exactly what the dialogue tag, he joked, says. We do not have a little man in real life interpreting people’s mannerisms, tone and body language and telling us what it means, we do it ourselves, so why do we feel compelled to do it in our writing. Have faith in your readers they were intelligent enough to pick up your writing!

Dialogue tags



Bozo – Living up to a name.

My earliest memory of Boz (as he was affectionately known), was when we went to see him at the farm, I remember crying all the way home cause I didn’t want him I wanted the black one instead. As it turned out he was the best dog a family could ever wish for.

My second memory of him is of my mum running through the living room holding him out in front of her leaving a trail of poo behind her, early training was a challenge. Next was teething and terrorised toes ensued. He grew into the most enormous yellow Labrador I have ever seen, though he never really grew up. He ate anything and everything, if he got upstairs he could merrily spend an afternoon devouring everything from corn dollies to water games, shoes were fair game, as was the bamboo furniture, the handles on the kitchen units, he even had a go at eating his way through the kitchen wall.

He never got the hang of fetch but we loved him, even when he sat on your knee till your legs went numb. Walks were never dull, recall was hit and miss and he had an embarrassing tendency to pitch invade the local football teams mid match and steal the ball. He was equally despised by the local fishermen as he leapt off the jetty into the water, top bombing!

I remember playing football in the park, the ball on the floor as I prepared to kick it through the goal, Bozo came running up behind me at full crack heading for the ball, I can still see my feet in front of my face as I seemed to hang horizontally in mid air before crashing back to earth with a bump, ouch!

Sadly the old saying live fast die young applied to Bozo, he died of cancer aged seven, we were all devastated, but he’s never been forgotten. Not even by the neighbours son who he dragged clear across a field on his stomach because my dad had said, “yes you can hold the lead just don’t let go”. I now have three little boys of my own and a chocolate lab called Holly who is blessedly better behaved than Bozo was, but he was one in a million and totally irreplaceable.

IMG_1339 Holly, and some un-terrorized baby toes.


This post is an entry into the Tots100/Swell UK competition.

Disposable technology?

Today my iPhone has failed me, the little circle button has ceased to operate, navigation is no longer an option. In my despair I contacted my phone operator via their online chat and was told to take it to an O2 store. With littlies in tow I did exactly that, to be informed it would cost me to repair or replace as it’s out of warranty. A conundrum indeed, time left on the contract, but no functioning phone. This is the second phone I’ve had on this contract the first went faulty and had to be replaced.

So I’ve been having a bad run with technology of late, my Kindle has also passed on, and that was my second one as well. In fact, I have gone through a Kindle every 12 months. Amazon won’t replace the second broken one as the first one was a replacement just out of warranty. I don’t really want to buy another one either if they are going to be costing me £150+ a year just for the unit. I can buy a lot of paper books for £150!

This got me thinking. How long is this stuff meant to last? 12 months, 2 years? If this technology I am buying is disposable I’d like to know, as quite frankly I won’t bother. Has anyone else had similar problems or do I omit some weird technology frying electromagnetic wave?


The Big Huahuqui / Huaquero Giveaway!

To celebrate the release of Huaquero Gareth Worthington is holding a giveaway prises in clude a limited addition V doll, believe me you want one it is too cute. So head over to and get entering.

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